Crashing a car doesn’t really go down well and underwriters start considering you as a risky driver even if you had only one in a long while. As a result they will recalculate automobile insurance premiums and take away the savings they offered previously. You might be worried about one unfortunate incident wiping a 5-year-long clean record off, just like that. Luckily there is a solution to prevent rate increases after only one incident and this post will discuss that in detail.
Solutions Offered by Auto Insurance Accident Forgiveness
The idea behind it is quite novel in the sense that you get something back for being a loyal customer. You don’t even get considered for it if you are not with them long enough, which is at least four or five years. Moreover, you need to have a clean record all this time to deserve it.
Once you qualify and pay the cost the company promises to ignore the next at fault claim you made. The word is “ignore” (not forget) as it gets recorded. You cannot any more be called a safe driver. But they agree not to punish you with car insurance premium increases for one mistake after a long trouble free period. After the second incident you would lose the protection and even the first one would count.
For such good policyholders it should be offered free of charge. However, studies show that some companies have stiff charges for this privilege.
Is Accident Forgiveness a Privilege or a Catch?
At a close look it may not really be a privilege but a catch to charge extra premium just when you were paying really low rates. Plus, it may be a catch to stop you going anywhere after you have a claim. Since it goes onto your record you cannot get discounts for being a good driver when you want to leave. And it stays effective for at least three years. Essentially, you are stuck with the current vehicle insurance policy for that period unless you find really considerate and competitive carrier elsewhere.
Considering that you paid good money to put yourself in that position is not really something to brag about. The fact of the matter is that you have probably wasted time with a company that would shoot up rates as soon as they have a slightest reason. The availability of accident forgiveness does not make it all right since you are made to pay for it. Good customers should have forgiving auto insurers when they have a claim once in a blue moon.
In other words, it is great to have it if you can add it on a policy at a reasonable cost or even free. Otherwise, you should think twice before agreeing to pay a large sum to have it and even consider switching.
Should Rates Soar after One Accident in Five Years?
This is a big question and many experts believe that the answer should be no. It is inevitable that you will see premium increase but this should not be a scary amount by any account. Lengthy clean history should mean something when you have been loyally supporting them with regular payments so far.