Drivers pay 41 percent more for car insurance after making one claim then they do before hand, according to a new study by insuranceQuotes.com.
The national average increased by three percentage points this year, compared to the 38 percent increase reported in 2014. In Massachusetts, one claim leads to an average premium increase of 76 percent, compared 67 percent in 2014.
Following Massachusetts as the most expensive states in the U.S. are California (+75 percent) and New Jersey (+62 percent). The lowest-claim increases are in Maryland (+22 percent), Michigan (+23 percent) and Montana (+25 percent.)
"Many consumers underestimate the consequences of making claims because they can affect your rate for years," said Laura Adams, a senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.com in a company statement. "If you get a premium hike for making a small claim, that could hurt your finances over the long run."
Click here to view the full study.
Where you live isn't the only factor consider however. Increases are also affected by the type of claim a person makes. Reasons like property damage and bodily injury claims are the most expensive in the country (41 percent and 45 percent, respectively.)
"Anytime you involve bodily injury, it's more likely to involve expensive medical costs and possibly litigation, which is also expensive," says Nancy Kincaid, spokeswoman for the California Department of Insurance in a company statement.
Making a second claim could cost you a lot of money. A driver with two claims pays over twice as much for vehicle insurance compared to a driver with no claims (93+ percent.)
Comprehensive claims (for non-collision events such as theft) are the cheapest, barely moving the needle at +2 percent.
Drivers can expect rates to remain high for the next three to five years, depending on the severity of the claim. After that, they will start to lower to pre-claim levels, as long as you don't file a claim during that time, according to insuranceQuotes.com.