Accident forgiveness resets after 3-5 years with most insurance companies. Loyalty-based accident forgiveness, which does not cost extra, normally requires drivers to go five years without at-fault accidents to get an accident forgiven, while accident forgiveness policies that drivers can purchase usually take three years to reset. Timeframes vary by insurance company, though.
How Long Accident Forgiveness Takes to Reset, by Company
Progressive: 3 years
Farmers: 3 years
Travelers: 3 years
Allstate: 3 years
Geico: 5 years
Liberty Mutual: 5 years
USAA: 5 years
State Farm: 9 years
The time it takes for accident forgiveness to reset can differ from the time it takes to qualify for accident forgiveness originally. For instance, although Progressive accident forgiveness resets after three years, drivers must be a Progressive customer for five years to qualify in the first place.
Policies from the same company aren’t always handled the same way, either. For example, Allstate’s Gold auto insurance package includes accident forgiveness that resets every three years, while its Platinum package forgives an unlimited number of accidents.
A car accident stays on your record for insurance for three to five years, depending on the state and insurance company. After that period, an accident no longer appears on a driver’s record for insurance purposes and will not affect car insurance premiums directly.
Just remember that even if the record of the accident goes away after three years, it could take as long as five years before a driver is able to once again qualify for good driver discounts. For example, Geico requires drivers to go five consecutive years without an at-fault accident in order to qualify, while drivers with State Farm can requalify for an accident-free discount after three years.… read full answer
Overall, first-time car accidents increase premiums by an average of 50%, depending on the state and resulting damage. But it’s possible that an accident won’t affect your rates at all.
For example, hit-and-runs committed against you don’t usually affect your insurance costs. And if an accident is a first offense on an otherwise spotless record, your insurance company might offer accident forgiveness, which would prevent your rates from going up. However, not every company offers this perk, and some only offer it as an add-on coverage option.
On the other hand, if you commit a hit and run or cause an accident due to DUI, the accident could stay on your insurance record for up to 10 years or longer. It will also lead to a significant increase in the cost of insurance.
You should get accident forgiveness if it’s included at no extra cost or if the added peace of mind outweighs the price, especially for any high-risk drivers on your policy. Accident forgiveness car insurance is available from many insurers and usually prevents one at-fault accident from increasing your premium every three years.… read full answer
Some car insurance companies include accident forgiveness as a free loyalty perk for long-time customers. Others charge extra for it. And if it’s only available for purchase, you should carefully weigh its costs and benefits in the context of your specific circumstances to determine whether or not purchasing accident forgiveness is worth it.
When It Might Be Worth It to Pay for Accident Forgiveness
You are a high-risk driver or have a history of at-fault accidents or claims.
You have a teen driver on your policy.
You drive more miles than the average driver.
You live in an area with plenty of traffic and accidents.
Your premium would increase significantly if you got into an at-fault accident.
Part of determining whether accident forgiveness is worth it is to consider the alternatives. An at-fault accident will raise car insurance premiums by 20% to 40% on average. The exact increase depends on the company, location, and the amount the insurer has to pay for the accident. In most cases, this price increase will remain for three years. However, an at-fault accident can sometimes disqualify you from a good driver discount for 5-10 years, costing you extra.
The types of drivers on your policy are important, too. High-risk and young drivers are especially likely to need accident forgiveness. However, it’s important to note that many insurers require a few years of driving experience without accidents in order to qualify for accident forgiveness. So you should be sure to read the fine print to see if you and other named drivers on your policy are eligible.
Drivers should also consider risk factors besides age. For instance, drivers who live in areas with poor road conditions and high accident rates are more likely to need accident forgiveness. More hours on the road means a higher chance of causing an accident as well. Similarly, driving at night or while tired is particularly risky.
In short, customers should be honest about their risk factors and driving habits when deciding whether or not to get accident forgiveness. Drivers should also be aware of the nuances of their insurer’s accident forgiveness policy.
Regardless of whether you are a safe or risky driver, remember that accident forgiveness programs have different exceptions. Some do not forgive new drivers’ accidents. Others still raise rates if an accident is deemed intentional, which sometimes includes DUI-related crashes.
If you are considering purchasing accident forgiveness car insurance, it’s best to compare quotes with and without accident forgiveness. Then, compare the additional cost of accident forgiveness with how much your premium would increase if you cause an accident. Finally, consider your personal circumstances and whether the peace of mind of accident forgiveness is worth the expense.
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