How Liberty Mutual’s Accident Forgiveness Actually Works

Liberty Mutual offers accident forgiveness as an optional endorsement for existing policyholders—see if you qualify here!
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
background
Liberty Mutual offers optional accident forgiveness to policyholders with a
clean driving record
over the last five years (no car accidents or traffic tickets). If you qualify, your next at-fault accident will not result in a surcharge on your policy.
  • With Liberty Mutual, accident forgiveness is an optional endorsement that can be added to your policy.
  • Accident forgiveness must be purchased as an optional endorsement from Liberty Mutual product—you can add it to your policy if you qualify\. That said, it may be available for purchase from other insurance companies.
  • Accident forgiveness applies to everyone on the policy, so you’ll only be forgiven one accident per policy, not per driver.
  • Even if you don’t have accident forgiveness, an insurance surcharge won’t last forever if you avoid subsequent claims.

Does Liberty Mutual offer accident forgiveness for auto insurance?

Yes, Liberty Mutual offers accident forgiveness as an add-on to your policy (not available in California). This benefit is available as an optional endorsement for Liberty Mutual policyholders who qualify (more on this next).

What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness
is an optional coverage from Liberty Mutual. For example, you’ve historically been a safe and responsible driver. But one day, you completely miss a stop sign and cause a minor fender bender. 
Liberty Mutual doesn’t want to punish you for this out-of-character incident. If you have accident forgiveness coverage, they waive the surcharge that would normally be added to your insurance premium after an at-fault accident.
MORE: How different types of car accidents affect your insurance rates

How Liberty Mutual’s accident forgiveness works

In order to qualify for Liberty Mutual's accident forgiveness, your driving record must reach the following safety milestones:
  • No accidents in the last five years
  • No violations in the last five years
  • Drivers 25 and under must total five consecutive clean years before their first accident is forgiven
So once you’ve earned accident forgiveness, you’ll avoid the surcharge on your next at-fault accident! However, we should clarify something: accident forgiveness depends on the driving records of all members named on the policy.
For example, even if you have a three-year safe driving streak going as a parent, your teenager could send your whole shared policy back to zero with an accident. In addition, once you do hit the five-year mark without any accidents or violations, you only get one accident forgiveness instance per policy (not per driver).
MORE: Should I report a car accident to my insurance company?
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How much do your car insurance rates go up after an accident with Liberty Mutual?

An at-fault car accident can cause your
Liberty Mutual insurance rate
to go up considerably, so accident forgiveness can bail you out of a pretty uncomfortable financial situation.
Of course, your exact rate hike will vary based on the nature of the accident, your history of insurance claims, and local rates. But, nevertheless, any increase greater than 0% is something worth your attention.
Speaking of 0%, what happens if you’re
not at fault
in an accident? In instances of a hit-and-run or getting rear-ended at a stop light (where you have 0% responsibility), your car insurance rate shouldn’t usually increase—although it may still go up in some cases. Also, if this happens, you shouldn’t have to use your accident forgiveness coverage either!
MORE: How much do car accidents cost?

What other car insurance companies have accident forgiveness?

Liberty Mutual only offers accident forgiveness as a purchasable product—if you qualify, you can add it onto your policy. However, most insurance companies use a combination of both models, as we detail below:
  • Allstate
    : Available for purchase after three to five years without accidents 
  • Erie
    : Loyalty benefit for policyholders of at least three years
  • Farmers
    : Forgiveness for one at-fault accident for every three years with a clean record
  • Liberty Mutual
    : Available for purchase after five years with no traffic violations or accidents 
  • Nationwide:
    Available as a coverage upgrade, waiving the surcharge on your first accident or traffic violation
  • Progressive:
    Levels of accident forgiveness perks based on how long you’ve been a customer
  • Travelers
    : Available for purchase to get forgiveness for one accident and one minor violation every three years 
  • USAA
    : Available for purchase if all household members have been free of at-fault accidents for five years
You’ll notice that
State Farm
was left off the list. That’s because they don’t offer any form of accident forgiveness—making them the only major provider that does not.

How much does accident forgiveness cost?

As we’ve discussed, Liberty Mutual’s accident forgiveness is a no-cost reward for having a (recent) clean driving record. Which is nice, considering other insurance companies charge between $15 and $60 annually for accident forgiveness.

Is Liberty Mutual’s accident forgiveness worth it?

Accident forgiveness can save you a lot of money after your first at-fault accident, so it’s definitely “worth it” if you qualify! And accident forgiveness isn’t the only perk of having a clean driving record. You may also be eligible for Liberty Mutual’s Claims-Free Discount and Violation-Free Discount.
MORE: The top 5 causes of car accidents

What to do if your Liberty Mutual rate goes up

Even if you don’t have accident forgiveness, a surcharge on your insurance rate after an accident isn’t permanent. As long as you don’t have any subsequent accidents, Liberty Mutual will slowly reduce your rate as you re-prove that you’re a safe driver.
But if money is tight and you don’t have time to wait, here are some ways to customize your Liberty Mutual policy for more immediate financial relief:

Coverage limits

Reducing your
liability coverage
limits,
dropping full coverage
, and
raising your deductible
are easy ways to lower your car insurance instantly. However, you’ll be taking on a lot more financial risk, so chances are good it’s not worth the short-term savings.
If you change your liability coverage limits, be aware that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for any damages over your policy limit that you cause to other drivers in an accident where you’re at fault. That could leave you owing thousands of dollars!
Also, if you have a lease or a car loan on your vehicle, you may be required to maintain full-coverage insurance, so be sure to double-check with your lienholder before changing your insurance.
Finally, you should always choose a deductible that you’d be able to comfortably come up with over the courses of about a week. It typically takes about 3-5 days after an accident to get a vehicle repaired, so you’ll need to have your deductible ready. 

Good driver discounts

While scrubbing your driving record clean may take some time, you can put your money where your mouth is by using Liberty Mutual’s RightTrack program.
This telematics application tracks your driving in real-time. So regardless of your driving record, you could earn up to a 30% discount by proving your safe habits to Liberty Mutual. Also, the discounts start at 10% just for enrolling!

Loyalty discounts

Liberty Mutual claims you can save $947 when you bundle your auto and
home insurance
policies with them. Think of it as a reward for giving them more of your business!

The bottom line

Here’s the thing, car insurance companies have to spend money to process a car accident claim. So the safer you are as a driver, the more profitable you are to them.
But Liberty Mutual doesn’t want this to be a one-sided business relationship. That’s why they offer their accident forgiveness to policyholders who have a clean driving record over the last five years!
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FAQs

Liberty Mutual has no straightforward rule for dropping coverage after two accidents—but it is possible. It will depend on the context of the accidents, like if you were at fault, the severity of damages, and if other factors were involved (such as alcohol).
Yes, Liberty Mutual has deductibles on its comprehensive and collision coverages, but all other coverages will be subject to your policy limits.
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