Accident Forgiveness

The term accident forgiveness (also called claim forgiveness or bonus protection) is often used by Swiss car insurance companies. As a rule, the optional accident forgiveness rider prevents your premiums from being bumped up when you make a claim, where your policy is based on a bonus-malus system. Accident forgiveness guarantees that you will continue to pay the same or negligibly higher premiums for as long as you are insured by a policy.

Accident forgiveness can be added as a rider on top of your basic car insurance or motorcycle insurance policy. Some insurance providers even include accident forgiveness in their basic car insurance policy.

There are also insurance companies which only provide the accident forgiveness option to drivers who have remained accident-free for many years and already have a top bonus-malus score.

Other auto insurers are more tolerant, and even offer accident forgiveness options to young drivers without much experience, but generally for an additional premium.

Adding accident forgiveness to your policy can be worth it, because premiums can go up in a big way if you have an accident.

An alternative to using accident forgiveness to avoid higher premiums is to pay for the costs of accidents out of your own pocket rather than making a claim. This often makes sense in the case of minor accidents, as it helps you avoid being bumped into a higher premium bracket which could potentially cost you much more.

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.