Let’s assume that an auto accident happened in Ontario and both vehicles are insured by an insurance company that is licensed to write insurance in Ontario. What happens next in determining who is at-fault by those insurance companies could have an impact on your driver record and auto insurance premium for the next six years.
If two vehicles are involved in an accident, each of those vehicles will be deemed to be somewhere between 0% and 100% at fault for the accident. We realized your immediate concerned about your insurance when involved in an accident caused by another, but not to worry – only the driver at fault will be effected on their auto insurance premium. In order to determine the degree of fault, the Ontario government has created something called the Fault Determination Rules which applies to all drivers. These are scenarios in which an accident could happen and they determine which vehicle is at fault, and to what degree, for an accident. For example, one of the scenarios states that if car A rear-ends car B, then car A is 100% at fault for the accident.
The owner of each vehicle will report the accident to their insurance company. This is intended to make the process more efficient and effective for each driver. Each insurance company will then manage their own client’s claim, and neither insurance company will look to the other for repayment of their expenses. In this respect, each person involved in the accident will be treated the same. However, the person who was not at fault for the accident will not need collision insurance in order to have damage covered, will not have a deductible to pay, and their premium will not be affected by the accident. On the other hand, the person who was at fault for the accident will need to have collision insurance in order to have damage covered, and will be responsible for paying their collision deductible. They should also expect to see their insurance premiums increased for six years following the accident, unless they have purchased some sort of accident forgiveness protection under their auto insurance policy prior to the accident.
Having a car accident is a stressful experience, but if you understand the claims process, and what to do in case of an accident, it makes it a bit easier. You should always feel free to contact your insurance agent with questions.
And for those who may prefer an online option, the Ontario government provides a wealth of information. Please visit the following website:
Article Written by Tom Pooler
Erie Mutual Insurance Claims Manager
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.