Insurance rates jump after first car accident, study shows

December 23, 2013 12:00 AM

Most people try to avoid accidents on the road for the obvious reasons: they could cause a personal injury to any motorist or passenger, and they often can result in an expensive auto repair. However, there are countless other reasons why a collision should be avoided at all costs, including the impact it could have on insurance rates. 

According to a recent study by, drivers in the U.S. pay an average of 38 percent more for their car insurance after making one claim. Motorists in Massachusetts face the steepest price hikes, as the payments can jump by as much as 67 percent following one accident. Drivers in California and New Jersey also have to be aware, as their costs could rise by 62 percent and 59 percent, respectively. 

Drivers are not without options, however. Instead of making claims for minor car repair or replacement parts, they may be better off paying an auto repair franchise out of pocket. This also helps cushion the blow of another accident, as a second claim could raise insurance rates by 86 percent, the study found. 

"The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," said Laura Adams, a senior analyst for "Making a claim for a few hundred dollars doesn't make sense if your premium is going to skyrocket as a result." 

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