Car insurance with two or more claims
Filing multiple car insurance claims can lead to a tricky situation. The primary effect of multiple claims on auto insurance is increased rates. A second — and less likely — possibility is that of policy cancellation or non-renewal. Let's take a look at how to handle multiple auto insurance claims and how to find better insurance quotes with them.
Multiple at-fault and not-at-fault accidents
At-fault and not-at-fault scenarios refer to collision and comprehensive claims. A collision claim will be considerably more expensive than a comprehensive claim. A collision claim covers an incident that occurs as a result of the insured driver's actions: for example, colliding with a fixed object or another vehicle.
How collision claims affect car insurance rates
On average, an at-fault collision claim raises insurance rates by $64 per month, ($384 per six-month policy period). USAA is the cheapest car insurance company after an at-fault accident.
These rates are averages. Drivers can use these premiums as a starting point in the search for car insurance.
Auto insurance data methodology
The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:
- $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
- $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
- $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage
To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.
In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.
How comprehensive insurance claims affect car insurance rates
Comprehensive coverage is designed to cover damage that occurs outside of the insured driver's control.
Below are perils covered by comprehensive coverage:
- Stolen or vandalized vehicle
- Damage caused by animals (rodents or insects)
- Flood damage
- Collision with an animal
Comprehensive claims typically don't result in major rate hikes. On average, a comprehensive claim increases auto insurance premiums by $6 per month. Two comprehensive claims raise car insurance premiums by $13 per month. Drivers with two comprehensive claims on their records should consider USAA, State Farm or Nationwide when comparing rates in search of a policy.
Personal injury protection claims and insurance rates
Drivers in one of the 12 no-fault states in the U.S. are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP covers the bodily injury costs and medical bills sustained by those involved in a car accident, regardless of fault. On average, a single PIP claim raises car insurance rates by an average of $1 per month. A pair of claims will increase rates by $6 per month. Below are cost estimates from popular insurance companies.
For drivers with one PIP claim, USAA is the cheapest auto insurance company, at $79 per month. Drivers ineligible for USAA's coverage should consider GEICO, the second-cheapest option.
Some insurance companies will drop clients after a second PIP claim.
For more information on PIP claims, see our guide to car insurance with a PIP claim.
How to save on auto insurance after claims
There's no magic trick to lower premiums after multiple claims. But there are some steps worth considering to alleviate the impact of the claims on your insurance costs.
Compare insurance options
Comparing car insurance quotes every six months is a good way to find affordable car insurance. Most accidents and violations will no longer be chargeable after three to five years.
Not every insurance company prices policies equally after claims. The only way to know for sure you’re being charged the least amount for your claim is to see insurance premiums from other companies.
Find the right policy in only a few minutes.
Be smart with future claims
If you’re in a situation where you think you need to file a claim, follow our guide.
- Use our State of Insurance analysis to see how much your particular claim type would raise your rate in your state. Consider this increase over three years as that is how long you will be charged by your insurance company.
- Get an estimate for the repairs out a mechanic.
- Compare the rate increase plus your deductible to the out-of-pocket repair costs. If it is cheaper to file a claim, do that. But be extra cautious if you’ve had already filed two claims in the past three years.
Customize your coverage
The general rule of thumb in the insurance world is if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, you do not need comprehensive or collision coverage. This is because the claims payout you would receive is worth less than the value of the premium you are paying. Determine the value of your vehicle(s) by using Kelley Blue Book and NADA online. All of your vehicles do not need to be at the same coverage level.
If you need physical comprehensive and collision coverage but are still looking to lower your insurance premiums, consider raising your deductible. Because your premium and deductible are inversely related, you lower your bill by raising your deductible. Standard deductibles range from $250 to $1000.
Use insurance discounts
See if you qualify for the following auto insurance discounts.
Compare insurance rates quickly and easily.
Frequently asked questions: auto insurance with multiple claims
There is no limit on how many claims you can file. However, most insurance companies will drop you as a client after three claims over a three-year period, no matter what type of claim.
State Farm has a penchant for being more selective with their policyholders, but how many claims it takes to be dropped from coverage depends. Insurers can use their own discretion to decide what it takes for them to non-renew or cancel policies.
In most scenarios, no. The at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for handling and paying out for the claim up to their coverage limits. However, there may be some unique circumstances where this won't always be the case, such as the at-fault driver being underinsured (doesn't carry enough coverage to cover all losses) or if 50/50 fault is determined. In these cases, you'll need to speak to a claims representative at your insurance company.
Having accident forgiveness as part of your auto insurance policy ensures your rates won't increase after an at-fault accident. Generally, you'd need to have been at least a few years accident-free (depends by the company) to qualify for accident forgiveness. It may be not worth it if you have recent accidents on your record, but if you've gone at least a few years without any, it could be a great safeguard against potential incidents.
About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.