How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Insurance with Progressive?

Progressive keeps a record of your car accidents for 3-5 years, during which time it may affect your car insurance rates.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
No matter what insurance company you use, getting into an accident (especially an at-fault accident) will inevitably raise your rates. But just how long will your auto insurance coverage be affected? Well, Progressive keeps any accidents on your record for 3-5 years. 
During the first three years, that accident will likely cause you to pay a higher premium. After three years, the accident will no longer raise your
car insurance
rates, but it may make you ineligible for certain car insurance discounts. After five years, the accident will fall off your driving record entirely. 
Read on to learn more about how an accident claim affects your Progressive policy, if and how you can qualify for accident forgiveness, and how you can improve your driving record (and potentially lower your out-of-pocket costs) even after a rate increase.
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How long does a car accident stay on your insurance with Progressive?

If you get into a motor vehicle accident and
file an insurance claim
through your Progressive car insurance policy, that accident will immediately go on your record and remain there for a total of five years
During the first three years, you’ll most likely pay more for your auto insurance policy. According to Progressive countrywide data, one at-fault accident results in an average rate increase of up to 28%
After the first three years, your accident should no longer affect your insurance premiums. However, the accident will remain on your record for an additional two years, disqualifying you from certain
car insurance discounts
, such as
safe driver
or accident-free discounts. 

Can you remove an accident from your driving record?

Sometimes. Regardless of which auto insurance company you use, the process for (potentially) removing an accident from your driving record varies from state to state. In many cases, policyholders can pay a fee and take a defensive driving course to remove accidents or
(such as from speeding tickets) from their record. 
Additionally, if you received a ticket associated with your accident, you can plead “not guilty” when appearing in court. You may also ask the DMV to expunge the charge from your record—although the process will vary depending on where you live. 
Otherwise, the only way to remove points from your driving record is to wait it out. The most severe violations—such as
—could remain on your record for as long as ten years, but an accident should become a thing of the past in no more than five years. 

How a car accident impacts your car insurance rates

According to Progressive countrywide data, one at-fault accident results in an average rate increase of up to 28%. 
This may seem like a steep increase, but other car insurance companies can be even worse. 
Following an at-fault accident, you can expect your car insurance rates to increase by an average of 42%. Drivers who are intoxicated at the time of the accident or who cause accidents that lead to serious injuries or extensive damages are likely to see some of the steepest premium increases.
In some cases, your insurance provider may deny your policy renewal.

Does Progressive offer accident forgiveness?

Generally, yes. Progressive offers
accident forgiveness
to their customers in most U.S. states.
With accident forgiveness, your rates won't be surcharged after your first at-fault accident claim. Some insurers include accident forgiveness at no charge, while others offer it as a purchased endorsement—meaning you pay a higher rate in exchange for the benefit. 
When building your Progressive policy, you may be able to opt for one of three types of accident forgiveness:
  • Small Accident Forgiveness: New Progressive customers—in most states—receive this benefit automatically. With small accident forgiveness, your insurance premium will remain the same if your accident-related claim is less than $500. 
  • Large Accident Forgiveness: This type of accident forgiveness automatically applies to customers in most states as part of Progressive’s Loyalty Rewards Program. However, it’s only available to customers who have stayed with Progressive for at least five years. You must also remain accident- and violation-free for five consecutive years. In this case, your premiums will stay the same despite an at-fault accident—even if you have to claim damages in excess of $500. 
  • Progressive Accident Forgiveness: Available for purchase, this custom accident forgiveness will be presented as an option when you buy or renew your Progressive auto insurance policy. If you purchase this accident forgiveness, one eligible accident can be forgiven per policy period—regardless of the size of the claim. 
In order to qualify for the best rates on car insurance coverage, take the time to carefully discuss your options with a Progressive insurance adjuster. They’ll be able to advise you if purchasing Progressive Accident Forgiveness is the right choice for you. 

How to improve your driving record

We get it—accidents happen to everyone. But if you’re looking for the best car insurance rates possible, you’ll want to maintain a
clean driving record
If you’ve been in an accident, received a speeding ticket, or even been charged with a DUI, do not despair. There are ways you can
improve your driving record
in order to qualify for cheap car insurance in the future.
The first and most important way to improve your driving record is to always be aware of it. If you notice any issues on your record (such as an accident you weren’t involved in or a violation that should have disappeared) you can file a discrepancy with the DMV to have the mistake corrected. However, this may take some time to process. 
If you’re involved in an accident, think carefully about whether you want to submit a claim through your insurance. For example, if only minor damages occur, it may be best to pay for them out of pocket. This is especially relevant if you have a plan with a higher deductible, which you’ll be responsible for anyway, before your provider pays out any benefits. 
If you receive a ticket while driving, there are a couple of ways you can keep it from being added to your record in the first place. If it’s a minor “fix-it ticket,” (issued for basic mechanical violations such as broken tail lights), you can usually have the ticket thrown away so long as you quickly address the related issue
If you’re issued a ticket for a more serious violation, you can plead “not guilty” and see a district attorney or judge in court. They may be willing to reduce your sentencing to something that doesn’t show up on your record. For example, a speeding ticket may be reduced to two parking tickets. In the best-case scenario, they’ll be willing to dismiss the original ticket altogether. 
You may also be able to expunge your record. Not all states allow you to do this, but in states like California, a traffic violation or accident will be automatically expunged from your record after three years—if and only if you have no other violations in that 3-year time period and have never been found driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Check with your DMV to see what the exact process is for expungement. 
Finally, if the points are already on your license, you may be able to enroll in a state-approved defensive driving course to remove them. For example, the
New York State
DMV offers online and in-person courses which, upon completion, will remove up to four points from your license. 
"I moved states recently and my old provider didn’t cover me anymore, so I tried using
. They handled everything from fetching the quotes to purchasing the new policy. Now I save $30 a month with Progressive!” —Kay J.
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Most likely, yes. According to Progressive countrywide data, one at-fault accident results in an average rate increase of up to 28%. 
However, in certain situations, you may qualify for accident forgiveness. For example, if your claim is less than $500, or you’ve been with Progressive for over 5 years and have never had a previous accident.
The average Progressive customer will experience an increase of up to 28% after an at-fault accident. However, the exact amount of your increase will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the accident and size of your insurance claim. 
If you have to make claims against multiple types of coverage—such as property liability coverage, bodily injury liability coverage, and collision coverage—because of an extremely severe accident expect a steeper increase.
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