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Will My Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

June 26, 2023 Legal Team

As a driver in Arizona, you may have experienced the dread associated with an automobile accident and its potential financial consequences. A common concern among drivers is whether their car insurance premium will increase after an accident. Keep reading to learn more from our Mesa car accident attorneys.

Will My Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident

Insurance Premiums After an Accident in Arizona

Under Arizona law, if you have not caused or significantly contributed to the cause of an accident, your car insurance rates or premiums cannot be raised

“No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured. Any insurer which increases the premium as a result of accident involvement shall notify the insured of the reason for such increase.”

However, if you are at fault for an accident, your premium may increase. In the state of Arizona, the typical monthly premium for automobile insurance is approximately $160. After an accident for which you’re at fault, this premium could increase to an average of $227 — a 42% increase.

Your Rates Will Go Up the Most in Your First Renewal Period After the Crash

After you have been involved in an accident in Arizona that was your fault, it’s highly likely that your car insurance rates will increase. This is because insurance companies evaluate accident records to gauge the level of risk they’re accepting, with individuals who had recent accidents being regarded as more of a risk.

The most significant increase in your car insurance rates will come in the first renewal period after the crash. It is essential to note, however, that the amount by which your rates increase will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The severity of the accident
  • Who was at fault
  • Your driving history
  • Your insurance company’s policies

Rates Should Return to Normal After Three to Five Years

The good news is that your car insurance rates won’t remain high forever. Typically, they will return to normal after three to five years from the date of the accident, provided that you don’t have any additional accidents or violations on your record. This period may vary depending on your insurer and the specific circumstances of the accident.

Reducing Insurance Premiums after an Accident

If you’ve been involved in an accident and you’re concerned about your insurance premium rising, there are a few steps you can take to potentially reduce or mitigate the increase:

  1. Shop around – Research different insurance providers to find the most competitive rates for your situation. Keep in mind that rates can vary significantly between companies.
  2. Improve your driving – By maintaining a clean driving record, you can demonstrate responsibility to insurance providers and potentially lower your premiums.
  3. Participate in a defensive driving course – Many insurance companies offer discounts for completing a defensive driving course.
  4. Choose a higher deductible – Opting for a higher deductible means you’ll pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. However, it can lead to lower monthly premiums.
  5. Consider accident forgiveness – If your insurance provider offers an accident forgiveness program, you may be eligible to have your first at-fault accident forgiven, and it could help maintain your current premium rate.

Never Admit Fault After an Accident

One of the most important things to remember after any car accident is to never admit fault. Even if you think you might have been partly responsible, it’s best not to say anything to the other driver, the police, or your insurance company that could be construed as an admission of guilt.

Instead of admitting fault, gather as much information as possible from the accident scene, such as photos, witnesses’ contact information, and details about the other driver’s vehicle and insurance. 

Always Speak to a Lawyer Before Dealing with Insurance Company

Even if you are not admitting fault, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney before discussing the circumstances of an accident with your insurance carrier. A lawyer experienced in dealing with car accidents can help you navigate the potentially complicated claims process and ensure that you receive the best outcome.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and you need help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation