Many insurance companies offer "accident forgiveness" as a policy add-on for low-risk policyholders. Careful drivers without history of accident represent very little liability or expense to insurance carriers. With accident forgiveness, the company will cover the additional charges associated with processing an accident should these good drivers happen to have one.
To more fully understand what accident forgiveness is or does for you, it is imperative to know how your involvement in a car crash affects your insurance premium.
When an accident occurs, the car insurance company will typically add an accident surcharge to your policy. This translates to you paying a higher auto insurance premium. In some cases, especially if the accident was DUI-related, the insurance company may change your driver rating to high-risk and may even drop your policy.
If you obtain an insurance policy with accident forgiveness, your auto insurance company is agreeing not to charge you an accident surcharge if you get into a car crash. Typically, accident forgiveness applies to all drivers and vehicles on your policy and will waive the surcharge for only one accident on the policy. Bear in mind that accident forgiveness does not mean that the insurance provider just forgets about the accident, only that they will not impose the accident surcharge on you. The accident can and will be used towards calculating your driver rating. The accident will also be considered at policy renewal time, possibly affecting your premiums or insurability.
Adding Accident Forgiveness to a Policy
Accident forgiveness is offered by many of the larger national car insurance companies. Most auto insurance companies will charge you for accident forgiveness as part of your premium because it is considered an extra product. For exceptionally low-risk drivers, some companies will automatically add accident forgiveness to a policy. Just be aware that accident forgiveness is not available to all drivers. High-risk drivers will usually not have an opportunity to add an accident forgiveness rider attached to their policies.
As with any other consumer product, prices for accident forgiveness vary from provider to provider. While shopping for car insurance, present your clean driving record to the carrier and see about the cost and qualifications for accident forgiveness.
Is Purchasing Accident Forgiveness the Right Choice for Me?
Accident surcharges can be very high, causing a sharp increase in your auto insurance premiums. By contrast, accident forgiveness is a relatively low-cost rider. For many people, this fact makes accident forgiveness worth the price.
Ordinarily accident forgiveness is usually only available to low-risk drivers. If you are confident in your driving ability, you may dismiss accident forgiveness, seeing it as an unnecessary expense. However, if you were to be involved in an accident, accident forgiveness is a very low-cost protection against the insurance charges and fees associated with a crash. The fairly small addition made to your premium for accident protection could save you a lot of money over time in insurance rate increases.