How does an at-fault accident affect my coverage?

If you get into a car accident and you are found to be the one at fault, there are usually repercussions for your insurance. Here are some options to minimize the damage to your insurance record.

At the accident scene

When you are at the accident scene, it’s typical to want to admit fault even if you are unsure, especially if the other driver is distressed and you want to comfort them. Let the professionals in law enforcement determine if charges will be laid and let your insurance company handle fault determination; a false implication of yourself could needlessly hurt your insurance premiums.

If the other driver is acting abusive or is pestering you for an admission of fault, keep your distance from them until the authorities arrive. Never drive away from the scene of an accident without getting insurance and contact information from the other driver and ensuring that the authorities have been alerted if the situation requires it. If the other driver leaves, write down their licence plate so the authorities can locate them.

How do I know if I am at fault?

Insurance companies assign different levels of fault to each driver involved in the accident. Many times, both drivers are somewhat at fault for the accident, so the insurance companies need to know how to divide the risk. You will get a detailed explanation of the insurance company’s findings.

In Ontario, fault determination is covered by a very detailed set of fault determination rules.

How it affects your premiums

If you are determined to be at fault, you will see a premium increase at renewal, unless you have accident forgiveness on your policy. How much it goes up depends on the situation. You will be informed of these changes once the renewal term is available.

Accident forgiveness

Accident forgiveness is additional coverage you can purchase to protect yourself against premium increases in the event of an at-fault accident. If you have been accident free and licensed for six years, your accident will be forgiven if you have this optional coverage. Accident forgiveness insurance cannot be purchased after an accident has occurred. Some restrictions apply. Must meet eligibility requirements. Not available for all vehicle types.