Yes, you can switch car insurance providers after a car accident in Ontario. However, there are some things you should be aware of before making the switch.
Firstly, you should check your current insurance policy to see if there are any penalties or fees for cancelling your policy mid-term. If you do decide to switch providers, you may be required to pay a cancellation fee.
Secondly, you should make sure that you have enough coverage from your new insurance provider before cancelling your old policy. It’s important to ensure that there is no gap in coverage, as this could leave you unprotected in the event of another accident.
Lastly, you should be aware that your car insurance rates may be impacted by a recent accident, regardless of whether you switch providers or not. Most insurance companies will consider your driving record when setting your rates, and an at-fault accident can result in higher rates.
If you are considering switching car insurance providers after a car accident, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best policy and rates for your specific needs. You may also want to speak with a licensed insurance broker or agent for guidance on making the switch.
Can you change your insurance at any time?
“Changing” your insurance can mean several things.
Changing to a new insurer requires cancellation of your existing policy. While you are refunded any advance amounts you’ve paid, you’re also responsible for a cancellation fee. This is a prorated amount your insurer charges for administrating the cancellation. If you’re deep into the policy’s term, it may not be an expensive cost. However, if you’ve just begun the policy, it could be expensive.
Note that drivers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec cannot cancel the provincial portions of auto insurance coverage.
Changing aspects of your existing policy is possible at any time. As you’ll read, this feature can offset increases caused by at fault accidents.
How to avoid insurance price increases after an accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Ontario and are worried about your insurance rates increasing, there are a few things you can do to potentially avoid or mitigate the increase. Here are some tips:
- Consider paying for the damage out of pocket: If the damage from the accident is relatively minor and can be fixed without involving insurance, you may want to consider paying for the repairs out of pocket. This can help you avoid filing a claim, which can sometimes result in a rate increase.
- Speak with your insurance provider: If you are unsure about how the accident will impact your rates, you can contact your insurance provider to discuss your options. Your insurance provider may be able to provide you with more information about the specific impact of the accident on your rates.
- Consider Accident Forgiveness coverage: Some insurance providers offer Accident Forgiveness coverage, which can protect you from rate increases following your first at-fault accident. However, this coverage is typically optional and may come with additional costs.
- Complete a defensive driving course: Some insurance providers offer discounts for drivers who have completed a defensive driving course. Taking a course can help demonstrate your commitment to safe driving and potentially offset the impact of the accident on your rates.
- Shop around for new insurance: If you’re not satisfied with the rate increase from your current insurance provider, you can shop around for new insurance. Be sure to compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best policy and rates for your specific needs.
What happens if I don’t disclose an accident to a new company?
While many companies accept your declarations about accident status, files may be reviewed at any time against information in the public domain, such as driver’s abstracts. If it’s found that you knowingly provided false information, you can be denied benefits and your policy cancelled.
Some insurers place less weight on an accident than others. Use Quote Finder’s car insurance calculator to determine which insurance companies are most sympathetic to your driving history. It’s fast and free, without obligation. Check it out now at the top of the page.
What Happens to My Car Insurance After an Accident?
Every driver’s fear is that having an accident increases the cost of their car insurance. Not all accidents are created equally, however. In some cases, drivers will see no affect on their insurance premiums at all, while others could indeed see major increases. While there are differences between provinces in Canada, the same general principles apply. If an accident is your fault, your increases will likely increase, even if your province has no-fault insurance provisions.
Understanding Fault in Car Accidents and Auto Insurance
Perhaps the biggest misconception with auto insurance is with the term “no-fault.” It would be better stated as “regardless of fault” when it comes to insurance claims. Benefits paid under these no-fault provisions originate with the driver’s insurance company, regardless of how fault is assigned in the accident.
It’s important to know that fault is always assigned from an insurance perspective, and it always totals 100%, though it may be split in various proportions between involved drivers. Insurance fault also has little to do with traffic offense fault. Even if a driver avoids police charges, they may still be assigned fault for the accident by insurance investigators.
In Ontario, for example, there are about 40 scenarios in the provincial fault determination guidelines. An insurance investigator applies the most appropriate scenario from the guidelines to each accident they investigate. The guidelines themselves spell out fault – which driver receives it and in what share.
This method removes, in theory, any prejudice the investigator may bring to the process, and, in Ontario’s case, it’s part of the no-fault insurance provisions. Certain aspects of an accident claim payout from the driver’s own insurance, providing faster, undisputed response when those involved in accidents need it.
What happens to drivers with no fault assignment after an accident?
From an insurance perspective, if a driver involved in an accident has not been charged with a traffic offense and was found to be not at fault in the insurance investigation, their premiums will not increase due to the circumstances of the accident.
Those motorists who purchase accident forgiveness coverage don’t invoke that endorsement under these conditions, either. Without a traffic violation or insurance fault, the accident forgiveness coverage remains unaffected.
What happens to the other driver in a car accident, the one assessed at fault?
The driver receiving the fault assessment from the insurance investigation will see insurance premiums increase as a result of the accident, unless they’ve previously purchased accident forgiveness coverage and the accident’s conditions fall within the terms of the endorsement.
Precisely how much the cost of the policy increases is difficult to determine. Drivers with no other blemishes on their claims record and driving history see less effect than those with other traffic tickets or insurance claims.
As mentioned, fault can be shared. Usually, if a driver receives a minor fault assessment, say 5 or 10 percent, their premiums may remain unaffected. With an assessment higher than this, insurance premiums will likely increase, unless accident forgiveness coverage comes into effect.