At-fault accidents are quite common. You are considered to be at fault in an accident if you are the one who caused it. There are quite a few instances where you might be the one with the blame, and we will touch upon them later in this article.
If you are in an at-fault accident, either you or your insurance company will have to pay for the damages. An accident can be considered ‘at-fault’ even if there is only one vehicle involved or if both drivers take the blame. But in the latter case, it won’t be equally divided. This article talks about how at-fault accidents affect your insurance rates. Stick around to read more about this!
If you wish to explore on your own, make sure to visit https://www.surex.com/Insurance/auto-car/toronto.
What Can Be An At-Fault Accident?
It might often be challenging to determine who caused the accident. However, at other times, it is pretty clear cut. We are bringing you a couple of examples where it is evident who is at fault!
1. Driving under the influence
There are no circumstances where driving under influence can be forgiven. Be it alcohol or drugs; you are putting other drivers in danger. This is strictly forbidden in almost every country! Even if you did not do anything wrong, the authorities are more likely to believe the sober person.
2. Ignoring red lights and other signals
If you go through a red light and then cause an accident, you are obviously the one to blame. The lights are there for a reason, and you should respect them at all times.
Make sure to follow other signs as well. For example, do not go the wrong way in a one-way street, and do not ignore stop signs!
3. Using your smartphone
Needless to say, using a phone when driving is hazardous. It takes your attention off the road, and you inadvertently put yourself and those around you in a potential car crash.
If you were using your phone and got into an accident, there are high chances that you will be the one to blame!
At-Fault Insurance Coverage
When zeroing in on the insurance coverage to get, you should consider all the circumstances. Think about the possibilities that are most likely to happen in your area.
Most people get mandatory third-party coverage and comprehensive or collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers the damages that happen in all circumstances except accidents, for example, theft. On the other hand, collision coverage helps you fix the damage done in a car crash. This coverage usually covers at-fault accidents as well, which is why it might be a good idea to get it.
There is another type of coverage called ”Accident Forgiveness,” which is pretty much an insurance scheme where particular insurance companies are willing to forgive you one at-fault accident. Of course, this is a rare occurrence, but we just wanted to show that it isn’t impossible.
How Does It Work?
Negligence is a legal term that the authorities and insurance companies use to determine whether you behaved in the way that someone else would, under the same circumstances.
Therefore, you have to act reasonably in the event that might cause an accident. If you do any of the things stated in the first section, it means that you did not act accordingly, and you will most likely be charged for the accident.
Another term, ‘comparative negligence,’ is commonly used by insurance companies. This concept helps the insurer compare the blame and assign some of it to the other participant in the said accident. Depending on your insurance plan, either you or your insurance company will pay for the damages.
Does Your Insurance Go Up After At-Fault Accidents?
Unfortunately, if you are involved in an at-fault accident, your insurance premium will most likely increase. Depending on the severity of the incident, and the type of coverage you have, this might be a significant increase or a minor one. Another thing that might help you with this is the aforementioned accident forgiveness.
Since insurance companies determine your premium based on several factors, if these factors change over time, so does your premium. They will consider your driving history, age, location, what kind of vehicle you drive, and your coverage.
If you prove yourself to be a responsible driver, your insurance rates will be minimal. On the other hand, an at-fault accident means that you are not at all responsible, so this causes the rates to increase. The insurance companies do this to avoid any potential risks on their behalf. Understandably, they do not want to cover the damages if they happen often.
If your insurance company covers the damages, you will have to pay the deductible amount. This is the amount that you pay from your own pocket in case of an accident. The higher the deductible is, the less money you have to pay.
For example, if you agree to a deductible amount of $1000, and your damages end up being $5000, the amount that is left will usually be covered by your insurer. Also, note that the deductible must be paid before the insurance company could throw in their contribution.
However, the good news is that such an increase in premiums does not last forever. Insurance companies usually only look at your driving history of the last 3 to 5 years.
The percentage of increase also depends on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if someone was injured, the rates will be higher, even up to 40-50%. However, if the accident wasn’t too significant, your insurance company will not charge you a lot of money.
Ways To Lower Your Premium After An Accident
There are a couple of ways to lower your premium after an at-fault accident. Consider the following:
- Let your insurance company know about the accident and the circumstances under which it occurred.
- Ask about accident forgiveness, or make sure to get it in advance.
- Look for insurance companies that offer lower rates. An insurance broker might be able to help you with this.
To conclude, your insurance rates will go up after you get into an at-fault accident. The amount will depend on several factors, including your insurer. Sometimes, the insurance company will cover the damages, but there are cases where you might have to do it yourself. This depends on the insurance coverage that you have.