Accident forgiveness is a supplement to your auto insurance coverage that can help prevent your insurance rates from going up after your first at-fault accident. This prevents your insurance premium from going up due to this type of accident.
In turn, it is a way to save on auto insurance. Not all at-fault accidents will be forgiven by the insurance company. In most cases, this applies only to your first at-fault accident and only if your driving record is clean.
Each Salvage title insurance company has its own policy and procedure for accident forgiveness.
How does accident forgiveness work?
Many factors influence how insurance premiums are calculated and one of them is driving history: more accidents on your record means higher rates, because you will be considered riskier to insure. But if you have an accident waiver, your insurance company will agree to disregard your first at-fault accident in your premium .
Some companies include forgiveness, while others allow you to purchase it as an add-on to your auto policy. Ask your insurance provider if you’re eligible to get it, it’s worth getting.
Keep in mind that the surcharge for an at-fault accident can be as high as 90%, depending on the state you live in. Other factors are the origin of the at-fault accident and your age, if you are the driver. You can pay increases to your premium for up to three years for this charge, depending on the insurance company.
So if you pay your premium monthly, you could see a monthly price increase, and if you pay twice a year, your costs go up with each payment.
Racking up a large number of speeding tickets or traffic violations can also make you ineligible.
However, most companies offer accident forgiveness to drivers who have maintained a clean record for three to five years.
Is Accident Forgiveness Necessary?
It may be worth having an accident waiver if you have a high-risk driver on your policy. If there’s a high chance that someone on your policy will have an accident, then you’ll want to make sure you’re financially protected if it happens. But if everyone on your policy has a clean driving record , it may not be worth the extra cost.
Alternatives to Accident Forgiveness
If it turns out that you are not eligible for accident forgiveness, there may be other auto insurance discounts available to you.
There are many auto insurance discounts available to consumers that can help ensure you’re paying the lowest premiums possible. These include but are not limited to:
- Good Driver Discounts: Most providers will give you a discount for going a certain amount of time without filing a claim or receiving a ticket. You can also get discounts for taking a defensive driving course.
- Low mileage discounts: The less you drive, the less likely you are to have an accident, so some insurance companies will give you a discount for having low annual mileage.
- Membership discounts: Check to see if you can get an insurance discount through your employer, your alma mater, or other institutions or associations you belong to, such as a sorority or fraternity.
- Student discounts: Auto insurance is often more expensive for younger drivers, but students may qualify for discounts, even for keeping up good grades or being on the honor roll.
Keep in mind that as you clear your driving record, you’ll be eligible for more discounts. The more time you spend with a clean driving record, the more discounts you can receive.