States where auto insurance claims will cost you the most — and least

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States where auto insurance claims will cost you the most — and least
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An accident can happen to anybody in the blink of an eye. And while it’s practically a given that your auto insurance will go up after you make a claim, the reality is that where you live can have an huge impact on exactly how much your premium goes up.

We’ve told you before about the most and least expensive states for auto insurance right here on Clark.com. But now we’ve got new numbers showing which states typically have the biggest premium increases after you make a claim.

RELATED: Here are the most & least expensive states for car insurance in 2018

Here’s where your auto insurance rates will skyrocket after a claim

HowMuch.net recently took a look at data from all 50 states to determine where drivers with an otherwise good record face the biggest premium jump after they make a claim.

Top 5 states for highest average premium increase by dollar amount

  • Rhode Island: $657
  • Massachusetts: $614
  • District of Columbia: $544
  • California: $495
  • New Hampshire: $483

Top 5 states with the lowest average premium increase by dollar amount

  • Tennessee: $142
  • Kentucky: $150
  • Indiana: $175
  • Oklahoma: $179
  • Idaho: $181

The average annual premium in the United States is $841. As a general rule, if you live in a state where insurance costs are lower than average, your dollar-for-dollar premium increase after filing a claim is going to be lower as well. And the opposite tends to be true in states where premiums are already higher than the national average to begin with.

The numbers in this study, which were crunched using data from InsuranceQuotes.com and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, presuppose a few conditions:

  • A single new claim of $2,000
  • The claimant is a married, 45-year old woman with a job
  • She has an excellent credit score (typically defined as 800+ on the FICO scale of 300 to 850)
  • There have been no lapses in coverage
  • And there are no previous auto insurance claims

So what can you do about a big premium hike after an accident? 

If you’re unhappy with the premium increase following your claim, money expert Clark Howard’s general rule is that you should re-shop the market for auto insurance and fire your company if you find a better offer from a quality insurer.

However, there are two exceptions to the rule. Both Amica Mutual and USAA Insurance are companies you’d want to think twice about before jumping ship. That’s because of their stellar reputation for customer service. 

And if you’re not with either of these top-tier insurers already, you might just find a great competitive rate from either one, though USAA is limited to military and their immediate family members.

One Clark.com reader saved $92 on his auto policy — while getting the same level of coverage — when he switched from Liberty Mutual to Amica Mutual. And he got free renters insurance thrown in, to boot!

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