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Key Takeaways

  • An at-fault accident claim raises insurance rates by an average of $770 per year.
  • USAA has the lowest average rates for drivers who caused an accident.

Car insurance with multiple claims - Introduction

You're back at the repair facility again, maybe because of a string of storms, a few small accidents, or just bad luck. When that happens, you'll probably be talking to your car insurance company on the phone. Putting in a claim can be a hassle, but putting in more than one requires some planning and care.

Learning how multiple claims could affect your policy's bottom line can help you make hard decisions. Let's look at how to deal with multiple auto insurance claims and how to use them to get better quotes.

Car insurance with two or more claims

Most of the time, filing more than one comprehensive claim doesn't change your insurance rate, unless you file three or more in three years. It depends on how your insurance company handles claims for comprehensive coverage. Read your policy to find out the details.

Claims of fault are bad news. To make it less likely that you will cause an accident that will require you to file a claim, drive carefully, stay off the roads when the weather is bad, and keep your car in good mechanical shape.

Obviously, it's not ideal to pay for damage to your car out of your own pocket. But sometimes it's the least expensive choice. The best advice is to compare how much it will cost you to pay for damage yourself versus filing a claim.

Also, keep in mind that filing multiple claims in a short amount of time could cause your rate to go up. Most of the time, insurers look at claims over a period of several years. So, you'll be seen as having multiple car insurance claims if you file two claims in six months or two claims in two years.

When you have more than one claim, your rate may go up, even if you were not at fault (depending on your state and your insurer). Even though an insurance company can't cancel your policy in the middle of the term if you've made multiple claims, they may decide not to renew it.

Multiple at-fault and not-at-fault accidents

At-fault and not-at-fault mean collision and comprehensive claims, respectively. The cost of a collision claim will be much higher than the cost of a comprehensive claim.

A collision claim covers an accident that happened because of something the insured driver did, like hitting a fixed object or another car.

At-fault claims: If you file several at-fault claims, your insurance carrier may refuse to renew your policy. 3

Not-at-fault claims: Only your own insurance company is able to see claims you bring against someone else. That's because you're suing the insurance company that covers the at-fault party. Three or more claims in the space of three years typically result in a fee from recommended carriers.

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How insurance companies view multiple car insurance claims

  • If you've made more than one claim for a car accident in a certain time frame, that counts as having more than one claim. If one of the claims hasn't been settled yet and the insurance company hasn't paid out yet, the insurance company still thinks you have more than one claim.
  • It doesn't matter how long it is between claims if they all happened at the same time. Your insurance company may look at it the same way whether you have two accidents in one day, two accidents in three months, or two accidents two and a half years apart.
  • If you have had two car accidents in a short amount of time, is it possible to combine them into one claim instead of filing two? Most likely, no. For example, if you get into a minor accident and then a few days later a rock cracks your windshield, you'll need to file two separate claims.
  • If you make a lot of claims in a short amount of time, your insurance company may raise your rates or decide not to renew your policy when it runs out. Insurance companies can legally decide not to renew your policy for any reason they see fit, as long as it's not because of your race, gender, or disability.
  • If you file more than one claim, the insurance company will not renew your policy. Even if you switch to a different car insurance company, your rate is likely to go up because your new company may see you as a higher accident risk.

Collision insurance claims and car insurance rates

After an accident in which you were at fault, USAA is the cheapest car insurance company for you.

Category Average annual premium
At-fault accident claim $770

Comprehensive insurance claims and car insurance rates

Insuring against damage caused by events beyond the insured driver's control is one of the primary goals of comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage includes the following:

  • Stolen or vandalized vehicle
  • Damage caused by animals (rodents or insects)
  • Flood damage
  • Collision with an animal

Large rate increases are rare when comprehensive claims are involved. The average monthly increase in vehicle insurance premiums due to a comprehensive claim is $6. A monthly premium increase of $13 is incurred for every two full-coverage claims.

When comparing insurance quotes, drivers with a history of two comprehensive claims should look into USAA, State Farm, or Nationwide.

Car insurance company Monthly insurance rate (one comprehensive claim) Monthly insurance rate (two comprehensive claims)
Allstate $160 $161
Farmers $133 $137
Liberty Mutual $140 $141
Nationwide $115 $117
Progressive $153 $177
State Farm $111 $113
USAA $82 $84

Personal injury protection claims and insurance rates

It is mandatory for drivers to carry Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in the 12 no-fault states in the United States. No matter who is at fault in a car accident, the costs of medical care and lost wages are covered under PIP.

Car insurance premiums rise by an average of $1 per month for each PIP claim. In the event of two claims, the monthly premium will go up by $6. With a monthly premium of only $79, USAA offers the most affordable vehicle insurance for those with a single PIP claim.

What else should you know about multiple claims?

