Is it a bad idea to change auto insurance after an accident?

If you want better auto insurance rates, it isn't bad to change auto insurance after an accident. Getting into an auto accident can have a serious impact on your auto insurance rates, but you may find cheaper rates with a different company. Before you change car insurance after an accident, review your current policy and see if it offers accident forgiveness. If so, there may be no change to your rates at all.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2022

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Getting into an accident can raise your premiums drastically
  • If you have auto insurance with accident forgiveness, you may not see a change in your rates if this is your first accident
  • Shopping online is a great way to find an insurance company that fits your needs if your rates increase after an accident

If you aren’t thrilled with your current automobile insurance and want to find a new auto insurance company, is it bad to change auto insurance after an accident?

Why not try asking yourself, “Is it bad to change auto insurance after an accident if I want more affordable auto insurance?” instead. You can switch auto insurance companies after you’ve been in an accident. You can even cancel your current policy while you have a claim open.

Whenever you are unhappy with your current insurance policy, you can switch insurance companies, but there are a few things all drivers should be switching insurance companies. Read this guide before you switch companies simply because you’ve been in an accident and are afraid if your rates will rise.

If you find yourself asking, “Is it bad to change auto insurance after an accident?”, then enter your ZIP code above to compare free auto insurance quotes from local companies today.

Can drivers switch their auto insurance after an accident?

If you’re concerned about the state of your auto insurance rates, is it bad to change auto insurance after an accident? Not necessarily.

After being in an accident, you could see your insurance rates rise by an exorbitant amount, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.

Changing an auto insurance policy after accidents can certainly seem pretty appealing when facing such a high premium increase. If you think switching is the best step for you, getting insurance after an accident is easier than you may think.

Changing your auto insurance policy after an accident is not all that difficult. Shop online so you can compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies and find the right insurance provider for you.

What should drivers consider before switching insurance companies?

If you want to buy auto insurance, is it bad to change auto insurance after an accident? To answer that question, consider the following:

  • Will you lose any discounts if you change car insurance after an accident?
  • Can you bundle all of your insurance policies with the new company?
  • Will there be a coverage lapse between the new policies?

You may lose a loyalty discount when you switch auto insurance companies, but if you bring all of your insurance policies over to the new company, you should still be able to benefit from a multi-policy discount.

Before you change auto insurance companies after an accident, be sure that there isn’t a lapse in coverage before your new policy starts. Having a gap in coverage means you are unprotected on the roads and could lose your license if caught driving without insurance.

If you lease your vehicle or have a car loan, you should also let your lender know about the change in your insurance company. You’ll need to send over proof of insurance with the new insurance company so the lender can confirm that you are still meeting coverage requirements.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

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How To Cancel Auto Insurance After an Accident

Thankfully, changing your auto insurance policy after an accident is not difficult.

Typically, you’ll need to write out a request to cancel your policy in an email or a letter. Be sure to include your current policy number and the desired end date.

Bear in mind that every company’s process has its own nuances. Contact your provider directly to find out what your company needs from you to cancel the policy. You may even be able to get a prorated refund from your canceled policy depending on when you cancel it.

How can drivers lower their auto insurance rates after an accident?

If you get into an accident, you could see your rates rise, but there are a few strategies that can lower your premiums. You can either increase your deductibles, shop online for better rates, or adjust your coverage amounts.

You can also review all the discounts your insurance company has available. Take a look at these discounts offered by major insurance companies and see how much you can save:

