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22 Things You Need To Consider Before Reporting That Car Accident

June 11, 2009

Here’s what you need to know when deciding whether to report your insurance claim, or pay it yourself.

1- Your Insurance Rate: A driver with an accident can see their insurance rate jump from $1,500 to over $5,000, and remain high for 6 years.

2 -Rate Differences: Insurance companies target their rates to certain driving profiles. There is a vast difference between insurance rates for a driver with an accident.

3 -After an accident: You need to find out what your rate increase will be, and based on your new rate, decide how to proceed.

Note:   Your insurance rate does not increase in proportion to the amount of damage, regardless of whether you have a fender bender or have written off a Bentley.

4 – Calculate Your Rate:InsuranceHotline.com tells you which insurance company has the best rate for you, given your current driving profile.   Enter your current driving profile, including your accident.

5 – Lowest Rate: This will give you the three lowest rates from the top 30 insurance companies in Canada.   Take the lowest rate and multiply it by 6 to get an idea of how much this accident will cost you in insurance premium over the next 6 years.

For example: Let’s say the cost to repair your car is $10,000.

Your Company: If you report the accident to your insurance company and find out that your rate will increase by $3,000 annually over the next 6 years, then this accident would actually cost you $18,000. To find out what your increase would be, as your broker.

New company: By searching for the lowest insurance rate you may find a rate that represents only a $1,000 annual increase, over the next 6 years, resulting in a $6,000 insurance increase.

In this case, it may be worth claiming the accident on your insurance with your present company, then switching to the new company upon renewal of your policy.

6 -Repeat Process:   Every year for the next 6 years your rate should decrease. If you search for the insurance company with the lowest rate every year, you should find one as your accident gets “older”.   Then if you wish, switch to that company.

7 -Paying Your Own Claim:   If you choose to pay your own claim, particularly in a single vehicle accident, you protect your insurance rate from an increase. If you’ve had a prior accident in the past 6 years, or tickets in the past 3 years, the combination can cause your insurance company to cancel your policy.

8 -Repair Shops:   It’s your choice where to have your car repaired.   Some insurance companies have preferred shops, but the call is ultimately yours.

9 -Your Record:   If you’ve had a prior accident in the past 6 years, or tickets in the past 3 years, the combination can cause your insurance company to cancel your policy.   You should check with your broker before making any claim to see what cancellation conditions your insurance policy has.

10 -Driver’s Abstract:   The driver’s abstract tells you how many tickets you have on your record.   Insurance companies will increase your rate for 3 years from the date of conviction for a ticket.   Here are the various tickets insurance companies charge for.

Here’s how to order your driver’s abstract.

11 -Auto History Claims Report:   It’s also important to know what your claims history is with the insurance company.   This report allows you to see what has been reported on your file since you received your drivers licence.   It’s free.

12 -Fault Determination Rules:
   Insurance companies use these rules to determine who’s at fault in an accident.   Even if you’re considered to be partially at-fault, it carries the same weight as being completely at-fault.   To view these rules, click here.

13 -Insurance Policy Wordings:   All Ontario automobile insurance policies are identical, word for word.  The only difference is what the insurance company charges.

14 -As a general rule, you should always get two opinions about whether your claim is covered, or whether you’ve been correctly deemed “at-fault” or “partially at-fault”.

15 -Insurance Experts To Turn To:   The General insurance Ombudservice (GIO) is an organization set up to mediate between insurance companies and drivers with respect to the “Fault Determination Rules”. In other words, if you have a dispute with your insurance company that you can’t resolve, GIO will help you out. They also mediate for home and life insurance issues, and much more. Their contact information is as follows:

Telephone Number: 1 877 225-0446

16 -Reporting Your Accident To The Police:   You need to report your accident to the police when there has been a person injured or damage to any public or private property, such as guard rails, lamp posts, traffic signals or someone’s lawn.
Note:   The police do not report your accident to the insurance companies.

17 -Reporting Your Accident To The Collision Reporting Centre:   The collision reporting centre will report your accident to the insurance company, unless you ask them not to do so.

18 -Reporting Your Accident to Your Insurance Company:   You are required to report your accident to the insurance company when the estimated damage exceeds $1,000 for both cars.   This is the guideline set by insurance companies, but isn’t always practiced by drivers.

19 -Risk of Not Reporting Your Accident To Your Insurance Company:   If both drivers agree to settle the claim between them, the at-fault or partially at-fault driver, or drivers, can avoid rate hikes.   The only risk is in paying your own claim when the other driver decides to go through his insurance company after the fact.   Then your company will be notified and the accident will count against your insurance record.

