What Is Accident Forgiveness Insurance?

feedback@motor1.com (Motor1.com Team)
·9 min read
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Everything you need to know about accident forgiveness is right at your fingertips.

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Accidents are hard enough without having to worry about your insurance rates going up. After the initial shakiness from the sound of metal crunching against metal finally wears off, you can be hit with another wave of shock when you see your new insurance rates.

If you cause an accident that results in a claim, your insurance premium could rise up to 44 percent in the next 3 to 5 years, according to insurancequotes.com. But if you have accident forgiveness insurance with one of the nation’s top car insurance companies, you may be in the clear.

Read on to find out everything you should keep in mind when shopping for auto insurance with accident forgiveness. Use our tool below to compare quotes:

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In this article:

  • What Is Accident Forgiveness?

  • How An At-Fault Accident Could Affect Your Premium

  • Accident Forgiveness Insurance: What It’s Not

  • Who Offers Accident Forgiveness Auto Insurance?

  • Pros And Cons Of Accident Forgiveness

  • How Do I Qualify For Accident Forgiveness Insurance?

  • How Much Does Accident Forgiveness Auto Insurance Cost?

  • Top Car Insurance Providers With Accident Forgiveness

What Is Accident Forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness insurance protects you from rate increases after you cause an accident. Auto insurance companies will ignore an at-fault accident if you have this type of coverage on your insurance policy and keep your insurance premium the same.

How An At-Fault Accident Could Affect Your Premium

Your insurance premium rates are determined by many factors, including location and driving behavior. A report from insurancequotes.com explains that drivers who make one claim per year end up paying an average of 41 percent more for car insurance. Drivers who make two claims in a year could be looking at a 93 percent hike in the cost of their premiums.

With accident forgiveness insurance, your rates will not increase as the result of an at-fault accident. A driver with an otherwise clean driving record will have their first claim covered and see no change on the cost of their premium.

Drivers with first accident forgiveness who have already used their accident coverage and need to make a second claim will see an increase in their auto insurance rates. This hike could be up to 41 percent, as if the first accident had never happened.

Accident Forgiveness Insurance: What It’s Not

While accident forgiveness is a great way to save money, it doesn’t apply to every driver in any accident situation.

Accidents can cost you time and money long-term on your insurance rates and short-term for the cost of repairs. To make recovering from an accident easier, it’s important to shop around for car insurance with accident forgiveness on your mind. But it’s equally important to keep in mind what this type of insurance doesn’t cover:

  • If your incident involves a DUI or DWI, your insurance company will not overlook the accident and can raise your rates.

  • After an accident, you could still lose discounts you were previously eligible for with your insurance, like safe driver discounts and no-claims discounts.

  • Once you’ve used your accident forgiveness insurance once, it’s usually gone. But you should check the terms of your coverage with your insurance company. It is generally possible to become eligible again after a number of years spent driving safely.

  • Finally, no matter the circumstances of the accident or the forgiveness you receive from your auto insurance provider, the accident will stay on your driving record. This means that if you switch car insurance providers, the accident will be considered when the new company calculates the cost of your premium.

One important note for motorists in California: Even if your driving record is clean, accident forgiveness auto insurance is not an option in your state. Ever since Proposition 103 was passed in 1988, California insurers haven’t been able to offer accident forgiveness in any of their coverage plans or as an add-on. This piece of legislature outlawed excessive charges and determined that charging drivers with clean records extra for accident forgiveness was “excessive.”

Who Offers Accident Forgiveness Auto Insurance?

Here is a list of 10 top auto insurance providers that offer accident forgiveness. Some companies may not offer accident forgiveness in all states.

Insurance Provider Details of Coverage

USAA

Accident forgiveness is included for policyholders who have been with the provider for five years in most states.


An important note about this company is that auto insurance is only available to members of the United States Armed Forces, veterans, and their families.

Geico

Accident forgiveness insurance is a good driving reward for long-time members with Geico. Accident forgiveness can also be purchased for an additional cost if you want protection from the start (available in most states).

