What is accident forgiveness?

Published On: January 5th, 2022Categories: Personal Insurance

It is impossible to predict if or when a driving collision may occur, as it can happen to even the most cautious drivers. Cautious drivers can also be the ones deemed at fault as well. It is essential to be prepared if you are the at-fault party in the accident. Fortunately, drivers with a solid insurance record may be able to qualify for a particular type of coverage extension called Accident Forgiveness.

What is accident forgiveness? 

Accident forgiveness is an auto insurance endorsement that will help you avoid a premium increase after your first at-fault accident. You may also hear accident forgiveness referred to as collision forgiveness, driving record protection, or first claim forgiveness. 

How do you qualify for accident forgiveness? 

Accident forgiveness is unique because not everyone can purchase the coverage. Many insurers have rather strict criteria you must meet to qualify and will only introduce collision forgiveness to your existing policy after you have proven yourself to be a safe driver. Qualifying typically means you haven’t been involved in an at-fault or partially at-fault accident in years, although the eligibility guidelines vary between insurance companies. 

Common myths about accident forgiveness 

You may be surprised to learn that, even after you’ve added an accident forgiveness endorsement to your auto policy, there are still some cases where it won’t apply — meaning your premium may still increase following a claim. Let’s break down a few common myths about how accident forgiveness coverage works to help you avoid any surprises if you make a car insurance claim. 

Myth: Accident forgiveness applies after any car accident. 

Reality: Although each insurer has different rules surrounding this, your accident forgiveness will typically apply only after your first at-fault collision. The accident forgiveness coverage may not apply If the crash you are involved in causes you to receive demerit points, receive a charge under the highway traffic act, or if you have committed a criminal code offense.

Myth: Your accident will be forgiven no matter who’s driving the car.  

Reality: Coverage usually only applies to the primary driver on your auto insurance policy, although it is possible to purchase extra coverage for any additional drivers. 

Myth: Accident forgiveness erases the accident from your driving record. 

Reality: If you’ve had an accident forgiven by your insurer, the incident remains on your driving record — the accident can affect your premium if you choose to move to a new insurer. 

Myth: You can bring your accident forgiveness coverage with you when you switch insurers. 

Reality: As previously stated, most insurers require you to meet a strict criterion of safe driving under their policy, so you cannot transfer your accident forgiveness coverage from a previous policy with a different insurer. If you want to add it to your new policy, you’ll have to qualify for it with your new insurer.

Before you buy a new car insurance policy or renew your existing one, give us a call at Bryson to find out if you’re eligible for accident forgiveness coverage.

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