How Does Accident Forgiveness Work?

There’s no better way for us to explain how accident forgiveness works and the benefits of including this option on your car insurance policy than for us to share a real-life car accident scenario with you. So, let’s say you get in a fender bender involving several other vehicles and, unfortunately, you’re deemed to be at fault. After you report the accident to your insurance agent, the other drivers’ claims are settled, and your vehicle is fixed, it would be so nice if you could just move on from this stressful event without any further frustrations. Unfortunately, that’s not where the story usually ends. Typically, your auto insurance premium is going to increase at renewal time because of this accident. How much your rate goes up generally depends on the specific details and severity of the accident and any damages that occurred. However, there’s no doubt that the additional premium you are now going to have to pay will be a painful reminder of this incident for a while.

So, if there was a way out of this rate increase, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it? By adding accident forgiveness to your car insurance policy, you and any eligible driver on your policy may be able to avoid an annual premium increase when you have your first at-fault accident. Sure sounds like a car insurance option most drivers would want to learn more about.

Following are a few more things to know if you’re considering adding accident forgiveness to your car insurance policy:

1) Accident forgiveness only works if you have a clean driving record.

In order to be able to use accident forgiveness, you must have a clean driving record. If you are married and have a spouse on your policy, know that your accident forgiveness will not cover them unless they also have a clean driving record. Talk to your independent agent to make sure accident forgiveness will work for you.

2) You must have at least 6 years of driving experience to qualify for accident forgiveness.

This is especially important to know if your kids are on your insurance policy or if you are a new driver, regardless of your age.

3) You have to stay with your current carrier for accident forgiveness to continue to work.

Remember, even though charges from points are waived with accident forgiveness, the driving points incurred from an accident will still be added to your record. This means that if you decide to move your insurance to a different insurance carrier, they will see the points on your record and set your rates accordingly.

4) You have to report the accident to your insurance carrier directly for accident forgiveness to apply.

In order for accident forgiveness to apply, you must report the at-fault accident to your carrier directly. Meaning, if your insurance company is notified by the other party in the accident, your accident forgiveness won’t apply.

5) Accident forgiveness is a one and done kind of coverage.

Once you use the accident forgiveness benefit on your policy, it cannot be used again for any other accident on your policy, even if another operator is involved, until your driving record clears, so for at least 6 years.

For many drivers, accident forgiveness is a great addition to any car insurance policy. Want to learn more about this and other potentially money saving endorsements like disappearing deductible, loan/lease gap, and rental car reimbursement coverage? Give Gilbert Insurance a call today at (781) 942-2225 or visit our website.