Progressive

You’ll get small accident forgiveness from Progressive as soon as you become a customer. Large accident forgiveness is available for drivers who have been with Progressive for at least five years and who have been accident-free for three years.

AAA

Accident forgiveness protects your rates from going up after an accident, and a disappearing deductible policy puts a $50 credit toward your deductible for every six months of safe driving.

Liberty Mutual

All drivers who have been accident- and violation-free for at least five years are eligible for accident forgiveness insurance, which can be purchased as an add-on. Liberty Mutual will even cover you if your years of safe driving were spent with another insurer.

Allstate

Accident forgiveness with Allstate starts the day that you purchase accident forgiveness coverage in most states.

The Hartford (AARP)

This auto policy covers members of the American Association of Retired Persons and will forgive accidents for any member who has maintained a clean driving record for the past five years.

Nationwide

Accident forgiveness is provided in select states as an add-on option. It can be applied to any driver on your policy, but each policy only gets one.

Farmers

Drivers qualify for accident forgiveness insurance for every three years that they drive safely.

Travelers Insurance

Travelers provides accident forgiveness as an add-on under the Responsible Driver Plan. The plan covers one accident and a driver’s first moving violation, and for every three years of safe driving, the driver becomes eligible again.


Alternatively, the Premiere Responsible Driver Plan gives drivers a $50 credit every six months they go without an accident or moving violation to be put toward their deductible, up to $500.

Pros And Cons Of Accident Forgiveness

Pros Cons

  • Peace of mind while driving

  • Less worry about increased rates after just one accident

  • Not all drivers end up using accident forgiveness coverage

Contrary to what auto insurance agents might say, accident forgiveness insurance is not necessary for all drivers. Some drivers who purchase accident forgiveness coverage will never use it at all. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons against your driving record and habits to determine if this coverage is right for you.

How Do I Qualify For Accident Forgiveness Insurance?

Your qualification depends on your insurance provider. Typically, a driver without any accidents or major moving violations in the past three to five years will qualify for accident forgiveness.

You cannot get accident forgiveness insurance to cover an accident you’ve already been in or caused. Even if you are switching insurance providers or buying your first insurance coverage, any accidents you’ve been in will remain on your driving record and could disqualify you for discounts and accident forgiveness coverage.

How Much Does Accident Forgiveness Auto Insurance Cost?

Accident forgiveness could be the key to your driving peace of mind. But how much will it cost you now to prevent the cost of an accident that may or may not happen later?

The cost of accident insurance will depend on many things, including your insurance provider and driving habits. Some auto insurance companies include accident forgiveness in their plans, while others offer it as an additional perk that can be purchased. Speak to your insurance agent to get a quote on accident forgiveness insurance.

Top Car Insurance Providers With Accident Forgiveness

When you’re shopping for a car insurance company with accident forgiveness, you should consider Progressive and Liberty Mutual. Both providers performed well in our study of top auto insurers, earning 4.5 and 4.0 stars respectively.

Use Motor1's free tool to get matched with the best auto insurance providers and rates.

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Progressive

Our review of Progressive found that the company is a good option for drivers in their 20s and people with a DUI in their driving history. Progressive is one of the top insurance providers in the U.S. It has positive online reviews from satisfied customers and high ratings from reputable industry professionals.

Progressive offers small accident forgiveness insurance for members with good driving records from the start of their policy. The cost can vary depending on your state. After you have been with Progressive for five years and been accident-free for three years, you may qualify for large accident forgiveness.

To get an online quote from Progressive, you need your driver’s license information, vehicle information, ticket history, and current coverage (if you have it). You’ll have the opportunity to compare quotes from other insurance providers with Progressive side-by-side.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is also a strong contender when considering policies with accident forgiveness auto insurance. In addition to standard car insurance coverage including liability and collision, the company offers the following types of coverage:

  • Towing and labor

  • Roadside assistance

  • New car replacement

  • Better car replacement

Liberty Mutual has many discounts, including multi-policy discounts, that can help you get a lower rate on car insurance.

Use Motor1's free tool to get matched with the best auto insurance providers and rates.

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