If you are a good driver with no red on your driving record, accident forgiveness is one rider that your auto insurance needs. If you face a car accident, and the at-fault driver is you, this rider can protect you from the raised premium rates.
Every driver in Ontario who has been accident-free for the last 6 years qualifies for an accident forgiveness rider. According to RATESDOTCA, The Insurance Act of Ontario does not allow rise in premium rates by insurers for any insignificant at-fault accidents with under $2000 in damage with no injuries when there is no insurer compensation. According to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the limit to the provision is one every three years.
Under Ontario’s no-fault insurance system, an insurer uses the province’s fault determination tool after an accident to find the at-fault party. Every province has its own fault determination metrics depending upon the risk factors. However, if this is your first at-fault condition, and you have an accident forgiveness rider, the insurer will forgive and not raise your premium. While your premium remains untouched, the accident record remains for the next 6 years.
To know more about the benefits of securing your car with auto insurance, and this rider, click here.
The Basics of Accident Forgiveness in Ontario
Accident forgiveness is a nifty rider in saving money and your reputation. However, before opting for one you should know about the insurance.
For starters, accident forgiveness is not a default component of auto insurance. It is a rider, or an add-on to make sure your premium rate stays affordable. It protects the principal driver with 6 years of no driving mishaps.
It can help waiver any excess rise in the current premium rate due to an accident. However, if your mishaps fall under The Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the charges remain intact. Careless driving and holding accident convictions do not activate the forgiveness add-on.
To activate this insurance add-on, you first have to purchase a policy. So if you are going to renew your insurance, or buy a new one, ask your insurer about this rider. A company first evaluates your driving history and other details before offering the accident forgiveness add-on.
How Does Accident Forgiveness Work if I am at Fault?
The accident forgiveness policy will protect you if you are at fault. Not only does it help maintain the current premium rate, but it also compensates for a third-party liability policy. So if you fall into any legal trouble from the accident, you can count on this rider to cover legal fees up to the set amount.
As a safe driver, it is an amazing benefit to have your first at-fault effects waived with the help of an accident forgiveness rider. Of course, keep in mind that the at-fault status will take six years to be null and void. It can affect new premium rates if you are looking to switch insurers.
Are There Any Conditions that the Accident Forgiveness Add-On Does Not Cover?
If you are a car-owner in Ontario, here are things that your accident forgiveness rider does not cover:
- An additional or second conviction where you are at fault.
- Any serious traffic convictions, such as speeding in school zones or delay in reporting an accident.
- Demerit points that add to your driving license after conviction
- Commercial or business vehicles, as the add-on, are available only for personal cars.
Before opting for the rider, make sure to talk to your insurer or your insurance agent about accident forgiveness.
Accident Forgiveness Reset Period
The typical waiting period for the accident forgiveness to reset so you can drive conviction-free is six years. However, it can vary among the insurers. Staying under one insurer during this time can help you avail of your regular premium.
If you choose to switch providers, it does not help transfer the accident forgiveness add-on. Moreover, they will evaluate your premium rate based on your recent driving record. A conviction status will surely raise your premium rate.
How to Qualify for an Accident Forgiveness Coverage?
If the following points check out for you, you are qualified for accident forgiveness coverage in Ontario:
- You are the principal driver on the policy documents with a clean driving record.
- You renew your accident coverage policy after every interval to keep it active.
- If you are at fault for the first time while this rider is active, you must maintain it for the next six years to stay eligible for driving record protection.
- The Violation of the Statutory Conditions during an auto accident voids your accident forgiveness coverage.
These criteria can alter depending upon the insurer you choose. Make sure to discuss the coverage criteria in detail with your policy broker before purchasing.
What are the Benefits of the Accident Forgiveness Rider?
There are a few basic, but crucial benefits to this coverage:
- It is an incentive for you to drive safely
- You need not worry about legal expenses from your first car mishap
- It helps maintain a low and affordable premium rate even after your first accident
- Many insurance companies offer it before you ask as an incentive to remove excess incurred expenses
Is the Accident Forgiveness Rider Worth It?
There are many ways in which you can gain most from the accident forgiveness cover in your auto insurance:
- Maintain a clean driving record for over six years before applying for this rider
- Purchase a collision or a comprehensive policy to benefit from repair and replacement coverage.
- Maintain a proper budget to be able to afford this rider.
Accident forgiveness is, therefore, an effective add-on that can protect your driving record and expenses. This is highly beneficial for new and inexperienced drivers who do not want their driving record tainted due to mature mistakes on the road. Talk to an insurance broker who can help you choose the best insurance provider in Ontario.