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Tyron Jones

Car Insurance Expert
Updated: 7/2019

Tyron Jones is a car insurance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. 

Millions of individuals are looking for the best deal possible on their car insurance. They want to make sure that they are receiving the most coverage for the lowest cost. Individuals also want to make sure that their insurance costs increase as little as possible if they have an accident. Accident forgiveness has become a new consideration for these insurance shoppers. This relatively new concept allows individuals to preserve their old pay rates even after an accident. There are sometimes trade-offs and stipulations that individuals must endure before taking advantage of this concept. But it may also be able to save individuals a considerable amount of money and stress if they ever do have an accident.

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Car accidents

Car accidents are a serious concern for millions of Americans. They can be a threat to human life and limb. Accidents occur because of the random nature of millions of cars driving extremely fast exceptionally close to each other. There is a significant chance that an individual will become involved in an accident. Millions of drivers talk and text on their cell phones while driving. They may fail to stop in time or go too fast on the interstate.

There is a litany of reasons why individuals may become involved in accidents that are not even connected to their own wrongdoing. As a result, individuals often drive and buy cars with accidents in mind. Individuals make their car-buying decisions in many cases on crash test results. These tests help to show what cars are safer and what cars will cost the least amount of money to repair after an accident. They also buy car insurance purely because of this chance. Car insurance is required at least for the liability that can be done to other cars on the road.

The downsides of an accident

Perhaps the most important insurance downside of an accident is connected to the actuarial table. The actuarial table considers the chances that an individual will get into an accident and cost the insurance company money. To insurance companies, the clearest sign that an individual is about to have an accident is a recent accident that they have had. A recent accident may signal that an individual has issues with timing, sight, or decision-making.

It may simply show that they are an individual whom the company will have to pay more money for to keep insured. Therefore, one of the unfortunate consequences of an already-stressful car accident is the fact that insurance premiums and deductibles shoot up. These premiums will increase for a time and then slowly begin to decrease as an individual maintains a clean driving record.

The increase is sometimes connected to the nature and circumstances of the accident. Accidents that are caused by an individual’s recklessness will often cost more in insurance over time. Some accidents, such as those caused by drunk driving, can result in a massive increase and may even result in an insurance company dropping an individual from a plan.

What is Accident Forgiveness and Who Offers it?

Accident forgiveness

Many users have complained about the potential of an accident to ruin the prospects that an individual might have to pay affordable insurance. They have complained about the potential for even the smallest accidents to severely increase a monthly premium. As a result, the insurance industry has started to offer accident forgiveness programs.

These programs are based on the competitive nature of the car insurance market. There are a number of different companies that provide basically the same product. Some of these companies, such as USAA and Amica, have excelled on tests in recent years that determine what companies have the best products and customer service. Other companies have been feeling pressure to curb the most problematic parts of their plans and emphasize the parts that individuals enjoy. One of these problematic aspects is the increase in insurance payments after an accident. Companies believe that they can offer accident forgiveness and lure in individuals away from competitors that may still harm their customers by charging a massive amount of money once an individual gets into an accident.

Who offers it?

A number of different insurance companies offer accident forgiveness to new and longtime customers. One of the most popular of these companies is Allstate. Allstate’s accident forgiveness program ensures that an individual’s premium and deductible does not increase after the first accident that an individual has. This service is a feature that is only available for individuals who meet certain criteria. They must already have a clean driving record that has persisted for five years.

Individuals who go five years with a clean driving record can then retain their older rates for an extended period of time. The time period without an accident is one major disadvantage to the Allstate plan. Another disadvantage is the fact that Allstate’s accident forgiveness program does not apply to all forms of insurance. Individuals have to upgrade to a Gold or Platinum insurance plan to take advantage of accident forgiveness perks.

Another company that offers accident forgiveness is Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual is a longstanding insurance company with its headquarters in New York City. It has a number of mid-range insurance policies that offer accident forgiveness. Liberty Mutual’s accident forgiveness policy begins after a previous period of good driving without an accident. It is a policy that only goes into effect after five years of good driving.

A third company that offers accident forgiveness is USAA. USAA is one of the highest rated insurance companies in the United States. It does offer accident forgiveness on a wide variety of policies. But there are a number of different hurdles that an individual must meet in order to qualify for one of those policies. In order to even become a USAA member, an individual has to be associated to a certain degree with the United States Armed Forces. They usually have to have a spouse or an immediate family member in one of the service branches. If they do, they can enjoy both accident forgiveness and some of the most highly-rated customer service in the entire insurance industry.

But an individual also has to maintain a clean driving record in order to qualify. This term does not only apply to accidents. Clean driving records in the insurance world also refer to both avoiding accidents and also moving violations. Insurance companies sometimes increase premiums on moving violations as well as accidents. Moving violations show that an individual is driving recklessly and may be more prone to getting into an accident that would increase their car insurance rates. As a result, they often factor into many decisions that are often made surrounding a potential accident forgiveness plan.

