Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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Accident forgiveness is not a new concept by any means, but it has become a key selling feature of many auto insurance providers in recent years.

A single accident, no matter how minor, can have devastating effects on your auto insurance premiums, potentially costing you thousands of dollars over the years. In these tough economic times, some families can’t afford to take chances, making the idea of accident forgiveness incredibly attractive.

So What Exactly Is Accident Forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is a feature offered by some auto insurance providers, that “forgives” a driver for some sort of infraction, and does not negatively affect your rates as a result. Accidents aren’t the only things that count as infractions either. On most policies, this also includes some forms of tickets, particularly speeding tickets. Some companies include this feature in their policies as an extra selling point, while others may tack on an additional fee. Either way its most definitely going to be reflected on your premium in one form or another.

In the tradition of auto insurance, accident forgiveness is not this simple. The terms and conditions surrounding accident forgiveness policies vary greatly from company to company. The state you live in may also affect the availability and cost of accident forgiveness benefits. And don’t forget that not everyone will qualify for accident forgiveness, even if the particular auto insurance provider offers it to some customers.

In fact, most insurers, such as Allstate, don’t offer accident forgiveness benefits until you’ve had a clean record of 5 years, in addition to a slew of other various requirements a particular insurer may have. Most policies protect your current rates and discounts for a single accident.

Accident forgiveness is growing in popularity, and many more insurers are offering them as add-ons to policies, and some companies are even adding them to all policies for those that meet their standards. Don’t neglect reading the fine print on your accident forgiveness policy.

If you’d like to see if you qualify for accident forgiveness with all of the most reputable insurance providers, all you have to do is enter your zip code in the box above. If you think you may qualify for accident forgiveness, there’s a pretty good chance that you may apply for other safe driver discounts.

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How Much Does It Cost?

If you haven’t seen what rates are available lately, you’re probably missing out on lots of savings. With all the money you can save, you can invest in accident forgiveness benefits, and protect your low rates for one more ticket or accident.

If you would like to add accident forgiveness to your existing policy, all you have to do is give your insurance provider a call and ask them about “adding it on.”  Some companies might even give you accident forgiveness complimentary as a “bonus” as long as you have a good driving history.  Other companies may charge you a small fee for adding this type of insurance on your policy, but it won’t be anything substantial.

How Do You Qualify For It?

Every insurance company has its own way of determining who qualifies for accident forgiveness and who does not.  Accident forgiveness is not always something you can pay money for and automatically be equipped with.  For obvious reasons, insurance companies often times do not live giving accident forgiveness to high-risk drivers.  The following circumstances are cases in which an insurer would offer accident forgiveness:

  • New Customer Bonus – As a new customer acquisition strategy, insurance companies might offer accident forgiveness to new clients opening a policy with them.  This is to entice people to become policyholders.  Insurance companies realize that they might not be able to “win” your business if they punish you for having an accident, so they will offer bonuses like accident forgiveness to get you to sign up.
  • Loyalty Bonus – If you have been a policyholder with the same insurance company for a long time, you might be able to get accident forgiveness just by asking for it.  Consider this a bonus for your loyalty and unwavering business.
  • Clean Driving History BonusIf your driving record is good, you can probably ask for accident forgiveness and get qualified no-questions-asked.  In fact, most insurers even require a good driving history in order to qualify for this.

Accident forgiveness may not be for everybody, but there’s no doubt that it does have its benefits. Again, the cost of accident forgiveness benefits from company to company, and some companies may not charge you at all. To see what accident forgiveness policies you qualify for, start by entering your zip code above.

Accident Forgiveness Information From Different Insurance Companies

  • Nationwide
  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Travelers