Best Auto Insurance Companies That Don’t Penalize You if an Accident Isn’t Your Fault (2021)

The best auto insurance companies that don't penalize you if an accident isn't your fault will vary depending on the rules of your state. You may want to opt for an insurance provider that offers accident forgiveness. State Farm is one company that, on average, has zero penalties against drivers that didn’t cause an accident. Auto insurance companies that may penalize you if the accident is not your fault include Progressive, GEICO, Farmers, and Allstate

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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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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 23, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • Collision coverage protects drivers who are in an accident and not at fault
  • Oftentimes, drivers will need to go through deductible recovery when they’ve been in an accident someone else caused
  • If you’ve caused an accident, your insurance rates could increase by 50%

Auto insurance companies that don’t penalize you if an accident is not your fault are reasonably common — but even at the best insurance companies, a not-at-fault accident may go on your record.

In most cases, the at-fault party will file a claim with their provider for any car repairs or medical expenses that may arise related to the accident. Auto insurance rates increase with accidents because drivers are forced to file claims — filing a claim pings driving records.

Before learning more about auto insurance companies that don’t penalize you if an accident isn’t your fault, enter your ZIP code to find affordable quotes near you.

What auto insurance companies don’t penalize you if an accident isn’t your fault?

The best auto insurance companies for drivers looking for a no insurance penalty on the car in an accident may be as easy as picking your favorite local provider.

In a study by the Consumer Federation of America, two companies stood out as the best option for those who didn’t cause an accident. While Allstate occasionally penalized drivers, its 4% average penalty is far lower than Progressive’s 16% penalty.

On average, though, State Farm had a 0% penalty for not-at-fault accidents.

Some companies offer accident forgiveness insurance. This type of coverage prevents insurance rate increases after your first at-fault accident. Companies that have cheap auto insurance after an accident include:

  • Allstate
  • Nationwide
  • Liberty Mutual
  • GEICO

In most states, the driver that caused the accident is responsible for the damages. However, your rates may still increase.

In most cases, you won’t be penalized for an accident you didn’t cause — depending on the state and the policy. We will discuss state rules in a later section.

Keep learning about the circumstances where your provider does penalize you for an accident that’s not your fault.

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What auto insurance companies do penalize you if the accident is not your fault?

Auto insurance companies that may penalize you if the accident is not your fault include Progressive, GEICO, Farmers, and Allstate.

How much does car insurance go up after an accident? See the table below for a detailed look at what insurance companies charge for no accidents, a speeding ticket, a DUI, and after an accident.

Best Auto Insurance Companies: Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Insurance CompanyClean Record Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesWith One Speeding Ticket Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesWith One Accident Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesWith One DUI Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Allstate$3,819.90$4,483.51$4,987.68$6,260.73
American Family$2,693.61$3,025.74$3,722.75$4,330.24
Farmers$3,460.60$4,079.01$4,518.73$4,718.75
GEICO$2,145.96$2,645.43$3,192.77$4,875.87
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$5,701.26$6,204.78$7,613.48
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,113.68$3,396.95$4,543.20
Progressive$3,393.09$4,002.28$4,777.04$3,969.65
State Farm$2,821.18$3,186.01$3,396.01$3,636.80
Travelers$3,447.69$4,260.80$4,289.74$5,741.40
USAA$1,933.68$2,193.25$2,516.24$3,506.03

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If a car accident is not your fault, does your insurance go up? Sometimes.

As you can see from the table, GEICO is the front runner for affordable car insurance after an accident for the general population. If you’re in the military, you and your family will see the best rates from USAA.

When does a not-at-fault accident affect my insurance?

A not-at-fault accident means you weren’t the driver who caused the accident. An at-fault accident means you’re responsible for the crash.

No-fault insurance laws require drivers to file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident — even if they didn’t cause the accident. Some states have these no-fault laws, which require drivers to have personal injury protection.

Currently, there are 12 no-fault states:

  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Utah
  • Hawaii

The other 38 states are tort states, in which the insurance company of the at-fault driver pays all of the damages.

Remember that regardless of the type of insurance system, one driver will still be found to be at fault for the accident and can be charged higher rates.

Some companies will charge you for filing a claim, regardless of fault. You may also see increased rates if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, in which you don’t know who is responsible.

Does a not-at-fault accident go on your record?

Yes, in some cases.

If in a no-fault state, drivers are expected to report to their insurance carrier to recover compensation for damages or injuries caused in the accident — regardless of which driver caused the incident. An at-fault accident means the at-fault driver is responsible for covering all expenses.

If you live in a tort state, filing a claim with your insurance may mean impacting your driving record. These incidents could stay on your record for three years.

If you’ve caused an accident, it will usually stay on your driving record for three to five years on average. During this time, your insurance rates will be inflated.

Auto Insurance Companies That Don’t Penalize You if an Accident is Not Your Fault: The Bottom Line

In most cases, not-at-fault claims are charged against the driver who caused the accident. However, it would be best if you double-checked your insurance provider’s rules and your state’s regulations.

If you can avoid filing a claim with your insurance company, your insurance rates are less likely to increase. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, filing a claim will go on your record and could lead to increased rates.

While we found that State Farm does not penalize drivers in not-at-fault accidents, drivers should always cross-reference their policy.

If you’re ready to look for auto insurance companies that don’t penalize you if an accident isn’t your fault, enter your ZIP code to speak with a local agent.

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