  • If you file two auto insurance claims within a week of each other, or a year apart, it makes no difference. Your claim history will show "many claims" for all claims made during the last three years.
  • When multiple claims are filed over a short period of time, it may raise concerns about deductibles. Suppose you have been putting off replacing your damaged windshield and now a deer runs into the side of your car because you have been putting it off.
  • Your windshield and the damage caused by the deer should be repaired at the same time so that you can save both time and money. Both will be covered under your policy's "comprehensive" section. You may be forced to pay two deductibles, though, because they are two independent events under the umbrella of comprehensive coverage.
  • At the very least, most states need collision insurance. If your car is damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object, this will pay for the repair costs. If you're looking for a policy that covers more than just a collision (as the name implies), comprehensive coverage is the way to go.
  • When your car is damaged twice, it's likely that your whole deductible will be applied to both incidents. It's possible to make an exemption for storm damage in this rule. In the event that your automobile is damaged by hail and a tree branch falls on it during the same storm, your insurance carrier may be willing to charge you only one deductible.

See what you could save on auto insurance

How to save on auto insurance after claims

Compare insurance options

You can save money on auto insurance by comparing prices every six months. The vast majority of mishaps and infractions are no longer punishable after a period of three to five years.

After claims, not all insurance companies set their rates similarly. In order to ensure that you're getting the best deal on your insurance claim, you'll need to look at the premiums of different firms.

Be smart with future claims

Evaluate the various types of coverage available. You can save money on auto insurance by comparing prices every six months. The vast majority of mishaps and infractions are no longer punishable after a period of three to five years.

After claims, not all insurance companies set their rates similarly. In order to ensure that you're getting the best deal on your insurance claim, you'll need to look at the premiums of different firms.

Customize your insurance plan

If your car is worth less than $4,000, you don't require comprehensive or collision coverage, according to insurance industry standards. This is due to the fact that the claims settlement you receive is worth less than the premium you pay.

Use Kelley Blue Book and NADA online to estimate the worth of your vehicle(s). Having the same amount of coverage for all of your vehicles is not necessary. Make sure you have physical comprehensive and collision coverage but are still wanting to save money by raising the deductibles on the policies you currently have.

Because the premium and deductible are inversely proportional, raising your deductible lowers your overall cost. Between $250 and $1000 is the typical deductible for most policies.

Apply for insurance discounts

The following car insurance discounts come in handy while you are trying to reduce your insurance premiums.

  • Good/safe driver
  • Multiple drivers
  • Multi-vehicle
  • Home and auto bundle
  • Renters and auto bundle
  • Condo and auto bundle
  • Payment by bank account or advance payment
  • Good student
  • Telematics
  • eSign
  • Group participation/affinity membership discount
  • Homeowner discount
  • Green vehicle discount

Bottomline

Car insurance companies don’t encourage multiple claims. Some insurance companies will drop clients after a second PIP claim. Maintaining a "low-risk" rating and keeping your insurance in good standing can help you big time.

  • Keep an eye on the road and avoid any accidents.
  • Keep up with your premium payments.
  • Be honest with your assertions and don't exaggerate.
  • Stay away from making unsubstantiated or flimsy (low-ball) claims.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by Way.com’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with way.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How many car insurance claims can be filed per year?

You can file as many claims as you want. But after three claims in three years, no matter what kind, most insurance companies will drop you as a customer.

How many claims can you make before State Farm drops you?

State Farm tends to be pickier about who they cover, but it depends on how many claims someone has to make before they are dropped. Insurance companies can decide on their own if they want to cancel or not renew a policy.

Can I file a claim with two insurance companies?

In most scenarios, no. The insurance company for the driver who caused the accident is responsible for handling and paying out the claim, up to the limits of their coverage. This isn't always the case, though.

For example, if the driver at fault is underinsured (doesn't have enough insurance to cover all losses) or if fault is split 50/50, this may not be the case. In these situations, you'll need to talk to someone at your insurance company who handles claims.

Is accident forgiveness worth it?

If you have accident forgiveness as part of your car insurance, your rates won't go up if you cause an accident. To get accident forgiveness, you usually have to have been accident-free for at least a few years (this varies by company).

It might not be worth it if you've had a lot of accidents recently, but if you haven't had any for at least a few years, it could be a great way to protect yourself from accidents.

How long does an insurance claim take?

The money should be paid between 14 and 28 days after the settlement. Some insurance companies take longer than others to pay out claims.

How many car insurance claims are too many?

In car insurance, you can make as many claims as you want. Still, you shouldn't file more than one claim per year or more than three claims in three years. If you do, your insurance company may raise your rates or refuse to renew your policy when it runs out.

Since every insurance company is different, it is hard to say how many times you can make a claim before your insurance company stops covering you. But if you have been at fault for more than one accident in the past three years, you are most likely to see your insurance rates go up or be dropped.

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Learn more by city and state for car insurance




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