Everything you need to know about insurance basics, like coverage types, limits, cost and more.
Accident Forgiveness Insurance Coverage
At American Family Insurance, we understand that no matter how safe a driver you are, accidents happen. And if they do, it’s our job to help ease the financial setbacks they can cause. That’s what car insurance is for, after all. One way we do that is with accident forgiveness coverage.
Having accident forgiveness insurance coverage gives you peace of mind that, if you’re in an accident and file a claim, you won’t be penalized for one mistake.
Let’s take a closer look at what accident forgiveness is, how to qualify and the benefits of having it.
Being at fault for a car accident can raise your insurance premiums by an average of 44%.*
What Is Accident Forgiveness?
Did you know that your car insurance cost usually goes up after an accident? We get how frustrating it can be to see a hike in your premium after already dealing with a stressful situation — which is why we offer accident forgiveness to help proactively manage unexpected rate increases.
How Does Accident Forgiveness Work?
Accident forgiveness is simple — in the event of an accident, you will be 100% forgiven and avoid large premium increases due to your first at-fault accident. Another benefit? You won’t lose any of the Good Driver discounts you’ve earned.
Keep in mind, we’ll forgive your accident so it doesn’t affect your premium rate — but you’ll still have to file a claim and pay your deductible.
How to Get Purchased Accident Forgiveness vs. Earned Accident Forgiveness
There are two ways to acquire accident forgiveness for auto insurance:
Purchased accident forgiveness
Purchased accident forgiveness is a coverage you can buy.** It can be purchased if your household meets the following criteria:
- No at-fault accidents or driving violations in the last 12 months
- There can be no more than one at-fault accident in the last 3 years
Keep in mind, it’s okay if you have claim activity like emergency roadside service, which isn’t considered an at-fault accident.
For example, if you purchase accident forgiveness coverage today and get into an at-fault accident two years from now, the auto claim that you file won’t affect your insurance premium because the accident will have been forgiven by your insurance company. Learn more about what to do if you’re in an at-fault accident.
We offer purchased accident forgiveness coverage as a way to give you the choice to put protection in place to guard you from your insurance rates going up.
Earned accident forgiveness
We also offer earned accident forgiveness, which can be viewed as a reward for your safe driving. This is an earned policy feature — meaning you don’t pay for it! Instead, you’ll receive this benefit after being claim-free for five years.
What happens if you buy purchased accident forgiveness and stay claim-free for five years? Simple! We’ll remove the purchased coverage from your policy so you won’t pay for it anymore, and we’ll add earned accident forgiveness.
Who Qualifies for Accident Forgiveness Coverage?
To qualify for earned accident forgiveness, you should meet the following criteria:
- No major violations on your record
- Existing American Family customer for five years
- No at-fault accidents in the last five years***
And, if you’re switching from another auto insurance to American Family and have at least five years of accident-free driving for all drivers on your policy with your most recent carrier, we’ll honor those years you’ve earned! That way, you keep what you’ve earned even when you switch insurance companies. It’s our way of helping you protect what matters most.
Is Accident Forgiveness Insurance Coverage Worth It?
We think so! With accident forgiveness coverage, you’ll benefit from:
- Avoiding premium increases in the event of an at-fault accident
- Feeling a greater sense of security on the road
- Keeping your good driver discount
- Saving on your premium in the event of the unexpected
Let’s break down why you need accident forgiveness coverage even further:
If you’ve been accident free for five or more years, you’ll qualify for accident forgiveness and avoid a rate increase following your first at-fault accident. Things happen! We want to ease your worry that you’ll be penalized after an accident and give you more control to prepare for the unexpected.
To put it into perspective, say you get into an accident and your vehicle is totaled. You file a claim on your car insurance so you can replace your damaged car — remember, filing a claim typically leads to your premium going up. But, since this is your first accident in five years or more, you’ve qualified for accident forgiveness coverage and your claim won’t affect your car insurance premium, meaning you can keep paying the same amount you usually do.
Stay Protected With Accident Forgiveness Coverage
We believe your good driving habits should pay off! If you and the drivers on your policy have been accident and major violation-free for five consecutive years, you may qualify for earned accident forgiveness on your auto insurance policy. Or you can purchase this coverage for an affordable price. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to learn more about accident forgiveness and adding it to your policy.
Get an Auto Insurance Quote
Get started with an auto insurance quote for you and your vehicles today.
*Rates and surcharges vary widely among insurers. This statistic is based on a 2018 study by NerdWallet to determine how much more drivers with one at-fault crash on their records pay compared with accident-free drivers.
**Purchased Accident Forgiveness available at renewal for existing policyholders. Please speak with your agent to learn more about your coverage options.
***No at-fault accidents or major violations in three years if you live in CO, KS or OR. Some coverages may not be available in your state. Available at renewal for existing policyholders. Please speak with your agent to learn more about your coverage options.