There are many ways of covering vehicle insurance risks. Some of them are well known and highly desirable or even must have for most motorists. Then, there are other additions that may not ruin your finances if you do not buy the protection, but may help you cope better in the long run.
An accident can increase car insurance rates considerably even though you did not have any claims for a long time. Some companies can look at the position a bit more kindly and offer still agreeable rates. However, there is a provision offered by most auto insurers called accident forgiveness.
As the name suggests, insurers agree not to include one (occasionally more) accident in their premium calculations. That is providing you pay the appropriate premium and arrange a protection against losing your no claim bonuses. So, it is not free and you will need to consider if it is worth having it covered.
Actually, you will need to first check if you are eligible. Generally, there is a requirement to stay clean from claims and traffic tickets for about five years before you can buy protection for them. Rates will differ based on the length of claims free period and the company offering it. Probably, it is not something you should concern yourself with if you are a new driver or had an accident recently. It is possible that you missed your chances.
If you have not had any troubles for a long time, you may ask yourself the chances of having any from now onwards. This will help you decide if you will want the coverage or not. Of course the cost of it will play an important role. Certainly, this is not an addition on your policy that will compensate thousands of dollars of losses but will lower your bills starting from next renewal. Then again, it has to go up first with additional premiums.
By the way, the name may not really be accurate. Companies do not forgive and forget an accident. It still goes on your record and may affect your eligibility for safe driver discounts. They just do not include it when they calculate your premiums in the future. In a way, your long history of careful driving is recognized but the fact that you just had an accident is noted down.
Accident forgiveness is an interesting concept in many ways. Many people may not feel it is fair that you have to pay a premium to be recognized in such a way. If you were a good driver and just had an unlucky incident, they should be able to forgive you regardless. Besides, some companies uses discretion as to which accidents they would forgive. They may have named it so suggestively that all will be good, but it is a bit more complicated than that.
Its applications, rates and eligibility may differ a lot from one company to another. It may even be enough to make you switch providers since it changes the overall value of a renewal term offered. By the way, it does not guarantee that the insurer will want to continue insuring you after the expiration of the current policy. It is worth keeping in mind that they have no such obligation.
It may in a way be a great marketing ploy as well to keep customers longer. Since you have bought forgiveness from the current insurer, you will have to stick with them for a while after a crash. Remember that it is still in your records and you are getting preferential rates. When you want to get alternative quotes you will have to mention the accident. Consequently, it will make those quotes not competitive against the renewal terms.