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company and Discount Amount
Discounts21st Century Discount AmountAAA Discount AmountAllstate Discount AmountAmerican Family Discount AmountAmeriprise Discount AmountAmica Discount AmountCountry Financial Discount AmountEsurance Discount AmountFarmers Discount AmountGeico Discount AmountLiberty Mutual Discount AmountMetLife Discount AmountNationwide Discount AmountProgressive Discount AmountSafe Auto Discount AmountSafeco Discount AmountState Farm Discount AmountThe General Discount AmountThe Hanover Discount AmountThe Hartford Discount AmountTravelers Discount AmountUSAA Discount Amount
Adaptive Cruise Control and/or Headlights----------5%--------3%--
Anti-lock Brakes--10%-3%5%-5%-5%5%5%5%-5%-5%8%5%3%--
Anti-Theft--10%-3%25%10%25%-25%20% off of comprehensive portion of policy.10% -- this discount factors in features such as VIN etching and vehicle recovery;
one anti-theft discount applies.
25%; combined with vehicle recovery discount.---15% discount off of comprehensive coverage; higher discount with "engine cut-off."8%; one total anti-theft discount applies; if vehicle recovery, a higher discount applies.5%3%--
Claim Free--35%----25%-26% for going five years without an accident.Awarded "accident free" on account for lower rating.20% if claim/violation free:
"Superior Driver"
3+ yrs=12%
5+ yrs 20%
save $50 each claim-free year up to $250 (off deductible).
10%-10% if you go six months without filing a claim;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
20% "Safeco Safety Rewards" if you have no at-fault accidents in the last 36 months,
no more than 1 point on your license, and
no DUI in the last ten years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
15%; must have State Farm for at least three consecutive years without an accident.-15%-23%; must be accident and violation free to get the "Safe Driver" discount listed below;
must be accident and violation free to qualify:
23% - 5 years
10% - 3 years;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
12%; "Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12%, depending on driving record;
12% is for being accident and violation free for five years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
Not available in HI.
Continuous Coverage-----3%-------No gaps or cancellations;
discount depends on how long you have been consistently insured.
10% for going six or more months with no more than a 30-day coverage gap.7% if you have been with Safeco or previous provider for one year or longer; five or more years gets you the highest discount.--10%; discount applies at each renewal.-15%-
Daytime Running Lights--2%------1%5%5%5%-5%---5%3%--
Defensive Driver5%-10%10%-5%5%10%--10%7%5%10%10%5%5%8%5%10%10%3%
Distant Student--35%---------10%--15%--5%3%7%-
Driver's Ed--10%--5%10%---10%10%-10%10%5%15%8%5%3%8%3%
Driving Device/App--20%40%---25%--30%15%40%20%-30%50%--10%30%5%
Early Signing--10%---10%10%---15%8%--8%----10%12%
Electronic Stability Control--2%--5%----5%-----------
Emergency Deployment---------25%------------
Engaged Couple------10%---------------
Family Legacy-----5%---------------10%
Family Plan------25%-----25%------5%--
Farm Vehicle--10%-------------------
Fast 5-------5%--------------
Federal Employee---------8%10%-----------
Forward Collision Warning-----8%----5%--------3%--
Full Payment--10%--4%-10%--$5---5%15%-8%15%20%7.5%-
Further Education-------15%--10%-15%---------
Good Credit------------"Financial Stability"
gets you a lower rate. You must also have stable residence.
Good Student--20%--10%25%10%-15%22.5%15%10%-10%15%25%8%5%3%8%3%
Green Vehicle--10%-----5%-10%--------3%10%-
Lane Departure Warning-------------Safety features get automatic discounts applied when VIN entered in system. --------
Low Mileage-----10%-15%-------20%30%-----
Military Garaging---------------------15%
Multiple Drivers-------------------5%--
Multiple Policies--10%--15%25%--10%20%10%10%12%-15%17%15%10%20%13%-
Multiple Vehicles-----15%15%--25%10%-20%10%15%15%20%15%5%5%8%-
New Address----------5%-----------
New Customer/New Plan-----------10%--10%-------
New Graduate----------5%-----------
Newer Vehicle--30%---10%---------40%--3%10%12%
Newly Licensed----------5%-----------
Occasional Operator---------------------Discount based on operator's individual driving record.
On Time Payments--5%-----------------15%-
Online Shopper-------11%-----7%--------
Paperless Documents- -10%--2%------5%$50-`-------
Paperless/Auto Billing-5%--2%-----25%$30-$410%$28%2%$53%3%
Passive Restraint--30%30%3%30%-33%-40%-5%20%-5%2%40%8%5%3%--
Recent Retiree----------4%--------3%--
Roadside Assistance-------5%--------------
Safe Driver--45%--15%-40%15%-12%35%31%10%20%15%---23%12%
Seat Belt Use---------15%------------
Senior Driver--10%--------10%-----5%5%---
Stable Residence-------------------5%--
Students and Alumni-------15%--10%-7%---------
Switching Provider-------5%--10%10%--10%--5%5%---
Utility Vehicle--15%-------------------
Vehicle Recovery--10%-5%10%-25%-25%35%10%25%---5%8%-3%--
VIN Etching----------5%10%----------
Young Driver------10%--------------$75
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Coverage and discounts vary based on where you live. You can find out which local companies are offering cheap auto insurance rates after an accident to drivers in your area by comparison shopping online for quotes.

How can drivers get insurance quotes online?

You can use a free quote tool like the one below and get three to five free quotes sent directly to your home computer or smartphone. When you find rates that fit your budget, research insurance company reviews to make sure it’s the right policy for you.

Remember to be honest when filling out auto insurance quotes online. You must answer all questions about accidents, prior claims, and traffic tickets to get the most accurate quotes possible.

Failing to admit to a recent accident when seeking insurance quotes is a form of fraud and can result in some severe consequences.

Is it a bad idea to change auto insurance after an accident?

Getting into an auto accident can have a serious impact on your auto insurance rates. Before you switch companies, you should review your current policy and see how the free quotes you get online compare to them.

If your current insurance company offers accident forgiveness, you may not see any change to your rates at all.

If you’re still asking yourself, “Is it bad to change car insurance after an accident?”, enter your ZIP code below to compare free quotes from insurance companies near you.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

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