How Travelers’ Accident Forgiveness Actually Works

Travelers offers accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness as part of their optional Responsible Driver Plan.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Accident forgiveness
through Travelers falls under an optional add-on policy known as a Responsible Driver Plan. This endorsement will prevent your
car insurance
rate from being surcharged after your first at-fault accident during a three-year period.
  • Travelers offers two tiers of the Responsible Driver Plan, both of which include accident forgiveness.
  • Travelers’ Responsible Driver Plan also includes violation forgiveness that similarly protects your premium against a minor driving violation.
  • Travelers’ safe driver and loyalty discounts can lower your premium.

Does Travelers offer accident forgiveness for auto insurance?

Yes, Travelers offers accident forgiveness. You can add accident forgiveness to your Travelers car insurance policy as part of their Responsible Driver Plan. When you opt for the Responsible Driver Plan you’ll get accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness, which will forgive one at-fault accident and one minor violation over a three-year period

What is accident forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness protects your Travelers policy by preventing you from being surcharged if you cause a car accident. 
Normally, your insurance rate will be surcharged if you are involved in an at-fault accident that results in a claim against your Travelers policy. By purchasing accident forgiveness, you won’t have to worry about your rate spiking over one unfortunate misstep.
MORE: How different types of car accidents affect your insurance rates

How Travelers’ accident forgiveness works

Travelers offers two optional add-ons that include accident forgiveness. The first is their Responsible Driver Plan which includes both accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness. With this plan, Travelers will forgive your first at-fault accident and your first minor violation every 36 months—or three years. 
The second way to get accident forgiveness is by purchasing Travelers’ Premier Responsible Driver Plan. This plan builds off of the Responsible Driver Plan, adding their decreasing deductible feature and a total loss deductible waiver to your accident and violation forgiveness. 
With the diminishing deductible add-on, you can earn credits to be applied to your premium when you remain accident-free. The total loss deductible waiver will eliminate your deductible in the event your car gets totaled
MORE: Should I report a car accident to my insurance company?

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

On average, Travelers policyholders will see their insurance rate increase by 73% after an at-fault accident If the accident resulted in severe property damage, major bodily injuries, or both, your rate increase will soar even higher. 
Remember, this spike in your premium only pertains to you if you cause a car accident. Your car insurance generally shouldn’t increase if the collision wasn’t your fault or you were the victim of a hit-and-run. Ultimately, it’s the insurance company’s job to determine who is at fault after an accident. 
If you are at fault for a car accident, it won’t negatively affect how much you pay for car insurance forever. In most states, at-fault collisions will stay on your driving record for three to five years

What other car insurance companies have accident forgiveness?

Most major insurance providers offer accident forgiveness in one way or another. Some car insurance companies offer accident forgiveness as part of a safe driver discount or a loyalty discount—both of which can make a difference in lowering your annual coverage costs. 
The only major insurer that forgoes accident forgiveness altogether is
State Farm
. The closest offer they have to accident forgiveness is their
Drive Safe & Save
program which gathers data on your driving habits for 90 days and rewards safe drivers with discounted premiums.  
If you’re interested in adding accident forgiveness to your car insurance policy, you may want to check out these other insurance providers as well:
  • Allstate
    : Available add-on for drivers who haven’t had an at-fault accident in three to five years.
  • Erie
    : Offers competitive loyalty rates to drivers who keep their policy for at least three years.
  • Farmers
    : Drivers with an otherwise clean record are forgiven of accidents once every three years.
  • GEICO
    : Available add-on for new and existing drivers. Accident forgiveness is free for all drivers who haven’t filed a claim for an at-fault accident in five years.
  • Liberty Mutual
    : Available add-on for drivers with no traffic violations or accidents for five years.
  • Nationwide:
    A surcharge waiver is available as an optional upgrade after the first at-fault accident or moving violation.
  • Progressive:
    Small accident forgiveness is free for all drivers. Large accident forgiveness is available for purchase to drivers who have maintained their policy for five years and are accident-free for three years.
  • USAA
    : Available to drivers as long as all household members have remained free of at-fault accidents for five years.
MORE: The 5 main reasons people switch car insurance companies 
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How much does accident forgiveness cost?

The price of accident forgiveness varies depending on the insurance company and whether you purchase it as an add-on or become eligible for it after maintaining a
clean driving record
When it comes to Travelers’ accident forgiveness, the cost will depend on which plan you choose. The Responsible Driver Plan costs $226 per year on average, while the Premier Responsible Driver Plan costs around $296 per year

Is Travelers’ accident forgiveness worth it?

It could be. Just one at-fault accident could result in you paying hundreds of dollars more toward your annual premium due to a surcharge. True, Travelers’ Responsible Driver Plans don’t come cheap, but they are more affordable than the expenses that often follow an at-fault accident. 
Unfortunately, accident forgiveness may not save you from being stripped of a
safe driver discount if you have one
. The average safe driver discount lowers your car insurance premium by 10% to 30%—so this could still be a significant loss. 
MORE: The top 5 causes of car accidents

What to do if your Travelers rate goes up

Accident forgiveness from Travelers will prevent a surcharge on your policy for one at-fault car accident every three years. If you cause another accident within that timeframe, accident forgiveness won’t apply, and your insurance premium will go up. As unpleasant as this is, there are some things you can do to lower your rate in the meantime. 

Coverage limits

If your insurance costs have gone up, you may want to look over your current coverage limits. While you’ll still need to carry
liability insurance
per your state’s
car insurance requirements
, dropping optional coverage options will make your annual premium cheaper. You may also want to consider raising your deductible to cut down on coverage costs. 

Good driver discounts

Travelers offers a safe driver discount to drivers who maintain a clean driving record for a certain period. You may be eligible for this discount if:
  • It’s been at least three years since your last at-fault accident
  • You haven’t filed any major comprehensive claims
  • You don’t have any points on your driving record for moving violations

Loyalty discounts

After you’ve been a policyholder at Travelers for several years, you could earn a loyalty discount of up to 15%. You may also be able to save up to 10% on car insurance if you also purchase
home insurance
or
renters insurance
through Travelers. This is known as bundling

The bottom line

Travelers’ Responsible Driver Plan can provide peace of mind for qualifying drivers because it includes accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness. There is an upfront expense involved, but as long as you have only one at-fault accident and minor violation every three years, this protection can save you a lot of money in the long run. 
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FAQs

Probably not. However, if you’re in two car accidents in a short amount of time, your insurer will likely view you as a
high-risk driver
and your insurance rate will be significantly more expensive—especially if one or more of the accidents was serious.
Yes, but you only need to pay it for certain claims. Anytime you file a claim for damage to your vehicle, a deductible will apply. You may also be subject to a deductible for claims involving
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
, or
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
.
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