14 Auto Insurers That Offer Accident Forgiveness
May 16, 2019
Accidents – they can happen to anyone who is on the road, even the best of drivers. The most frustrating part of an accident can be the skyrocketing rates that follow on your insurance. Wouldn’t a little forgiveness be nice? Good news: some insurances will give you a “pass” and won’t increase your rate after an accident. Sounds nice, right? Let’s take a deeper look into how it works and if you should take advantage of this option.
So, what is Accident Forgiveness?
When you cause an accident, your driving record is affected by your insurance policy rating system. Accident Forgiveness is a feature on auto insurance policies that protect your rates from rising after at at-fault accident. Good deal, huh? However, not everyone qualifies for this. For most insurance companies, this only applies for your first at-fault accident and this usually applies for one accident per policy, not per driver.
Another thing to take note of is coverage is limited. For example, many companies require you to be accident-free for a certain number of years before you can be eligible for accident forgiveness. Some companies won’t even offer it if you were involved in an accident during the prior five years beforehand. Others only forgive one accident for every three years of claim-free driving.
Who offers it?
Now that we know a little more about Accident Forgiveness, let’s take a look at 14 different auto insurers who offer it:
- Allstate – For those with safe driving records, Allstate offers discounts and Accident Forgiveness through it’s “Choice Auto Policy”. Along with Accident Forgiveness, by adding on their Safe Driving Bonus, you can receive a 5% discount for every 6 months you go without having an accident.
- GEICO – With GEICO, you can earn Accident Forgiveness, along with upgrading your policy with it. If you have maintained a clean driving record while with them, you may be able to get it for free. If you live in California, Connecticut or Massachusetts, Accident Forgiveness is not an option for you. Otherwise, GEICO offers it for purchase – and adding it to your policy may be cheaper than you think.
- The Hartford – Accident Forgiveness is part of the Hartford’s Advantage Plus package. It is available to policy holders who meet qualifications and will make sure your first accident will not count against you.
- Liberty Mutual – If you are 25 and under, you must have a total of five consecutive years of clean driving and no violations before your first accident is forgiven. Whether you are with Liberty Mutual or a prior carrier, if you qualify, your first accident is forgiven – however, not in the states of California or North Carolina.
- NationWide – Only offered in certain states. Their accident forgiveness policy can be extended to other drivers within the policy. As most insurers, the “forgiveness” is only applies to one accident per policy.
- Progressive – Depending on the state, customers of Progressive can take advantage of accident forgiveness through their Loyalty Rewards Program. They offer Small Accident Forgiveness which is any accident under $500 is forgiven and rates won’t go up in most states. You can receive Small Accident Forgiveness as soon as you start your policy. Their Large Accident Forgiveness is available in most states for those who have been with Progressive for at least five years and accident free for 3-straight years. Large Accident Forgiveness can vary depending on the state.
- State Farm – State Farm has a program that forgives the first accident for its policyholders who have been with the company, accident-free, for at least nine years.
- AAA – Depending on the state, AAA offers accident forgiveness based on qualifications and driving record.
- USAA – USAA will forgive one at-fault accident after 5 years of membership without increasing your auto insurance premiums. They offer it for as little as $1 per month in most states.
- Amica – Through Amica’s Good Driving Rewards coverage, you can earn Advantage Points that lower or eliminate costs if you’re in a accident. You can get points beginning when you first sign up with Amica, referring others to Amica, and completing a year of good driving.
- Farmers – If you qualify for Accident Forgiveness, Farmers will forgive one at-fault accident for every three years you drive without one. This benefit is for anyone who is driving the vehicle or at fault when the accident occurs.
- Travelers – Travelers offers accident forgiveness through two hybrid programs marketed as discounts: the Responsible Driver Plan and the Premier Responsible Driver Plan. The Responsible Driver Plan will forgive one accident every 36 months while the Premier plan follows the same idea with the added Decreasing Dedcutible.
- Erie – No surcharge the first time you get in an at-fault accident after being a customer for three years.
- MAPFRE – New customers, inexperienced, newer drivers and renewing policies are eligible for Accident Forgiveness with MAPFRE auto insurance policy.
Pros and Cons:
You might be wondering, “is it worth it?” – let’s take a look at why you should, and why you shouldn’t.
- Protection after an accident.
- Keep premiums low after an accident: you can bet that after an accident, your premiums may sky rocket. For example, in California, rates can increase by 86%. After your first accident, you won’t have to worry about those rates.
- Peace of mind on the road.
- This coverage could be costing you more depending if it’s a standard policy or an add-on.
- Forgiveness is usually limited, varying from insurer to insurer.
- You could be wasting money in the long run if you don’t use the coverage.
Is it worth it?
You’re probably wondering if spending the extra money on the Accident Forgiveness coverage is worth it. And honestly, it’s hard to tell for sure. If you don’t have a clean driving history, you probably don’t even qualify for it – but it doesn’t hurt to check. Contact your local provider for more information. There’s no way to tell exactly how much your rates will go up after an accident, but what you can bet on it is that they will go up. California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Minnesota have some of the highest premium rates after an accident. Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Montana are not too far behind, either.
“It’s hard to say how much an accident will affect your rate, other than it will, mostly likely, go up,” says Brad Goldsberry, agency producer at The Nate Bingel Agency – Farmers Insurance in Northglenn, Colo.
Accident Forgiveness can bring peace of mind with policy holders who have teenage drivers or inexperienced drivers, as they are more likely to be involved in an accident. However, having multiple drivers on a policy may be less valuable because the benefit usually only applies to one-accident per policy. “As with any insurance, it’s difficult to say whether the cost is worth the coverage,” explains Tina Willis, a personal injury lawyer and owner of Tina Willis Law in Orlando, Fla. “If you don’t use the coverage, you wasted your money. If you have an accident, you’ll be thankful you purchased it.”
So, if you’re interested in Accident Forgiveness, check out these 14 insurers who offer coverage for first time accidents. As always, make sure you do your own research and talk to your insurer to see if you qualify.
Happy, safe driving!