The number of car accidents in Canada continues to climb, at an alarming rate. According to an Allstate Canada Safe Driver Study in 2015, automobile accidents increased 7.3% in 2014 compared to 2013. The study also found that Ajax, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia were the leading Canadian cities with 7.12 accidents per 100 cars. Comparatively, Spruce Grove, Alberta registered with a Canadian low of 3.43 accidents per 100 cars.
If you are involved in a collision with another vehicle, you will want to exchange information with the other party. The Edmonton Police Service website cites the following as what you need to exchange with the other person when involved in an accident: insurance, registration, name and drivers licence number.
Just because you exchange information doesn’t, necessarily, mean you will be involved in a claim for that accident. In minor accidents, those involved can mutually agree to compensation without involving their insurance companies or police.
That said, if the total, combined damage to the vehicles involved is over $2,000, you must notify the police and file a Collision Report Form. Failure to notify the police of an accident with $2,000 or more worth of damage can result in a fine. In Alberta, that fine is $287.
Filing an Insurance Claim
If the result of your accident requires opening an insurance claim, even if you are not at-fault in the accident, you will want to notify your insurance provider and start a claim. To ensure all your proverbial bases are covered, you should open a claim to make sure the appropriate actions happen.
For instance, if you are not at-fault in an accident and trusted the other party involved to look after the insurance side of things, what would happen if they delayed? What if they reported inaccurate information regarding the accident? What if they didn’t file the claim at all?
Whether you are at-fault or not, you should be opening a claim with your insurance provider.
Here is the information you will need to file an insurance claim for a car accident:
- Time of accident
- Date of accident
- Location of accident
- Description of accident
- Photos of accident (if possible)
- Police report (if possible)
Also, check out one of our articles on hail damage auto insurance claim to have an idea about auto claims for events considered to be outside of human control.
Factoring Your Deductible
Your insurance deductible is the amount of money you, the insured, agreed to pay in order to activate your insurance plan. Most deductibles are $250, $500 or $1,000. Depending on the severity of the accident, it’s a good idea to consider the implications of activating your insurance policy in a minor accident.
If you are at-fault in a minor accident, you may want to explore the option - assuming the other party involved approves - of paying the costs to fix their vehicle, and yours (if needed), out of your own pocket.
Say you have minor fixes on your vehicle and the cost to fix the other vehicle involved is $1,000. If your deductible is $500, is it in your best interest to go through insurance to pay for the damage?
When you are at-fault in an accident, unless you have claims forgiveness, your insurance premiums will go up. If you want to shop the market to lower your insurance costs, you will not receive a claims-free discount (which can save up to 15% on your annual premium amount). Of course, it can be tough financially to part with $1,000 up front instead of $500 but, if possible, know there’s a big chance it will save you money in the long run.
Insurance Options Post-Accident
Unfortunately, many people may be unhappy with the way their existing insurance provider handled their accident or may not like their new insurance rate post-accident.
Surex is Canada’s fastest growing online insurance brokerage. Having partnered with over 10 insurance companies, Surex offers a 100% transparent pricing model for consumers to see what companies are willing to take on their business, and at what price. In 5-10 minutes, consumers can receive up to 10 offers. Your personal broker will verify your price and make sure you are taking advantage of discounts available to you, despite your accident. From there, you can sign your documents online through e-signature and have instant proof of insurance.
‘’No one ever wants to be involved in an automobile accident,’’ Matthew Alston, COO of Surex, said. ‘’In the unfortunate chance you are involved in an accident, our first hope is that you and the people involved are safe. From there, we pride ourselves on providing services that benefit our existing customers, as well as those that are now shopping the market.’’
Get a car insurance quote here.