When you make a claim on your car insurance, your provider and the other driver’s provider will determine who was at fault. When you are at fault for an accident and have to make a claim, you are making an at-fault claim. A driver who was not at fault in an accident who has to make a claim is simply making a not at fault claim. When you make an at-fault claim on your insurance, you can expect to pay your entire insurance deductible to your insurance provider. On top of that, your auto insurance premiums are likely going to rise in the near future. Any person who makes an at-fault claim is a higher risk to insure as they have previously made a mistake. The higher the risk you are, and the more mistakes you make, the more your insurance will cost.
What Is An At-Fault Accident?
An at-fault accident is where one driver is a hundred percent at fault for a collision occurring. When this occurs, the driver who is 100% at fault is going to have to pay 100% of their insurance deductible. The driver who was not at fault at all for the accident is not going to have to pay any insurance deductible. Usually, in an auto insurance accident when you aren’t at fault, your insurance premiums won’t rise. However, if you get into multiple not-at-fault accidents, then your insurance premiums can rise.
How Can You Determine Who Is At Fault?
Rules are used to determine who is at fault in the event of a collision. Depending on where the collision occurred on a vehicle, you can determine who is at fault. In some instances, you can a hundred percent determine who is at fault for an accident. In other cases, you can only determine who is 50% at fault for an accident. The odd-time drivers are even determined to be 75% and 25% at fault. Generally, any rear collision is the fault of the driver who was driving behind the vehicle. For sideswipes, both drivers will generally have some fault for an accident unless one driver was just changing lanes and hit the other one. When a pile-up occurs, all drivers are deemed to be 50% at fault.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
A common misconception about no-fault insurance is that an insurance company does not determine who is at fault. Instead, no-fault insurance means that no matter who is at fault, your own insurance company will pay for the damages and injuries to you. There are multiple provinces in Canada that have this insurance system in place. However, there are also tort systems in Canada as well. Even though your insurance company will have to pay for your damages regardless of who is at fault, your insurance premiums will likely not rise.
What Is a Tort Auto Insurance System?
A tort auto insurance system is much different than that of a no-fault insurance system. In a tort system, the driver who is at fault for causing an accident must pay for the victim’s expenses. The driver who is at fault is expected to compensate for additional damages like lost wages and any pain and suffering that the other driver has. In a tort system, most of the time, you do not have to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket. The liability insurance coverage covers these expenses. So long as you have enough liability coverage, you should be fine.
How Does An At-Fault Claim Impact Your Insurance?
An at-fault claim certainly has an impact on your insurance rates. When you’re deemed at fault for a car accident, you are more of a risk to insure. Generally, a person who gets into one accident has a higher risk of getting into another. The more at-fault accidents that you get into, the higher your insurance rates will become. If you have enough at-fault accidents on your insurance, you might even have a difficult time getting insurance. It does not take being 100% at fault in an accident to raise your insurance premium. Even if you were 50% at fault for a vehicle accident, you can have your insurance premiums increased.
How Does A Not At Fault Claim Impact Your Insurance?
An insurance claim where you are not at fault for an accident is unlikely to impact your insurance rates. However, that claim is still going to be on your driver’s record. Having a bunch of not at fault claims on your driver’s record does not look good to insurance companies. Even though you were not at fault for the car accident, the insurance company still has to pay out money for your claims. This is especially true if you are in a province with a no-fault insurance system rather than a tort system. Over time, with multiple not at fault claims on your insurance, you can definitely expect to have an increase in your insurance premium. Generally, though, one not-at-fault claim on your insurance is not going to make an impact.
How Do I Make a Claim?
In order to be able to make a claim, you need to make sure that you have the correct information. At the scene of the accident make sure that you get the driver’s address, name, contact information, and insurance information. Once you have this, you need to call up your insurance company. Tell them your side of what happened. At this point, they will likely be able to inform you about your next steps and then you can complete your claim from there.
Whenever you have to make an at-fault insurance claim, unfortunately, your insurance premiums will rise. This is true, no matter where you get into an accident in Canada. However, the good news is, it will usually only take a few years for this to be removed from your driver’s record. Once it is, you can go back to your cheap insurance rates. In the meantime, you can do your best to maintain being a good driver and do things like raising your insurance deductible in order to get a discount.