Progressive Auto Accident Forgiveness Explained

Progressive accident forgiveness protects your rates from going up following your first accident. Progressive automatically applies accident forgiveness to customers' auto insurance policies for free.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2022

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Things to Know

  • Progressive accident forgiveness prevents your rates from increasing after your first collision
  • As a customer, Progressive automatically applies accident forgiveness to your coverage
  • Progressive offers accident forgiveness at no charge in qualifying states

There is always a risk of getting in an accident on the road as a driver. Thinking about auto collisions and how you’ll cover damages can be stressful. One way to broaden your coverage following a crash is with an accident forgiveness policy.

Progressive accident forgiveness can keep your rates down and is worth considering when shopping for auto insurance. Below, we will help you understand Progressive accident forgiveness, which can be a saving grace after your first auto accident.

What is Progressive accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness protects your rates from going up after your first collision. Progressive adds accident forgiveness to your coverage once you become a customer free of charge if you don’t have any accidents on your record.

As a result, your rates won’t increase when incidents outside of your control occur, such as windshield damage, auto body damage, or collision.

Typically, a claim must be under $500 for Progressive accident forgiveness to engage, which is uncommon among most auto insurance companies. You risk premiums going up with other car insurance companies, regardless of the claim amount.

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What does Progressive accident forgiveness cost?

Progressive accident forgiveness applies automatically to all eligible customer policies, at no cost to those who qualify (customers with no existing accidents on their record).

Be sure to look at your specific state of residence to learn more about program eligibility requirements. Accident forgiveness kicks in at two different levels:

Small Accident Forgiveness 

With small accident forgiveness, your rates won’t increase if you have a $500 claim or less. Progressive automatically applies this coverage to Progressive customers and its Loyalty Rewards Program members.

Large Accident Forgiveness 

Large accident forgiveness is available for customers in most states. Large accident forgiveness covers those who have been with Progressive for five years or more. Additionally, customers must have been accident-free for three consecutive years.

Your rates could go up even if an accident is not your fault. Progressive accident forgiveness can protect you in most situations and help you keep your rates down.

Other Auto Insurance Companies That Offer Free Accident Forgiveness

Progressive isn’t the only auto insurance company that offers accident forgiveness at no cost, although the list is short. Other car insurance companies offering free accident forgiveness are listed below:

  • Erie. Erie offers free accident forgiveness for customers of three years or more. You must also have a good driving record to qualify.
  • USAA. You must be a USAA customer for five years or more to qualify for free accident forgiveness. You must also live in qualifying states and be a military member, veteran, or their immediate family to be a customer.

For these auto insurance companies, loyalty is the exchange for free accident forgiveness. Take a look at all of your options before moving forward with an insurer.

Can I purchase accident forgiveness from any other auto insurance companies?

The following large-scale insurance companies offer accident forgiveness as an add-on purchase option:

  • Allstate. Accident forgiveness is available for purchase when you become an Allstate customer.
  • Farmers Insurance. Farmers forgives one at-fault accident for every three years you don’t have one.
  • Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual forgives your first at-fault accident and is available if you’ve not had any incidents in the past five years.
  • Nationwide. Nationwide permits accident forgiveness for use on only one accident.
  • Travelers. Travelers offers accident forgiveness as part of their Responsible Driver Plan. They forgive one accident every 36 months and offer minor accident forgiveness as an add-on.

Looking into all of your options will help you to select an auto insurance company that suits your specific needs and lifestyle.

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What types of Progressive insurance claims increase your rates?

Below are the types of insurance claims that could be responsible for your increasing rates. Though each auto insurance company is different, you can expect the following from most companies:

At-fault Accidents

At-fault accidents include those officially ruled your fault. In these situations, you should expect your rates to increase.

Not-at-fault Accidents

Though it doesn’t seem fair, your rates can still rise even if an accident is not your fault. However, they typically don’t increase as much as at-fault accidents.

Comprehensive Claims

Comprehensive claims include theft, vandalism, fire, glass damage, run-ins with animals, and natural disasters. Though these issues occur outside of your control, your rates may increase, but not as much as at-fault claims.

Is Progressive accident forgiveness for me?

Progressive may automatically apply accident forgiveness to your existing coverage depending on your location and Progressive Loyalty Rewards member status.

If this isn’t the case for you or you’re not sure that Progressive accident forgiveness is for you, here are some things to consider:

Your Location

Progressive accident forgiveness may not be available everywhere. For example, Progressive doesn’t offer it in California. Check with Progressive to find out if you qualify.

Limitations

Generally speaking, accident forgiveness will only apply to one accident per policy, not to be confused with one accident per person per policy.

Accidents Stay on Your Record 

An accident will remain on your record, regardless of fault. Remember that your record is available to all auto insurance companies and can impact your rates even if you switch insurance companies.

Cost

Though Progressive offers free accident forgiveness, not all auto insurance companies do. If you’re considering buying accident forgiveness, it would be good to weigh the cost vs. your potential rate increase for the next three to five years.

If you’re still unsure about accident forgiveness, speak to an insurance agent. They can provide more information about potential accident surcharges and how long they remain with you.

Accidents are expensive, the long-lasting effects of which can stay with you for up to five years. Progressive accident forgiveness is additional protection when you may need it most.

How much does insurance increase after an accident?

How much does car insurance increase after an accident? If you are a Progressive customer, your rates can go up as much as 28% following an at-fault accident, and accident forgiveness could eliminate those increases.

Since every auto insurance company is different, it is worth doing plenty of research to determine how much your premiums can increase after a collision. Your rates will likely increase anywhere from $200 to $800 annually, sometimes more depending on the insurance company.

Insurance rates depend on risk — the higher your risk as a driver, the higher your rates. When you can demonstrate long-term, accident-free safe driving, you will start to see your premiums decrease.

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Progressive Accident Forgiveness in Summary

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle has its risks. You can’t plan for every situation, but you can extend your auto insurance coverage with Progressive accident forgiveness.

Accident forgiveness can keep your rates low following a collision or qualifying auto-related incident. Progressive includes accident forgiveness free of charge to customers with good driving records and who live in qualifying states.

You should keep accident forgiveness in mind as you shop for auto insurance coverage.

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