The circumstances of the accident
Your insurance policy’s accident forgiveness
Your age and gender
The type of car you own
Your driving history First, let’s define a car accident. Most insurance companies say an accident is a collision that has damaged a minimum of $500-$750 worth of property. Many also say that you must have been more than 50% at fault to count it as an accident on your record. If your accident doesn’t meet that criteria, then chances are that your rates won’t go up. This isn’t true for all companies, however, so make sure to check with our insurance agents about your policy!
The Specific of an Insurance Rate Increase
Who is at-fault This is the single greatest factor in determining whether or not your car insurance will increase. If you are not at fault for your accident, then most insurance companies will not increase your rate. If you are at-fault, then you will be held liable and your insurance rates will likely increase. Determining fault can be quite complicated and is rarely cut and dry. California is a fault state and holds each party liable for the amount that they contributed to the accident.
The accident itself Accidents can range from a paint scratch to a totaled car with injured persons. The greater the amount of damage that was caused, the more likely your insurance rates will increase by a higher percentage.
Your driving history Safe drivers are more valuable to an insurance company. If you’ve had a long history of driving safely, then you probably won’t get as large of a premium increase as someone who does not have a good record. Also, some companies have accident forgiveness for safe drivers so a first accident won’t result in premium increase at all!