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One of the most stressful things about car insurance is the fear that monthly premiums will go up. And the two most common causes of increased premiums are car accidents and moving violations. There’s not much you can do to protect your rates against speeding tickets and DUIs (other than not speeding and/or drinking under the influence), but you can protect your premiums against auto accidents.

Accident Forgiveness Coverage “forgives” drivers for their first accident, in terms of car insurance premiums. Translation: for a few extra dollars a month you can lock in your rate in the event of a wreck. This can be extremely helpful because most car accidents yield increased premium rates for at least five years, which is ten terms of auto insurance -- no small period of time.

Data shows that a single car accident can cause your car insurance payments to increase by as much as 40 percent. Over the course of five years, that could mean as much as an additional $3,000 on car insurance. In comparison, a few extra dollars a month for accident forgiveness might seem like a bargain.

Because it can be such a bargain not everyone is eligible for accident forgiveness. Drivers under the age of 21 and/or those with already-checkered driving records are often turned away from the program. It’s simply not in the best interest of carrier to offer them forgiveness, so to speak.

This is not to say that accident forgiveness is a no-brainer. Some people might think it superfluous to insure their car insurance. Someone more cynical might believe it to be just another way for carriers to make money.

Both sides of the spectrum have compelling perspectives. The decision whether to purchase accident forgiveness might come down to your general opinion of insurance.

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