What Is Accident Forgiveness?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


Accidents happen, but their aftermath doesn’t have to be financially burdensome. With accident forgiveness, you can protect yourself from the potential rate hikes that follow an accident. In this article, we’ll explore this benefit, how it works, and its benefits, ensuring you have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your insurance coverage.

What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is an essential feature in insurance policies that shields drivers from premium increases after being involved in an accident. It serves as a safeguard against the financial consequences of an at-fault collision. You can secure peace of mind on the road by adding it as an optional rider or qualifying for it through a clean driving record.

Accident forgiveness prevents car insurance rates from rising if you cause a car crash. Insurance companies typically increase rates by up to 33% for drivers at fault, which can last for three to five years. However, you can avoid this rate hike with forgiveness, preserving your affordable coverage.

How accident forgiveness works

When you have this additional coverage, causing an accident will not increase your insurance rates. While you may lose any accident-free discounts you previously enjoyed, your insurer will not apply an additional rate increase solely because of the recent accident.

However, it’s essential to understand the conditions and limitations of accident forgiveness. While the forgiven accident will not affect your rates with your current insurance company, it will still show up on your driving record.

That incident may hurt your rates if you switch to a different insurance provider within a few years of the accident. Additionally, forgiveness typically applies to one at-fault incident, and subsequent incidents may increase premiums.

How to qualify for accident forgiveness

Most insurance companies require you to maintain a clean driving record for a specified period to qualify for accident forgiveness. This period of accident-free driving demonstrates your commitment to safe practices, making you eligible for this valuable benefit. Some insurance companies also provide forgiveness as an upgrade option when you start your policy, giving you immediate coverage against rate hikes resulting from an accident.

Additional benefits for good drivers

Insurance companies appreciate responsible driving habits and offer additional benefits to drivers with clean records. These benefits include:

Accident-free discount

Certain insurers discount drivers who remain accident-free for a period, often three years. This discount may increase over time, further lowering your premiums.

Vanishing deductibles

For every year without an at-fault accident, some insurers may reduce your deductible by a specific amount. This reduction can significantly decrease your out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident.

Good-driving discount

You may be eligible for a discount on future premiums by avoiding tickets, accidents, and claims. This recognition of your responsible driving habits translates into ongoing savings.


Will accident forgiveness erase the accident from my driving record? 

No, it does not erase the accident from your driving record. It only protects you from insurance rate increases.

Can I use accident forgiveness multiple times? 

This benefit usually applies to one at-fault accident. After using it, subsequent accidents may lead to increased premiums.

Do all insurance companies offer accident forgiveness?

No, It’s not offered by every insurance company. Availability may vary depending on the provider and state.

Can accident forgiveness be purchased or earned? 

This accident benefit can be earned by maintaining a clean driving record for a specific period. Some insurers also offer it as an upgrade that can be purchased when starting a policy.

Will accident forgiveness cover me if I switch insurance companies? 

Accident forgiveness is tied to your current insurance company. If you switch to a different provider, the forgiven accident may still impact your rates.

Find affordable car insurance

Accident forgiveness is a valuable feature that ensures your car insurance rates remain stable after an accident. By understanding what it is, how it works, and how to qualify, you can protect yourself from potential rate hikes and maintain affordable coverage. Other benefits for good drivers also enhance your savings and reinforce the importance of responsible driving. Stay informed, choose the right insurance coverage, and enjoy peace of mind on the road.


AgileRates extracted and analyzed data from the following to provide data in this article.

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