Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 15, 2020

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There’s nothing more aggravating than returning to your parked car, only to see that it had been hit by another vehicle.

What Exactly is Accidental Damage? And Do You Have to Prove it to Insurers?

In short, it is comprehensive coverage on your policy. If you have liability it will not cover it and neither will collision. Here is what it covers:

 Damage NOT from a collision which includes
1Damage from hitting an animal
2Glass damage
5Certain natural disasters
7Falling objects
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Comprehensive coverage will not cover your vehicle if you hit an object or another vehicle, require towing, or anything stolen from within your vehicle.

Whether your car was hit by another car while parked, scratched by another car’s door, or had its windshield or windows cracked or broken by debris in the road, any kind of accidental damage is going to cost you in repairs – but will it cause your insurance rates to increase?

Pie graph showing a 100 dollar claim then pay 1000 dollars in increase in premiums

Note: As illustrated by the graph, a claim of $100 could cost you $1,000 over five years.

The impact that accidental damage has on your car insurance largely varies on the extent of the damage, and the type of policy that you have. Not all policies cover accidental damage, so it is best to first consult with your car insurance provider.

If you do not currently have a comprehensive car insurance policy for accidental damage and you would like to get a policy that includes that kind of coverage, enter your zip code into our advanced quote comparison tool at the top of the page.

We’ll provide you with a list of the leading providers in your area, along with their rates, to give you an idea as to which car insurance policy offers the best rates for the coverage you want and need.

Increase in Insurance Rates after Filing One (1) Insurance Claim by State

StateAverage annual rate increase after filing one insurance claimPercentage Increase over 5 Years
Illinois $36227%
Massachusetts $37120%
New Hampshire$39524%
New Jersey$44126%
New Mexico$26331%
New York$26326%
North Carolina $42920%
North Dakota$44720%
Ohio $26818%
Rhode Island$32134%
South Carolina$36130%
South Dakota $35723%
Wash. D.C.$29931%
West Virginia$32719%
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As previously mentioned, the impact that accidental damage has on your car insurance involves such factors as:

  • The type of accidental damage

  • The extent of the damage to your vehicle

  • The number of claims for accidental damage that you have already filed

  • The type of policy you have

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Type of Accidental Damage & What Happens to Your Rates When You File a Claim

While most cases of accidental damage are freak-accidents, others may actually be a cause for alarm. A side mirror that has been ripped off your car, or heavy scratches and dents alongside one of your car doors could indicate that your car is parked in an unsafe area, or that you aren’t exactly the most cautious driver.

“There are very many times that filing an auto insurance claim is a bad idea, it really has to do with the math of the policy.”

Paul Moyer, Independent Insurance Agent

It is always best to be honest with your car insurance provider when describing damage, but you should also make sure to watch how you describe the damage. It’s best not to guess as to what caused the damage, and only go into details about the cause if you know for sure what happened.

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You won’t always see an increase in your car insurance for accidental damage claims, but it’s always best to evaluate the type of damage before jumping in to file your claim.

The Extent of Damage & is it Worth it to File a Claim?

One thing that your car insurance provider will examine closely after you’ve filed a claim for accidental damage is the extent of the damage itself. The reason for their scrutiny is that they need to determine if the damage was, in fact, accidental.

Chart showing and increase in premiums after one car insurance claim

Note: As illustrated by the graph, an increase in premiums is gradual over 3 to 5 years. If you don’t pay attention, insurance companies will absorb all of the cost of the claim. And in most instances will recover an up to ten times the amount of the claim. If you file too many claims they may drop your coverage. In this instance the coverage went from $390 to over $550.

The greater the damage that your car has, the more money your auto insurance provider will have to pay to have the car repaired.

If they have to pay a significant amount, you can pretty much bank on seeing an increase in your car insurance premium when it comes time for renewal.

Second chart showing an high increase in premiums when filing two or more claims

Note: When filing multiple claims your car insurance can skyrocket over 1, 2, or 5 years. As illustrated, from $390 to $900.

Do You Have a History of Filing Insurance Claims?

This one is a no-brainer. If you’ve already filed multiple accidental damage claims in the past, then you’re all but guaranteed to see an increase in your premiums after filing yet another claim for the most recent incident.

Whether the damage was accidental or not, repeat claims often say something about you as a driver, or about the area in which you live. In both cases, the insurance provider has grounds to classify you as risky to insure, and thus, increase your car insurance rates.

Your car insurance provider may also have a limit as to the number of claims you can file for certain kinds of accidental damage. It’s also best to review your policy, and to ask your insurance agent what kind of impact multiple claims will have on your premium.

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Type & Coverage Limit of Comprehensive Coverage

Not all insurance policies cover accidental damage. It’s always best to review your policy to determine whether or not it is covered. In most cases, comprehensive car insurance policies do provide some kind of accidental coverage.

Cost of Comprehensive and Collision Coverage – Various States

StateAverage cost of liability policyAverage cost of a policy comprehensive / collisionAverage cost to add comprehensive / collision
New York$1,169$2,456$1,287
North Carolina$899$1,596$697
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If you are not currently covered with comprehensive coverage, but you would like to get coverage to enjoy peace of mind, you can get started here at AutoInsureSavings.

Just enter your zip code in our quote comparison tool at the top of the page, answer a few questions, and compare the rates from each of the leading providers in your area.

Final Thoughts

With any kind of accident, it is always best to keep the following in mind: it may not be in your best interest to file certain claims with insurers. Always evaluate the impact of the damage on your car, and how much it would cost you to fix.

If the cost is astronomical, then you should contact your insurance company. However, remember that even if they replace certain parts for free without a deductible, you still may be paying through an increase in your premiums.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.