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Accident Forgiveness

Accident Forgiveness With American Family Insurance

At American Family Insurance, we understand that no matter how safe a driver you are, accidents happen. And if they do, it’s our job to help ease the financial setbacks they can cause. That’s what insurance is for after all. One way we do that is with accident forgiveness.

Having accident forgiveness insurance coverage gives you peace of mind that, if you’re in an accident and file a claim, you won’t be penalized for one mistake.

Let’s take a closer look at what accident forgiveness is, how to qualify and the benefits of having it.



Did You Know?

Being at-fault for a car accident can raise your insurance premiums by an average of 44%.*

What Is Accident Forgiveness?

Did you know that your insurance cost usually goes up after an accident? We get how frustrating it can be to see a hike in your premium after already dealing with a stressful situation — which is why we offer accident forgiveness to help proactively manage unexpected rate increases.
Forgiveness Icon

Accident forgiveness is simple — in the event of an accident, you will be 100% forgiven and avoid large premium increases due to your accident. Another benefit? You won’t lose any of the good driver discounts you’ve earned.

Keep in mind, we’ll forgive your accident so it doesn’t affect your premium rate — but you’ll still have to file a claim and pay your deductible.

Purchased Accident Forgiveness vs. Earned Accident Forgiveness

There are two ways to acquire accident forgiveness for auto insurance:
Taking picture of bumper to bumper accident

Purchased accident forgiveness

Purchased accident forgiveness is a coverage you can buy.** It can be purchased if your household meets the following criteria:

  • No at-fault accidents or driving violations in the last 12 months.
  • There can be no more than one at-fault accident in the last 3 years.

Keep in mind, it’s okay if you have claim activity like emergency roadside service, which isn’t considered an at-fault accident.

For example, if you purchase accident forgiveness today and get into an at-fault accident two years from now, the auto claim that you file won’t affect your insurance premium because the accident will have been forgiven by your insurance company.

We offer purchased accident forgiveness as a way to give you the choice to put protection in place to guard you from your rates going up.

Woman driving her vehicle

Earned accident forgiveness

We also offer earned accident forgiveness, which can be viewed as a reward for your safe driving. This is an earned coverage — meaning you don’t pay for it! Instead, you’ll receive this benefit after being claim-free for five years.

What happens if you buy purchased accident forgiveness and stay claim-free for fives years? Simple! We’ll remove the purchased coverage from your policy so you won’t pay for it anymore, and we’ll add earned accident forgiveness.

Who Qualifies for Accident Forgiveness?

To qualify for accident forgiveness, you should have no major violations and have been a customer with us for five years. And, if you’re switching from another auto insurance to American Family and have at least five years of accident-free driving for all drivers on your policy, we’ll honor those years you’ve earned! That way, you keep what you’ve earned even when you switch insurance companies. It’s our way of helping you protect what matters most.

Is Accident Forgiveness Worth It?

That depends — do you like saving money? Accident forgiveness offers a great sense of security to drivers on the road, because it helps keep more money in your wallet if the unexpected occurs. Being at-fault for a car accident can cause your insurance premiums to rise by an average of 44 percent — we want to prevent that from happening.* And that’s what we aim to do with accident forgiveness.

Let’s break it down:

If you’ve been accident free for five or more years, you’ll qualify for accident forgiveness and avoid a rate increase following your first at-fault accident. Things happen! We want to ease your worry that you’ll be penalized after an accident and give you more control to prepare for the unexpected.

To put it into perspective, say you get into an accident and your vehicle is totaled. You file a claim on your car insurance so you can replace your damaged car — remember, filing a claim typically leads to your premium going up. But, since this is your first accident in five years or more, you’ve qualified for accident forgiveness coverage and your claim won’t affect your car insurance premium, meaning you can keep paying the same amount you usually do.

Connect With an Agent and Get Accident Forgiveness Today

We believe your good driving habits should pay off! If you and the drivers on your policy have been accident and major violation-free for five consecutive years, you may qualify for earned accident forgiveness on your auto insurance policy. Or you can purchase this coverage for an affordable price. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to learn more about accident forgiveness.

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*Rates and surcharges vary widely among insurers. This statistic is based on a 2018 study by NerdWallet to determine how much more drivers with one at-fault crash on their records pay compared with accident-free drivers.

**Purchased accident forgiveness will be available in OR April 1 and WA June 1.

Some coverages may not be available in your state. Available at renewal for existing policyholders. Please speak with your agent to learn more about your coverage options.