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We know they increase after claims, but now by even more

Be wary, road warriors. Getting into an accident and filing a claim will make your monthly insurance costs go up more than normal.

Depending on where you live, your costs could be up by more than 60 percent, InsuranceQuotes says. While we know that filing a claim after an accident will drive up premium costs; experts say making Americans more expensive to insure. Californians have it the hardest: filing a $2,000 or higher claim results in a 63 percent increase in premiums.

The InsuranceQuotes study found that average premiums have steadily gone up over the last four years; which showcases that auto insurance claims have also gone up.

Among the findings:

  • Drivers who make a single auto insurance claim of $2,000 or more will see their premiums increase, on average, by 44.1 percent (a 6 percent jump from just three years ago).
  • Filing a second claim in one year has an average annual premium increase of 99.4 percent (a 13 percent jump from 2014).

The average cost of an insurance premium is $841, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. A 44.1 percent increase means an extra $371 a driver must pay.

Where you live matters

California residents will see upward of a 63 percent increase — almost 20 percent more than the national average — but they aren’t the only state to see a huge jump in auto insurance claims. In New Hampshire and Texas, it’ll be roughly 60 percent. In Massachusetts and North Carolina: 57 percent.

But some states are faring better. Maryland residents will see the lowest increase, with 21.5 percent. Michiganders are in second with 26 percent. Those in Oklahoma will see a nearly 28 percent jump, while Montana and Kentucky residents will face a more than 30 percent increase.

Both the top 5 and bottom 5 states will see average premium increases for bodily injury claims parallel to auto insurance claims. California will see a 73.2 percent increase, while Maryland is only at 22.6 percent.

“At its best, insurance pricing is supposed to incentivize safety, and premiums should be adjusted to reflect that,” says Doug Heller, an independent consumer advocate with the Consumer Federation of America, tells InsuranceQuotes. “If you cause a lot of accidents but don’t really see an impact on your premiums, it’s one less reason people need to worry about driving safely.”

Why the increases now?

When we were deep into the Great Recession from 2007-2009, fewer people were driving to work. Fewer commuters on the road means, on average, less chance of an accident. After we rebounded, commuters increased — and so did car accidents.

“It’s not just more cars on the road but newer cars on the road, and insurers have had to adjust their books to compensate for that,” says Mike Barry, VP of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute.

With more people hitting the road for work and road trips with gas prices being relatively low, the chances of accidents are even higher than they were nearly 10 years ago.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Family, Home

auto repair, car buying, insurance

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