No one wants to get into a car accident, but if it happens, many people wonder how it will affect their insurance premium. We’ve shared everything you need to know.
If you’ve recently been in an at-fault car accident and are curious how it will impact your insurance premium you must read this. It’s important to note that everything we are discussing in this article pertains to at-fault accidents only.
Four Ways an At-Fault Accident Can Impact your Insurance Premium
#1 Determining who is at-fault
One of the first things your insurance company will do is determine who is at fault. Even if there were no charges laid and you had very little control over the situation, you can still be deemed at-fault. If you’re interested, here is the Ontario Fault Determination Rules.
Basically, if you are deemed any percentage at-fault for causing a car accident, you will likely see an increase in your premium.
#2 Accident forgiveness
If you have a clean driving record with no at-fault accident claims, you may be eligible for accident forgiveness. If this is something your insurance company offers, it means your first at-fault accident is “forgiven,” therefore it will not increase your premium. However, it is important to note that this is only available for your FIRST at-fault accident.
# 3 Understanding the timeline
Unfortunately, at-fault accidents aren’t like tickets – if you get a ticket, it comes off your “record” after three years. In contrast, at-fault accidents can impact your insurance premium for up to 10 years. This totally depends on what insurance company you are with, as each one has a different rating system.
#4 Manipulating premium costs
If you have an at-fault accident that increases your premium, there may be a temptation to remove coverages to save costs. This is NOT a good idea and NOT something we recommend. The truth is, a lower premium can put you at risk as likely you will not be adequately insured.
If you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, such as a hit-and-run, you may want to review our straightforward guide to dealing with a hit-and-run.