Should You Buy an Auto Insurance Policy With Accident Forgiveness?

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If you’ve been in an accident, you may be wondering if the cost of your auto insurance is going to go up.

Some auto insurers offer what’s called “accident forgiveness,” which means your first crash won’t affect your car insurance premiums.

But is there a catch? Money expert Clark Howard says accident forgiveness may not be as good a deal as you might think.

In this article, I’ll explain what accident forgiveness is and whether buying it is cost-effective. I’ll also include some things I learned after going through the process of buying accident forgiveness.

Table of Contents:

What Is Accident Forgiveness and How Does It Work?

Accident forgiveness is typically offered by auto insurance companies as a part of a policy or a policy add-on that “forgives” at-fault accidents on a one-time basis, meaning your premium won’t go up.

Because at-fault collisions typically stay on drivers’ records for three to five years, accident forgiveness is attractive to some insurance customers.

Insurance companies often promote accident forgiveness as something only the best drivers or most loyal customers qualify for.

Which Insurance Companies Offer Accident Forgiveness?

Here are some of the biggest insurance companies that offer accident forgiveness along with some details of their plans:

Insurance CompanyPolicy Details
AllstateAvailable as a policy add-on.
GeicoFree for drivers who go accident-free for 5 years or more. It can also be purchased. Not available in all states.
Liberty MutualOffered as a policy add-on for drivers with clean records for 5 years. Not available in all states.
NationwideOffered as a policy add-on. Not available in all states.
ProgressiveFree but coverage level depends on amount of time covered by the company.
USAAFree after 5 accident-free years covered by the company. May also be purchased. Not available in all states.
The HartfordAvailable as part of an upgraded policy. All drivers on the policy must have a clean record for 5 years.

If you’re thinking about getting accident forgiveness as a feature of your insurance policy, you may be wondering how it will affect your wallet.

How Much Does Accident Forgiveness Cost?

Some insurance companies include accident forgiveness in the policy. When you buy it as an add-on to your policy, as you might expect, the price varies.


An insurance agent with Geico told me that accident forgiveness varies based on the specific driver and policy. She said that the cost is always based on a percentage of the premium.

I went through the process of buying auto insurance with Nationwide and a $385 monthly premium jumped to $394 when I added accident forgiveness. That’s a little over $100 a year extra I would be paying.

Is Accident Forgiveness Worth It?

Clark says that unless accident forgiveness is already a part of the policy you’ve shopped for and found to be the best fit for your budget, it’s probably not worth it.

Although it’s a personal choice whether you choose to buy accident forgiveness, it could cost you $100 or more a year for no other benefit other than peace of mind.


It pays to do your research when it comes to auto insurance.

If you’re paying the best rate you can find and accident forgiveness is thrown in for your loyalty, that’s a true perk.

On the other hand, if you’re paying an additional fee to add it to your policy, the truth is that you may be able to save some money without it.

If you’re thinking about buying a new policy, we’ve got just what you need. Here’s how to shop for auto insurance.

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