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How Many Estimates Should I Get for a Car Accident in 2024?

When dealing with a car accident and insurance claims, it’s generally a good idea to get at least two or three estimates for the repairs to your vehicle. This can help ensure that you’re getting a fair price for the work that needs to be done.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What is a Car Repair Estimate?

According to Progressive, a car repair estimate provides a detailed breakdown of the visible repairs needed and their corresponding prices, ensuring your vehicle is safe and roadworthy following an accident [1]. If your vehicle is financed, your lienholder may require repairs to restore it to its original condition.

Once you file a claim with your auto insurance company, you'll need to obtain an estimate. Your insurance company will assist you in arranging this.

The estimate will help you understand what is involved to repair your vehicle and general idea of how much those repairs will cost. Repair estimates may vary depending on several factors, including labor rates, parts, prices, and the amount of time necessary to perform certain repairs.

Should I Get an Estimate Before Filing a Claim?

If your vehicle is the only one damaged, it's wise to get an estimate before deciding whether to make a claim. If the repair cost is manageable enough to pay out-of-pocket, it might be more economical to handle the expense yourself [2].

Remember that a car insurance claim stays on your record for at least three years, meaning that you will not only be paying your deductible to have your vehicle repaired. You will also see a rate hike for that duration as well. If the cost of repairs would be cheaper than paying your deductible and incurring the increased costs added to your insurance premiums, avoid filing a claim.

However, if the damage is severe or involves other parties, you might skip this step. Once you initiate a claim, a claims adjuster will likely provide an estimate. Your insurance company may also recommend a local repair shop for an estimate before finalizing the claim.

Will My Insurance Increase After a Claim?

According to Progressive, car insurance providers often adjust your rates following an accident and a subsequent claim [3]. The degree of increase can vary based on the nature of the accident and your specific insurance company. Some insurers offer programs like accident forgiveness, which means your rates won't rise after certain types of accidents, such as your first accident or minor collisions.

Typically, insurance companies review several years of your driving history to determine your rates. The duration for which an accident remains on your driving record, impacting your insurance rate, can differ based on your state and the insurer's policies.

Accidents you cause will almost always raise your insurance rate. In certain states, however, your insurer may not raise your premium for an accident if the damage is under a certain dollar amount. Your insurance company will stop charging you for the accident after a certain number of years (the length varies by insurer and state).

While it may seem unjust, accidents where you are not at fault can still impact your rate in certain states. Non-fault accidents may suggest a higher risk of future accidents, although the rate increase may not be as significant as for at-fault accidents. Like speeding tickets and most other violations, not-at-fault accidents remain on your driving record for a specific period, which varies by state.

Car Insurance Statistics 2024

Cost statistics

  • The average annual cost for car insurance in the United States is $1,601 for full coverage.
  • Over the period from 2013 to 2022, the cost of auto insurance has risen by 45.4%.
  • In our analysis of car insurance rates, we found that the average cost of car insurance for full coverage ranges from $1,141 a year with USAA to $2,277 from Farmers, showing a difference of $1,136 a year.
  • Average rates for minimum coverage range from $322 a year for USAA to $830 a year for Farmers, indicating a difference of over $500.

Location statistics

  • The top five cheapest states for full coverage auto insurance are Vermont: $1,066; Idaho: $1,143; New Hampshire: $1,149; Maine: $1,168; and Ohio: $1,168.
  • The most expensive states for full coverage car insurance are Florida: $3,301; Louisiana: $3,128; New York: $2,523; California: $2,521; and Michigan: $2,495.

Age-related statistics

  • The average cost of car insurance for 16-year-old drivers with their own policy is $8,765. The average rates for 17-year-olds are $6,829.
  • The cheapest car insurance is for 60-year-old drivers, averaging $1,915 annually.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens ages 16–19 than among any other age group.

Coverage-related statistics

  • The vast majority of drivers have comprehensive and collision coverage. In addition to buying liability car insurance, 79% of insured drivers buy comprehensive coverage and 75% purchase collision coverage.
  • One in eight drivers has no car insurance.

Vehicle-related statistics

  • The Honda CR-V and Subaru Outback are the cheapest models to insure among the 20 top-selling vehicles, each with an average annual rate of $1,723. That’s $1,405 cheaper than a Tesla Model Y, the costliest to insure at $3,128 a year.
  • Minivans are the least expensive vehicle type to insure, with an average annual rate of $2,041, versus coupes (two-door sports cars), for which the average rate is $3,894 a year.
  • Vehicles with the lowest collision losses include the Ram 2500 crew cab LWB, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, and Chevrolet Express 3500 series. Vehicles with the highest collision losses include luxury cars, such as the BMW M8 2dr 4WD, Rolls Royce Cullinan four-door 4WD, and Lamborghini Urus four-door 4WD.

According to Forbes [4].

This data provides a comprehensive overview of car insurance costs in the U.S., highlighting significant differences based on age, location, vehicle type, and coverage options. The rising trend in auto insurance rates over the past decade, along with the stark contrasts in costs between states and age groups, points to the complex factors influencing insurance pricing.

It also underscores the financial challenges faced by younger drivers and those in high-cost states, emphasizing the importance of thorough comparison shopping and consideration of vehicle choices to manage insurance expenses effectively.

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References:

1. https://www.progressive.com/claims/faq/repair-estimates/
2. https://www.progressive.com/answers/car-insurance-deductible/
3. https://www.progressive.com/answers/how-accidents-impact-insurance/
4. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/car-insurance-facts-and-statistics/