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.
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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