How Will Insurance Be Impacted By A Motor Vehicle Accident
In Alberta, every owner of a vehicle must have basic automobile insurance, which covers accident benefits and any damage to other people or their property arising from an accident that you are responsible for causing. Optional collision or comprehensive coverage is available in addition to basic coverage. This optional coverage would cover your own damages in the event you are at fault for an accident. The Automobile Insurance Rate Board regulates insurance rates in the province in an attempt to ensure rates remain affordable for Albertans. However, a motor vehicle accident can have an impact on your insurance premium. If you have questions about how your insurance will be impacted by a motor vehicle accident, our Edmonton Section B Benefits personal injury lawyers may be able to help.
Will an Accident Affect My Insurance Premium?
If you were responsible for causing a car accident, this will be reflected by an increase to your automobile insurance premium. An "at-fault" collision will also be added to your driving record and will remain there for six years. Typically, changing insurers has little effect on the increase in insurance premiums due to an at-fault accident.
When determining your premium, an insurance company will use your driving record to try to determine how much of a risk you pose. A driver with an at-fault accident on their record poses a greater risk to the insurance company, and will have a higher rate. In addition to the risk factor, an insurance company may impose a surcharge due to an at-fault accident. This means a single accident may affect your insurance premium twice.
An accident is not the only factor that effects change in insurance premiums. Speeding tickets and the driving records of other drivers associated with your insurance (such as your spouse or children) may also be affecting your premium, as will the amount of driving you do and the make, model and year of your vehicle.
How is fault determined after a motor vehicle accident?
The person responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident is determined primarily by the insurance companies involved in the claim. The police do not make the determination, and even if the police file criminal charges, this will not necessarily be determinative of liability from an insurance perspective. If necessary, it is possible for an insured to challenge a determination of fault in court.
Recent changes to the Insurance Act
Recent changes to Alberta's Insurance Act mean that you now deal with your own insurance company with respect to property damage claims. This system is called direct compensation for property damage or DCPD. The goal of DCPD is to keep insurance premiums low by reducing expenses for insurance companies caused by litigation in relation to property damage.
DCPD relates to claims for property damage only. A person injured in a motor vehicle accident can still sue an at-fault driver for the damages related to their injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer for help with any insurance or personal injury matters connected to a motor vehicle accident.
Contact Our Edmonton Section B Benefits Personal Injury Lawyers Today for a Consultation
Under the new DCPD system, at-fault drivers are still held accountable by having their insurance premiums increased, and at-fault collisions are still added to a driver's driving record. This can be a complicated system to navigate. You do not have to do it alone. Contact us today with any questions, and for more information on how your insurance may be impacted by a motor vehicle accident.
*Please note that this article is a general introductory overview on a legal subject, and is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact our Edmonton Section B Benefits personal injury lawyers.