Auto Accident Forgiveness Insurance Issues
In financially tough times, consumers are looking for the best deal on everything, including car insurance. With ad campaigns that boast vanishing deductibles and good driver discounts, a new offering has caught the attention of many consumers: accident forgiveness. While the concept sounds simple, the reality is that accident forgiveness may come with a price if you are not careful.
Accident forgiveness is an insurance benefit or program which guarantees that a consumer’s insurance premiums will not rise following a reported car accident, regardless of fault. The program is designed to reward safe drivers, but it is not open to everyone. Most companies require that a driver be accident free for several years before being eligible for this program.
Before Signing, Consider Drawbacks to Accident Forgiveness
While the program sounds wonderful, there are several things to consider. Most accident forgiveness programs are like any other insurance offering and they come with a price. Opting in may cost a driver an additional charge. Also, accident forgiveness is not infinite. Most policies will disregard one accident, regardless of fault, in reviewing premiums, but any additional accident will result in higher premiums.
While an accident may not result in higher insurance rates, accident forgiveness does not insulate the insured from other situations, such as tickets, which may result in a rate hike. Also, in some cases, accident forgiveness protection may not be immediate and the insured will have to wait a probationary or waiting period before the coverage is effective.
When offering car accident forgiveness coverage, insurance companies look at driver loyalty; however, insured drivers should realize that insurance companies are not law enforcement agencies. Accidents are a matter of public safety and records of accidents will be kept and insurance companies notified.
Also, the forgiveness is not transferable. If you have an accident that is forgiven by your current carrier, a future carrier can consider the traffic infraction in making premium determinations.
When considering accident forgiveness, drivers need to consider their family members (including teens) and their potential for accidents. Consulting an insurance professional can help iron out details about waiting periods, limitations on accidents, eligibility requirements and repercussions if an insured individual opts out of this coverage. Insurance programs are not all created equal and knowing the facts about various benefits can help insured drivers obtain the best policy to protect in the event of a car accident.
Contact a Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact a skilled Massachusetts lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will help you deal with your insurance company following a car crash. Insurance issues after a car accident are often complicated – an attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.