How Farmers Accident Forgiveness Actually Works

Not every Farmers customer qualifies for accident forgiveness—and those that do must still pay for this perk.
Written by Kathryn Kurlychek
Farmers Insurance offers accident forgiveness to eligible customers, which can help drivers avoid the steep insurance rate hike that can follow an at-fault accident.
  • Farmers Insurance does provide accident forgiveness to eligible customers, albeit with stringent qualifications.
  • Farmers accident forgiveness can prevent a policy surcharge following an at-fault accident once every three years.
  • If you’re a Farmers customer facing a rate hike, there are other ways to save money, like taking advantage of available discounts.
Having accident forgiveness on your auto insurance policy can certainly be a relief if you end up at fault for an accident—but how does it work at Farmers? Let’s take a look.
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Does Farmers offer accident forgiveness for auto insurance? 

Yes, Farmers offers accident forgiveness. Eligible customers can add this “Policy Perk” to their Farmers auto insurance policy for an additional cost—which can potentially help you avoid the rate surcharge that follows an
at-fault accident

What is accident forgiveness? 

Before we dive into the specifics of how accident forgiveness works with Farmers Insurance, it’s important to know exactly what it does. 
Accident forgiveness
is a popular policy add-on that helps protect your wallet from being impacted after your first at-fault accident by waiving the surcharge that would normally be added to your insurance policy. 
In other words, accident forgiveness helps remove the threat of steep rate hikes by “forgiving” your first chargeable accident. 

How Farmers accident forgiveness works

Similar to other optional coverages, Farmers offers accident forgiveness for an additional cost to eligible customers. With this policy perk, you can be forgiven for one at-fault accident for every three years of driving with a clean record
To qualify, you must have a Farmer’s Smart Plan Automobile Policy—which is a little different from other Farmers-branded auto insurance policies—and live in an eligible state. Accident Forgiveness is not available to Farmers customers who reside in the following states: 
There’s just one caveat—accident forgiveness will certainly mitigate how much your rate increases after an at-fault accident, but it doesn’t guarantee your rate won’t go up at all. You could still lose your safe driver discount (if you had one) after the accident, which would impact your monthly bill.

How much do your car insurance rates go up after an accident with Farmers?

Just how much money could accident forgiveness actually save you? On average, about 37% of your premium
Exactly how much cash that translates to depends on the specifics of your policy—but we’re willing to guess that it’s a decent chunk of change. For subsequent at-fault accidents in less than three years, the rate of your premium increase could be double or even triple the current amount, depending on who was at fault and how much damage resulted from the crash. 
But not every accident will result in a rate increase. If you’re
not at fault
in an accident, then your car insurance rate shouldn’t go up, although there can be exceptions to this rule. The same thing applies if you hit an animal, or if the accident was caused by defective tires. 
It’s also worth keeping in mind that a surcharge after an accident isn’t permanent. In many cases, an accident-related surcharge will only affect your insurance rate for three to five years

What other car insurance companies have accident forgiveness?

Most major car insurance providers offer some type of accident forgiveness to customers. It typically comes in the form of a reward (for customer loyalty, safe driving habits, or both) but can also be available for purchase after maintaining a claims-free record for a certain amount of time.
State Farm
is the only major insurer that does not offer any form of accident forgiveness.
Some of the best car insurance companies for accident forgiveness include: 
  • Allstate
    : Available for purchase after three to five years without accidents 
  • Erie
    : Loyalty advantage for customers of at least three years
    : Automatically added for drivers who go five years without an at-fault accident, or available for purchase in some states.
  • Liberty Mutual
    : Available for purchase for drivers with no traffic violations or accidents for five years
  • Nationwide:
    Optional coverage upgrade to waive surcharge for first accident or moving violation
  • Progressive:
    Free small accident forgiveness for all customers; large accident forgiveness for customers who have had a Progressive policy for five years and an accident-free record for three
  • Travelers
    : Optional coverage with forgiveness for one accident and one minor violation every three years 
  • USAA
    : Optional coverage if all household members have been free of at-fault accidents for five years

How much does accident forgiveness cost?

The cost of adding accident forgiveness to your insurance policy can vary depending on the provider you choose and where you live. It can also depend on whether you’re purchasing it as a policy perk or if it’s earned as a reward. 
With Farmers, there’s no way to “earn” accident forgiveness for free—so you’ll want to talk with an insurance agent to learn more about the possible costs to you. 

Is Farmers accident forgiveness worth it? 

Whether or not accident forgiveness from Farmers is worth it for you may depend on the price. But if you’re eligible for this perk, it may be worth taking advantage of—as it’s not available to every customer. With accident forgiveness on your policy, you can avoid a potentially drastic rate hike for your first at-fault accident, so drivers who pride themselves on a
clean record
should consider the value of this extra protection.
If you’re on the fence about investing in Farmers accident forgiveness, take a minute to calculate how much a 37% rate hike would raise your insurance premium—then go from there. 

What to do if your Farmers rate goes up

At-fault accidents aren’t the only reason you may be facing a hike in your insurance rates. Traffic tickets, lost discounts, or a lapse in coverage can all mean increases to your annual premium. If you’re facing a rate hike with Farmers, here are some tips to help save money. 

Coverage limits

If you’re facing an increased insurance rate, one way to cut down the cost is by cutting out optional coverages. Of course, you’ll still need to meet
your state’s required minimum insurance limits
, which usually include at least basic
liability coverage
But if you’re paying for a full-coverage policy that includes
comprehensive insurance
, or other add-on coverages (like roadside assistance or rental reimbursement) dropping a few of the non-essentials can help lower your monthly bill. 

Good payer discounts

While many of the insurance discounts that Farmers offers are tied to your driving history, there are a few that you can get no matter what your record looks like—and one of those is their good payer discount. Basically, any customer can earn this discount simply by paying their bill on time. 
If you’ve made timely payments and haven’t received any late fees for at least a year while being a Farmers customer, you can save. 

Loyalty discounts

Paying your bill on time isn’t the only thing you can do to mitigate insurance costs. Farmers also rewards their customers with loyalty discounts! If you choose to
insure multiple vehicles
with the company or take out multiple policies (such as both car and
home insurance
policies) with Farmers, you can earn a discounted rate. 

The bottom line

For customers who qualify, Farmers’ accident forgiveness can be a great way to protect yourself from a policy surcharge following an at-fault accident. But you can only add it to your Farmers' policy under certain conditions, and it won’t protect you no matter what—it only covers one accident every three years. 
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Farmers will occasionally cancel policies when a driver becomes too high-risk—for example, by filing multiple claims back to back, causing an accident while under the influence, or for reckless driving. If you’re worried about losing your policy, you should speak with your Farmers agent for more information.   
As is the case with other insurance providers, a deductible will apply to a Farmers auto insurance policy with collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
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