A Smart Idea
Prepare for the possibility of a car crash by adding the Accident Forgiveness endorsement.
One thing you will likely never hear someone say after a car accident is, “I meant to do that.” While no driver ever plans to be involved in a crash, the team at Fred C. Church feels like it’s wise to make sure you are prepared for one just in case. Having the proper auto insurance policy in place is obviously critical, and Accident Forgiveness can be an essential piece of the coverage solution for all your vehicles. With this powerful endorsement on your policy, you may be able to avoid the surcharge points typically assessed by your insurance provider after an at-fault accident.
How does your driving record affect your Accident Forgiveness eligibility?
To qualify for the Accident Forgiveness program, many insurance carriers require you to have a close-to-perfect driving history for the past five years. This typically means if you’ve been involved in a reported accident, issued a speeding ticket, or charged with a moving violation, this program may not be available to you.
If you do have a clean driving record and meet these eligibility conditions, then you should be able to take advantage of the Accident Forgiveness endorsement. However, any other drivers listed on your policy, like a spouse or teen, who may not have a clean driving history, will likely not be covered by it. If one of these other drivers is involved in a car crash and is found to be responsible, your Accident Forgiveness endorsement won’t be much help. Plus, your insurance carrier is likely to assess an accident-related surcharge, which could be added to your auto insurance premium at annual renewal.
Do you have to stay with your current carrier after an accident to take full advantage of Accident Forgiveness?
Once you add Accident Forgiveness to your policy, it would be ideal if you never have to use it. It’s important to mention that even if you do get in a car accident for which you are at-fault, you are never obligated to trigger your Accident Forgiveness benefits. Most of the time, though, it will save you a bundle of money to do so since activating this endorsement means you could avoid the accident surcharges your carrier would typically add to your insurance premium at renewal time.
If you do decide to take advantage of your forgiveness endorsement after an accident, it’s essential to know that this option will likely not be available to you again for the next six years. And, at that point, only if you have kept a clean driving record over that timeframe. This detail means that if you or any other eligible drivers listed on your policy get in another at-fault car accident, then you will not be able to use Accident Forgiveness to avert getting dinged at renewal time.
You might be thinking you can outsmart the system by switching to a different insurance provider after an accident, but this would probably backfire on you. The fact is that your at-fault accident was still reported to the registry of motor vehicles and will be listed on your driving record for the next six years for any new provider to see. You probably know what that means – your premium could be much higher than what you had previously, and you won’t be eligible for Accident Forgiveness. As you can see, many benefits come with loyalty to your current carrier, including enjoying all the benefits of Accident Forgiveness.
Talk to an insurance professional about additional auto endorsements.
Age & Experience
Are newly licensed drivers eligible for Accident Forgiveness?
According to the National Institutes of Health, teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions and more prone to risky behaviors while driving, such as rapid acceleration, sudden braking, and hard turns, than more experienced drivers. And, while we would all like to think that our children will learn from their driving mistakes, research has shown that their crash rates generally do not decline over the first year of independent driving.
For this reason, it’s no wonder a parent would want to secure Accident Forgiveness coverage for their newly licensed teen. However, depending on your insurance provider, you may have to wait until your child establishes a driving record that is free of accidents and violations for three to five years, or until about the age of 21. In the meanwhile, there are other teenage driver discounts that you might want to look into with your insurance professional, including Good Student Discount and Student Away At School.
Want to add Accident Forgiveness to your car insurance policy?
If you are eligible for this valuable benefit, then we would be glad to explain in more detail how it can potentially reduce the unpleasant consequences of a car accident in the future. We also hope that it gives you peace of mind to know that if you were to ever get in a car accident, whether it’s your fault or not, Fred C. Church, as your insurance broker, will do our very best to help the claims process move along as quickly and fairly as possible.
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