How Does a Car Accident Affect Insurance Rates?

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Understandably so, you may be distracted by the initial shock of your car accident. But once this shock fades, and you ensure that your bodily injuries and car damages have been attended to, you may begin to ponder how your car insurance provider is going to respond to your accident. Continue reading to learn how your car accident might affect your insurance rate and how an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group, P.A. can work to ensure you have a fair and just rate.

How does a car accident affect my insurance rate in Ontario?

In its simplest terms, your car insurance rate may increase even if you were found to be only partially at fault for your accident. This is thanks to Ontario’s contributory negligence law. With this, if your car insurance provider finds that your actions partially contributed to the event of the accident, then it may raise your insurance premium upon renewal.

Of note, contributory negligence law also plays a role in the amount of payout the other driver’s car insurance provider may send to you. That is, their provider may apportion damages in proportion to your degree of fault in the accident. As a specific example, say that you file an insurance claim seeking to recover $1,000 in damages. Well, if their provider believes that you are 30 percent at fault for the accident, then they may only send you 70 percent of what you asked for, or $700.

What other factors are used to determine my insurance rate?

You must understand that a car accident does not automatically constitute a spike in your insurance rate. That is, Ontario law restricts car insurance provider from increasing premiums if any of the following circumstances are true:

  • This was your first minor at-fault accident in the past three years (even if you were more than 25 percent at fault).
  • The other driver’s insurance provider did not have to send a payout after the accident.
  • The accident only resulted in property damage of less than $2,000 for each car involved.
  • The accident did not result in any injuries for all parties involved.

At most, your insurance rate should only slightly increase if you were the majority at fault for your accident, yet this was your first incident in the past six or more years. In other words, having an established safe driving record may save you. And if you avoid getting involved in any other accidents for the next six or more years to come, then this accident should be eventually eliminated from your insurance record.

This is all to say that, before proceeding any further with your insurance claim, you must consult a skilled Toronto auto accident lawyer. So please reach out to Merricks Law Group, P.A. today.

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