Car accidents happen. Sometimes, you may even be found at-fault for one. In a typical situation, your insurance company would review your driving record and — even though you do what you can to stay safe on the road — they may see this event as evidence that you’re an unsafe driver and thus a higher insurance risk, which could cause your auto insurance premium to rise. But what if this didn’t have to happen?
Accident forgiveness insurance coverage can help you in the event you’re found at-fault for an accident. We’ve got the details on accident forgiveness to help you better understand how this coverage can help your car insurance premium from rising in the event of an accident you caused.
So What Exactly Is Accident Forgiveness?
When you file a claim on your car insurance after an accident, it can cause your insurance premium to rise. Accident forgiveness is a feature of some car insurance policies that “forgives” qualifying drivers after they’ve been in an accident, keeping their premium rates from going up.
For example — 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 — which usually would cause your premium to rise. But because you’ve qualified for and added accident forgiveness coverage to your auto insurance policy, your claim won’t affect your car insurance premium, meaning you can keep paying the same amount you usually do.
Who Qualifies for Accident Forgiveness?
Typically, the type of driver who qualifies for accident forgiveness is someone with a clean driving record over a certain time period. That means no tickets, no accidents and no recorded history of recklessness on the road for the last 5 to 7 years of driving — sometimes for every driver in your household. Sometimes, where you live can affect your eligibility, as some companies don’t offer accident forgiveness in certain states.
Accident forgiveness coverage isn’t endless, however. Typically, insurance companies will allow 1 to 3 at-fault accidents before the coverage is removed from your policy and your premiums rise.
Do You Pay Extra for Accident Forgiveness?
Depending on the company your policy is with, you may be offered free accident forgiveness just for being a safe driver. Other companies may require you to purchase accident forgiveness before it’s added to your policy. According to NerdWallet, accident forgiveness coverage can typically cause your insurance premium to rise by 2 to 7 percent. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to pay extra for coverage that prevents your premium from rising should you get into an accident, especially if you already have a spotless driving record.
Is Accident Forgiveness Worth It?
Being at-fault for a car accident can cause your insurance premiums to rise by an average of 44 percent. If you have accident forgiveness insurance coverage, you can prevent that from happening. And if you don’t have to pay extra for it, it’s definitely worth it to have on your auto insurance policy.
Your good driving habits should pay off! If you and the drivers on your policy have been accident-free with your current insurance company for five consecutive years, switch to us and your first accident won’t cause a rate increase* — no matter how much your claim comes to. Connect with your local American Family Insurance agent to get a quote.
*Must have no major traffic violations in the household to be eligible.