What to do

The first step that anyone should take when offered accident forgiveness is to closely scrutinize the terms of the contract. They should view any other offers associated with accident forgiveness that they might have as well. In addition, they should ask and analyze how an insurance company usually responds when an individual gets into an accident. Accident forgiveness often does not occur purely as its own incentive for an insurance policy.

Companies do not voluntarily take on greater actuarial risk for their clients. Instead, there is often a trade-off inherent in these plans. Individuals may simply pay a smaller amount with an accident forgiveness plan than they would with their competitors. Some companies offer accident forgiveness along with a much higher deductible or premium than the competition. Other companies allow accident forgiveness for the first accident and then massively increase all costs for the second accident that an individual may have.

There are also certain special circumstances that apply when an individual may be able to entirely avoid an increase in payments from an accident. The most common of these special circumstances is a new teenage driver. New teenage drivers are the most likely drivers to be involved in moving violations and accidents. As a result, bringing these individuals onto an insurance plan causes the costs associated with that plan to skyrocket. The insurance company wants to cover for any potential accident that the teenager is engaged in.

As a result, the possibility of an accident is often priced in. The premiums and deductible may not even increase after an accident. Such a circumstance means that it would be a waste of money to pay for an accident forgiveness plan. This information is why individuals need to be in close contact with their insurance company. They need to contact their insurance representative after each change in a plan’s payments.

Conclusion

Accident forgiveness is a now-familiar type of incentive offered by insurance companies. It may be helpful to provide peace of mind to anyone who is worried about a single accident greatly increasing their insurance rates. But individuals should not always embrace any accident forgiveness program that they find. Individuals need to make phone calls and do their research on any insurance plan before applying. If they do not, they could find themselves spending a considerable amount of money even with an added-on accident forgiveness plan.

FAQ

Accident Forgiveness Basics

This section covers your basic questions about accident forgiveness. Use this section to give yourself a better understanding of how accident forgiveness works.

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What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is a program offered by many auto insurance companies. These companies won’t raise your rates after your first accident if you have accident forgiveness.

How accident forgiveness works?

Every company’s accident forgiveness program has its own terms and conditions. However, the general idea behind accident forgiveness is to stop your rates from going up if you’re in an accident.

What is upgraded accident forgiveness?

That depends on the company you’re talking about. Usually it means that the accident forgiveness program has some kind of special perk, like resetting faster or providing some other additional benefit.

Is accident forgiveness worth it?

That’s a choice for you to make. For many people, accident forgiveness protects their budget because it means that they won’t need to worry about their rates going up if something beyond their control happens.

Who has accident forgiveness?

Many insurance companies have accident forgiveness, including Progressive, Geico, many Farm Bureaus, Liberty Mutual, USAA, and more.

Is accident forgiveness real?

Accident forgiveness is real. If you have an accident forgiveness policy, then your rates won’t go up after your first accident.

Does accident forgiveness reset?

That depends on the specific company you get insurance from. Most companies’ accident forgiveness programs reset after a set number of years.

Is first accident forgiveness per policy or per person?

That depends on your specific insurance policy. You should contact your insurance agent to get help understanding how a specific policy works.

Does accident forgiveness reset after 3 years?

For some companies. You’ll need to check the terms and conditions of your insurance agreement or contact your insurance agent to get the information you’re looking for.

Is first accident forgiveness worth it?

Lots of people think so. Accident forgiveness is an additional layer of protection to keep your budget stable by preventing your rates from going up if you’re in an accident.

How to tell if I have accident forgiveness?

The two best ways to tell if you have accident forgiveness are to review your insurance policy or contact your insurance agent and ask them about your specific policy.

Which car insurance has accident forgiveness?

You can get accident insurance from lots of different car insurance companies. Some of the most popular include USAA, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and Geico.

How many years do you need to earn accident forgiveness?

That depends on the company and the specific policy you’re choosing. You should get in touch with your insurance company for more information.

How do accident forgiveness points work?

Accident forgiveness allows you to use your years of good, accident free driving to get forgiven for an accident. That means your rates won’t go up.

Should I pay extra for accident forgiveness?

That depends on your situation. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want your rates to go up if you get in an accident, then it might be a good idea.

Accident Forgiveness and Specific Companies

We’ll go over your questions about the accident forgiveness programs offered by specific companies in this section.

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Does State Farm have accident forgiveness?

State Farm offers accident forgiveness options on many of its policies. However, state laws or local policies might mean you’re not able to purchase it where you live.

Does Geico have accident forgiveness?

Yes, Geico has an accident forgiveness program. It prevents your insurance premium from increasing after your first accident.

How to see if you have accident forgiveness Geico?

There are two ways to see if you have accident forgiveness with Geico. The first is to log on to your policy online and check what feature you have. You can also call your insurance agent for more information about your policy.

Does Progressive have accident forgiveness?

Yes, Progressive offers an accident forgiveness program.  You get increasing levels of forgiveness based on the amount of time you go without a claim.

Does Progressive forgive first parking lot accident?

