How valuable is ticket forgiveness for auto insurance?

November 30th, 2017  |  Auto Insurance

Car insurance buyers have a lot to consider. Beyond just the mandatory features that everyone must purchase, drivers also have the option to buy extras that broaden the coverage.

Some of these, like collision coverage or increased liability, are offered pretty much universally in policies; others, less so. One of the ones that falls into the latter category is ticket forgiveness.

Not to be confused with accident forgiveness, ticket forgiveness is an auto insurance add-on that essentially gives policy holders a guarantee that their premium won't rise if they receive any tickets for certain driving infractions. Notice the inclusion of the word certain. It would be silly to think that ticket forgiveness could magically whisk away the repercussions of every single driving infraction out there. Ticket forgiveness will not save you if you're nailed for failing to remain at an accident scene. But for minor convictions like driving 25 km/h over the speed limit or failing to signal, ticket forgiveness will probably do the trick.

The value of ticket forgiveness

It's hard to put an exact value on ticket forgiveness becuase its value will vary from insurer to insurer. That said, there's no denying that it has value. And in some cases, it can be quite high.

Though some policies offer a version of ticket forgiveness as an automatic inclusion, others will charge something like $5-$10 dollars a month for it. Over the course of a year, that would add up to between $60-$100 more for car insurance.

Now, compare that to what a ticket might cost. On its own, a speeding ticket could fall anywhere between $17.50-$359, which may be pretty hefty to begin with. But when that's combined with an insurance penalty, it adds up even higher.

Speeding tickets typically cause insurance to jump by either 11 or 12 per cent. On a monthly premium of $100 (a fairly low estimate to begin with), that amounts to paying either $132 or $144 extra per year. Extend that for the three years it would likely hang over the policy for, and suddenly you are paying well above what the ticket forgiveness insurance would have cost initially.

As we see, ticket forgiveness insurance can be immensely valuable. However, the value in ticket forgiveness derives from the notion that it will actually be put to use. Many drivers go through their entire lives without ever getting a non-parking traffic ticket. Does it really make sense for anyone to spend money on an extra insurance benefit that they trust themselves not to actually need to use?

That's a question for each individual driver to answer on their own. But for those that like to be extra careful, there's certainly value to be had in opting for it.

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