How Safeco’s Accident Forgiveness Actually Works

Safeco’s free accident forgiveness won’t increase your premium after your first at-fault accident. Here’s how to qualify.
Written by Jennifer Justice
Reviewed by Bellina Gaskey
Safeco gives free accident forgiveness to customers who have been with them for three years and haven’t filed at-fault claims. They also offer a Claims Free Cash Back program and a Diminishing Deductible program to help your wallet out.
  • Accident forgiveness protects you for your first at-fault accident.
  • If you don’t have accident forgiveness, your rate can jump dramatically if you get into an at-fault collision.
  • If you’re not the best driver and don’t qualify for accident forgiveness, you can still look for discounts to save money on your insurance.
Let’s jump in to see who can get Safeco’s accident forgiveness—and other Safeco discounts any policyholder will want to take advantage of.
Compare quotes from 50+ insurers with Jerry in under 45 seconds?
icon4.7/5 rating on the App Store | Trusted by 5+ million customers and 7 million cars
icon4.7/5 app rating | Trusted by 5M+ drivers

Does Safeco offer accident forgiveness for auto insurance?

Yes, Safeco has Accident Forgiveness. If you’re a Safeco customer who doesn’t have an
at-fault collision
or violation on record for several years (usually five), your first at-fault accident won’t affect your rate. The specifics depend on which state you live in and the type of policy you have.

What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness
is an option that keeps your rate from going up after your first at-fault accident. It keeps you from suffering sticker shock the next time you have to pay your premium.
(Note that your rate may still increase after your renewal period if you lose a safe driver or good driver discount due to the accident—but the increase will be less harsh than if you didn’t have accident forgiveness in place.)
MORE: How different types of car accidents affect your insurance rates

How Safeco’s accident forgiveness works

Depending on factors like where you live and your coverage, you’ll automatically get accident forgiveness for one at-fault accident if you’ve been a Safeco customer for several years. It’s a per-policy option, so if multiple drivers are covered under the same policy, you’ll only get one forgiven accident.
Safeco has a separate Claims Free Cash Back™ program that gives you a 2.5% refund of your premium every six months you go without making a claim, so you can get up to 5% back every year. That means you can still save money while waiting for the accident forgiveness option to kick in—as long as you practice those safe driving habits!
The third option is their Diminishing Deductible. If you keep your driving record clear, such as no DUIs or other moving violations, you’ll get $50 taken off your deductible every six months. You can get up to a $500 break if you’re a safe driver!
MORE: Should I report a car accident to my insurance company?

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

As a Safeco policyholder, you’ll face an average 41% increase to your premium if you don’t have accident forgiveness and clock an at-fault accident. Depending on where you live, that elevated rate will be in effect for 3-5 years.
if you didn’t cause the accident,
that makes a difference. The same is true of filing a claim for a not-at-fault accident—you shouldn’t typically face an increase in your rate.
MORE: How much do car accidents cost?

What other car insurance companies have accident forgiveness?

Safeco isn’t the only game in town—most insurance companies offer accident forgiveness. Some allow you to purchase an add-on to your policy, while others use it as a loyalty or safe driving reward.
Let’s look at what other insurers have an accident forgiveness program: 
  • Allstate
    : if you are accident-free for 3-5 years, you’re able to purchase this add on 
  • Farmers
    : drivers with clean driving records can have one at-fault accident every three years 
  • Liberty Mutual
    : if you don’t get into a fender bender or get written up for traffic violations for five years, you’ll be able to purchase accident forgiveness
  • Nationwide:
    if you have an auto insurance policy with them, you can pay to add it
  • Progressive:
    small accidents are automatically forgiven for any customer, while customers who stick with Progressive for five years can get a major accident forgiven if it’s the first time in three years they file an at-fault claim
  • Travelers
    : you can pay to add this feature, and it’s good for one accident plus one minor violation every three years 
  • USAA
    : if all drivers listed under the policy don’t get into an at-fault accident for five years, you’ll be able to add this option 

How much does accident forgiveness cost?

Since Safeco gives you the option for free, you get a major win just for being a loyal customer! You’ll need to check for the specifics from your agent to make sure there aren’t restrictions where you live.
If you’re eligible for the Claims Free Cash Back or Diminishing Deductible bonus, you’ll get a refund or discount on existing costs. If you don’t need to file a claim for six months, you’ll get a 2.5% refund for the first program, and if you keep your driving record clean, you’ll get $50 knocked off your deductible for the second program.

Is Safeco’s accident forgiveness worth it?

Free is hard to beat! And since you could see a jump in your premium by 41% after one at-fault collision without accident forgiveness, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this. 
MORE: Why did my car insurance rate go up?

What to do if your Safeco rate goes up

Let’s say you don’t qualify for accident forgiveness—what can you do to keep your insurance costs down? You can adjust your coverage or apply for other discounts, as we’ll explain next.

Coverage limits

If you have full coverage or lots of add-ons, you could adjust the contents of your policy to save money. While you must maintain
your state’s minimum limits
for things like
liability coverage
, you might be able to reduce optional coverages to lower your rate.
You can also adjust how much your deductible is for
comprehensive coverage
, but be careful you don’t go overboard and make the deductible so high you’ll never be able to pay it in the event of an emergency.

Student discounts

If you’re a teen or a college-aged student or have one on your policy, you could be eligible for several discounts. Students with a 3.0 or higher GPA could get a good student discount. If you’ve been with Safeco for at least a year and need to add your teenager to the policy, you can ask about the New teen or Tenure option—which one you’ll be eligible for depends on where you live.
Any driver under 21 who takes a safety driving course can earn savings; you can also cut back on costs with the distant student option if you have a student in college who is more than 100 miles away and didn’t take a vehicle with them.

Accident prevention course discount

If you’re over 55, you can get a discount for taking an accident prevention course. You’ll learn helpful tips for driving under less ideal conditions, gain some skills, and earn a three-year discount at the same time!

The bottom line

If you’re eligible for accident forgiveness, you’ll definitely benefit from the option, and the fact that it’s free is even better! Still, if you’re waiting to qualify for it or have a few bumps on your record, you can find other ways of saving money.
“Amazing! I’ll admit, I’m young with 2 accidents. This spiked my insurance rates and every quote I found.
, though, helped me find affordable insurance. It truly helped me!” —Marcus F.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings


Usually, no. However, if you got into an accident because you were driving drunk, you’re more likely to get coverage denied. Major violations, like DUIs or suspended licenses, can cost you auto insurance coverage.
Yes, Safeco has a deductible for coverages like comprehensive coverage, but not liability coverage. If you have a full-coverage policy, their Diminishing Deductible program can help you out.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings