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How a car accident can impact your insurance premiums

How a car accident can impact your insurance premiums

Car accidents can happen to anyone on the road, even great drivers. Whether it’s a sudden stop causing a fender bender or failure to break at a red light, accidents happen and can impact your insurance premium.

In Ontario, we have a “no-fault” car insurance system that outlines how insurance companies handle claims. Within this system, regardless of who is at fault for an automobile accident, you will deal with your insurance company and the other party will deal with theirs. Although the system is called “no-fault”, that doesn’t mean both drivers are off the hook. Each insurance company is responsible, by law, to assign levels of fault to each driver in the accident based on the Fault Determination Rules.

If you are determined to be more than 25% at fault, your premiums will likely increase at renewal unless you have accident forgiveness on your policy. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage you can purchase that allows your first at fault accident to be forgiven. This coverage will protect your premium from increasing at renewal and can only be used once. If you have a second at fault accident within 6 years, the accident forgiveness protection will not apply.

Not to panic, should you be determined at fault, here are a few tips on how you can minimize your premium increase.

  1. Tell your insurer about the accident, no matter how small.
    Even if you were not at fault, it’s best to let your insurance company know that the accident happened. If the other party decides to sue you down the road, your insurer would already have the knowledge of the accident and may have already investigated on your behalf.
  2. Increase your deductible.
    This could reduce your insurance premium up to 40%. Prior to doing this, ensure you are able to pay the deductible, should another accident occur.1
OTIP offers home and auto insurance for Ontario residents. To learn more about car insurance or accident forgiveness, contact an OTIP insurance broker at 1-888-892-4935. We would be happy to provide a detailed quote or answer any questions you may have.

Sources :
1  – Money Under 30