Even good drivers can have a bad day behind the wheel. If you're ever involved in a collision, you'll likely have concerns about the impending increase in your car insurance rate. However, if this is your first at-fault accident, your insurance company may offer you "accident forgiveness."

What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness may be a feature already included in your policy, or may be available to purchase as an optional endorsement on top of your existing coverage (typically in the neighbourhood of about $60 a year). If you're in a collision and you are found to be completely or partially at-fault for it, accident forgiveness (sometimes called accident waiver) protects you from a potential accident-related rate increase upon your next renewal.

Who is eligible for accident forgiveness?

Generally, if you have a clean driving record with no at-fault auto insurance claims, you may be eligible for accident forgiveness. Typically, all drivers insured under the policy need to be licensed and accident-free for at least six years to qualify for accident forgiveness. Some insurers will even require that you be ticket-free as well.

Eligibility requirements vary by insurer, and not all insurance companies offer accident forgiveness. Contact your agent or broker to see what options are available to you.

It may be forgiven, but not forgotten!

Having an accident "forgiven" by an insurance company does not mean the accident is omitted from your driving record. Even though the accident will not be considered when calculating your future premiums with your current insurer, it is still on your insurance history. If you switch insurance companies, you're still required to inform them of all accidents - forgiven or not, and they may factor your at-fault collision into their rates.

After your first forgiven accident, an at-fault accident thereafter may result in an increase in your rate.

So what's your next step now that you know about accident forgiveness?

If you have never been in an accident, check with your current insurer to see what their policies are on accident forgiveness. If they don't offer it, you may want to consider switching to one that does. It could save you thousands of dollars should you ever find yourself with an at-fault accident on your driving record.

The best and fastest way to find a policy that meets your needs is by comparing quotes at Kanetix.ca. No one else covers as much of the market as we do, and we make it quick and easy for you to get quotes and coverage from the top providers all in one place. You may even save money; on average, our customers save $750 just by shopping around. See if you could be saving too and compare car insurance quotes today.

* The information contained within this article is subject to change. Always speak with your current insurance supplier, or a licensed insurance representative, to answer your specific questions. The information collected and compiled here is intended to simply act as a guide.

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