Should You Get Accident Forgiveness Coverage?
When you get a car insurance policy, you hope you will never have to use it. But accidents happen. Unfortunately, if you’re at fault, you can expect your insurer to increase your premium at renewal time. This makes it expensive for the years to come. Some carriers offer accident forgiveness coverage to keep your insurance premiums from rising. If you read Liberty Mutual reviews, you’ll discover that this insurance company offers accident forgiveness as an option to help you save after an at-fault accident.
What You Need to Know About Accident Forgiveness
Every car insurance company has a unique set of rules and conditions for accident forgiveness. Some carriers offer this program with no extra charge. A perk that is usually given as part of a loyalty program to reward longtime policyholders. Others offer accident forgiveness as optional coverage. You can purchase it as an addition to your auto policy.
If your policy includes accident forgiveness when a crash occurs and you’re at fault, your insurance company will not raise your premium. But this type of coverage is not available to just anyone. Many of the best insurance companies offer accident forgiveness. But this coverage is not available in all 50 states. For example, California doesn’t allow accident forgiveness. Besides, a carrier does not forgive every at-fault accident.
It’s Not for Everybody
The accident forgiveness may only be available to those who have maintained a clean driving record for three or five years, depending on the insurance company. Other carriers allow accident forgiveness to take effect immediately. Some insurance providers also only allow accident forgiveness for the first at-fault accident within a pre-approved time frame. Others let you apply for this coverage to multiple accidents.
If multiple drivers are covered on a single policy, everyone has to have a clean driving record to become eligible. So, if you’ve had your fair share of traffic violations and road accidents that resulted in property damage and bodily injuries, you might not even qualify for this feature.
How Can You Benefit From Accident Forgiveness?
The primary advantage of accident forgiveness coverage is that it could keep your premium from spiking if you get involved in an accident where you’re the liable party. The surcharge for an at-fault accident can range between 50 to 90 percent of your average premium. Of course, the increase will depend on the nature of the crash, your age, and location or the state you live in. Most carriers will oblige you to pay this surcharge by increasing your insurance premium for a few years. Depending on your carrier, you may have to pay these increased premiums monthly or semi-annually.
Adding an accident forgiveness coverage to your policy can also come in handy if you have teen drivers or household members under 25 years old. Younger drivers are generally viewed as more at risk. That’s why they are among those who have some of the highest insurance rates.
Is It Worth It?
Accident forgiveness is a feature that is not generally offered for free. If you’re a new driver or have a poor driving record, adding this to your auto policy could be beneficial. Before buying an auto insurance policy, it’s crucial that you fully understand the products and services offered. One way to help you gauge whether paying a little more on your premium for an accident forgiveness feature is worth it is to shop around. Get quotes from different carriers and compare your premium’s cost with an at-fault accident and without it.
As previously mentioned, every insurance carrier has its limitations and conditions for a policyholder to become eligible. Before signing on any contract, ensure that you read all the fine print and get all the pertinent details in availing accident forgiveness. It also helps to revisit your policy, review other providers, and compare insurance policy quotes every couple of years or as often as needed.