No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen anytime, even if you’re a safe driver with a clean driving record. It seems unfair that a single incident negatively impacts your car insurance premium after years of clean driving. This is why most insurance companies offer accident forgiveness to their policyholders. This will minimize the impact of your first incident, and you will feel better knowing you have this extra layer of protection in your policy.
Accident forgiveness means your insurer will not increase your rates after your first at-fault accident, and this add-on is quite common. Simply put, this feature will forgive you for the first incident that is your fault, but there are limits and regulations that you need to be aware of.
How Does Accident Forgiveness Work?
Accident forgiveness is a feature that will protect your driving record and insurance costs, so if you are at fault, your premiums will not increase if you have this endorsement add-on. It’s important not to assume that accident forgiveness is included with your policy because that may not be the case, and this feature has its own cost and will have to be added.
It’s also important to note that if you are involved in an accident, you may still have to pay your insurance deductible for repairs to your car.
Most insurance companies will offer accident forgiveness, although the way it is offered and the specific details will vary, so you need to ask questions. Some companies may view this as standard, while others consider it an add-on or an endorsement. Standard means it is built into a policy, while endorsement means it is offered as additional protection. In these situations, the package will have to be purchased, and this feature will go beyond what is covered in standard auto insurance.
Important to note, not all drivers qualify for accident forgiveness, and this feature is often reserved for drivers with a clean driving record. It is a form of reward for claims-free drivers. Those who have had a claim, a bad driving record or have been in several accidents cannot switch insurers to get this feature, and there are eligibility requirements you may need to meet to qualify, which can include:
- An active policy. This means you must be currently insured.
- Accident-free period. You must be licensed and free of claims for several years.
- Personal use only. This feature cannot be applied to commercial auto policies; coverage is for private passenger vehicles only.
Having accident forgiveness will provide you with several benefits. The first accident you are deemed at fault for will be forgiven, so it will not appear on your driving record nor affect your monthly payments.
The brokers at Leibel Insurance will provide you with details regarding this feature, and we will discuss whether or not you qualify for accident forgiveness. If you require auto insurance, we will provide you with the best coverage for your needs, so contact us today for more information!