In many cases. Most Progressive customers have Small Accident Forgiveness as soon as their policy starts. That protects you from claims that are $500 or less.

Does Progressive have accident forgiveness for motorcycles?

Yes, you can get large accident forgiveness on motorcycle insurance policies with Progressive everywhere except CA, NC, and NY.

How does Progressive accident forgiveness work?

Progressive gives you an increasing amount of credit the longer you go without an accident. Nearly all Progressive policies start with small accident forgiveness, which protects you from claims that are $500 or less.

Does Liberty Mutual offer accident forgiveness?

Liberty Mutual offers accident forgiveness for many of its customers, depending on their driving record and the state they live in.

How much does Liberty Mutual accident forgiveness cost?

The price of accident forgiveness from Liberty Mutual depends on many factors, including your car, driving history, state, and so on. You’ll need to talk to an agent about your specific case.

Does AAA have accident forgiveness?

Yes, AAA insurance has accident forgiveness. You can find out more about how this program works in your state by checking out their website.

Does Farm Bureau have accident forgiveness?

In most cases yes. However, Farm Bureau operates differently in each state. That means you’ll need to check with your specific agency to find out your options.

What is included in accident forgiveness through Farm Bureau?

That depends on the state you live in and your specific accident forgiveness arrangement with the company. You can get more information from your insurance policy or by talking to a local agent.

How does Allstate accident forgiveness work?

Allstate offers accident forgiveness on select policies in specific states. You can get Gold or Platinum accident forgiveness. Gold forgives the first accident under your policy, and Platinum gives accident forgiveness for as long as you have the Platinum plan.

How much is Allstate accident forgiveness?

The price of accident forgiveness with Allstate can change depending on the level of accident forgiveness you want and your driving record. 

Does USAA offer accident forgiveness?

Yes, USAA forgives one at-fault accident after 5 years of membership without raising your insurance premium rates.

What does USAA accident forgiveness cover?

The cost of accident forgiveness for a specific USAA policy can change depending on lots of different factors. You’ll need to contact a local agent for more information.

Does Amica have accident forgiveness?

Amica’s good driving rewards program means you can earn points as you have your policy. You can use these points to reduce or eliminate costs associated with an accident.

Does Farmers have accident forgiveness?

Yes, Farmers policies have an accident forgiveness clause that forgives one at-fault accident every three years.

Does Esurance have accident forgiveness?

Esurance does offer accident forgiveness. The details vary based on your state, but you must be a claim-free driver to qualify.

Does Shelter Insurance have accident forgiveness?

We couldn’t find any information that lead us to think that Shelter insurance has an accident forgiveness program.

Does Erie Insurance have accident forgiveness?

Yes, you qualify for accident forgiveness for your first at-fault accident once you’ve been a customer with Erie for three years.

How long does accident forgiveness take to reset Erie?

Erie accident forgiveness resets every three years you go without an at-fault accident.

Does Nationwide have accident forgiveness?

In most states, yes. However, you’ll need to buy accident forgiveness as an addition to your policy if Nationwide offers it in your state.

How does accident forgiveness work with Nationwide?

Nationwide accident forgiveness works by purchasing the accident forgiveness option when you get your policy. This prevents your rates from increasing from your first at-fault accident.

Is Nationwide accident forgiveness worth it?

For lots of people, yes. The ability to ensure that their insurance rates won’t go up if they’re in an accident allows people the ability to plan a stable budget.

Does NJM have accident forgiveness?

Yes, you can get accident forgiveness with your insurance through NJM. The details of your specific policy can change based on your driving history.

What is Arbella accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is an option that Arbella customers can add to their policy at any time. If you have it, then Arbella waives your surcharge points from an accident.

Does Metlife have accident forgiveness?

No, Metife doesn’t offer accident forgiveness for its customers at this time.

Does Hartford Insurance have accident forgiveness?

Hartford insurance offers accident forgiveness as an upgrade to many of its policies. You’ll need to speak to an agent to see if you can qualify for accident forgiveness with them.

Does Commerce Insurance have accident forgiveness?

You can get accident forgiveness on your Commerce Insurance policy, but you’ll need to check with the company for specific eligibility restrictions and qualifications.

Does Cincinnati Insurance have accident forgiveness?

Yes, you can get accident forgiveness with a Cincinnati Insurance policy. You’ll need to talk to your agent to get more details about your specific situation.

How does Traveler's accident forgiveness work?

That depends on if you have the Responsible Driver plan or the Premier Responsible Driver plan. For the first option, you can get forgiveness for one accident every 36 months. The Premier plan provides credits towards forgiveness for every 6 months you have your policy without a claim.

Other Accident Forgiveness Questions

This section covers some of the other questions you might have about accident forgiveness.

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Why is accident forgiveness not available in California?

Accident forgiveness policies are illegal in California because of Proposition 103, passed in 1988, which placed restrictions on how insurance companies reset rates.

Can you have accident forgiveness and still receive points?

Yes, the points that go on your driving record come from the state or jurisdiction where you had your accident. Your insurance policy doesn’t prevent this.