20 -Hit And Run Driver:   If the driver who hit your car is unidentified, you will pay your collision deductible to your insurance company, but your insurance rate doesn’t increase. In order for this to be considered not at fault by your insurance company, most require a copy of a police report.

21 -Determining Fault For Your Accident:   The police determine whether there has been a violation of the law.   Your insurance company determines fault, which dictates whether or not your insurance rate will increase.   The police could determine that the accident was not your fault, yet your insurance company can still deem you to be at-fault.

Star Rating:   Your “star rating” indicates how many years you’ve been driving accident-free.   For example, a 5-star rating indicates to the insurance company that you’ve been driving accident-free for 5 years.
Note:   A star rating does not reflect better insurance rates, between companies.

22 -Accident Forgiveness Coverage:   This is an added coverage and can be purchased through most insurance companies. It means that in the event of your first at fault accident your rates will not be increased. Keep in mind that the ‘forgiveness’ applies only to the insurance company where you had the accident. If you change companies a new company may charge you for the accident.   Another point to remember, the accident is still part of your driving record even though you may not have had a rate increase as a result.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    If there was damage to someone’s property you must report the accident to the police. As long as there was no damage to the tree (which is not your property) and only minimal damage to your vehicle, you do not have to call the police since the damage is likely under $1000

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    I’m sorry but this a question that you should ask your broker or agent.

    Thank you

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    This is a question that you are better to ask your insurance professional as comprehensive coverage premiums vary from vehicle and company to company.

    Thank you

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    If it is determined that you were not at fault for the accident, your rates will not increase.

    Thank you

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    Since you were rear-ended and not at fault for the accident, your insurance rate will not increase. The only one who will benefit from not reporting it is the other driver and it is likely that their rate will increase.

    Thank you

  • Just Clare

    A friend of mine has an old car. Her rear bumper was smashed while her car was parked in a parking lot. The repair is probably worth more than the car. What would be the best option? She doesn’t know if she should bother with the claim and then watch her rate go up even though they say it won’t because she was not at fault. Buying a new car isn’t exactly what she needs right now either. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    If she doesn’t know who hit her car, in Ontario the damage will be paid under any collision coverage that she purchased.
    She will also have to pay the deductible. She should do some math and include the deductible that she will have to pay to see if it is worth making a claim.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    Since your son had the permission of the driver/owner of the vehicle, it is likely that the insurance company will pay if the owner has purchased coverage.

    Thank you

  • Ferzz123

    I am a 16 year old male and I have my G1 ( first license 1/3) and I was going into a drive thru and there were about 6-8 cars in front of me so the line was all the way almost on the road and it was about 37 degres and I was fasting so I wanted to reverse and park so I just go inside and get my mom coffe but as I was reversing there was a ford pick up truck coming into the drive thru as well even though he saw me reverse he didnt hesitate to stop so I thought that he would and I bumbed him to a little bit like a little bumb and a few scratched on hia side fender so he called me back in 4 days and said its gona cost $1500 from his friend who is a mecanic and I didnt belive it because there was really no big damage and I was getting reffered $400-500 from other car shops ao I declined and he said no to my offer on fixing his car so now were gona go through inaurance… How much will my moms or dads insurance go up by and btw my mom has her G license (3/3) full license. Please

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    It’s difficult to say how much the insurance will go up. Hopefully your mother had “accident forgiveness’ coverage on her policy which should keep her rate from increasing.
    She should check with her insurance professional .


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    You’re insurance company is likely to find out anyway as the pedestrian may contact them to receive payment for injury, ambulance costs etc.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    When your insurance company runs your driving record, if they see the careless, they may ask about the details.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    most people who choose to pay out of pocket, do not report it to their insurance company.

  • Marc


    I got into a fender bender with another car. I was trying to do a u turn and he was driving on the wrong side of the road to get past some cars that were turning and we collided in the centre lane. Hard to explain but we were both at fault basically and performing illegal operations I assume. We agreed the damage was minimal and would take care of our own car repairs. My question is that if I report it can I also be charged with a traffic violation?

  • Mike

    I Hit a car in interstate and the front bumper of my car got damaged. However no damage was there to car that i hitted and no one is injured. The Police report was created.

    Now i am planning to fix the bumper out of my pocket. The question is will the police inform this incident to any carfax agent or to insurance agent? Still my car will be considered as an accident history?

  • Alana

    I knocked out a woman’s taillight on my motorcycle, and she refused to let me pay out of pocket. The cost of repair would have been under $100. Does the cost of damage affect how much your premiums go up? Would it make a difference if the damage had been in the thousands?

  • Jesse V.

    I was in a collision where I rear-ended a vehicle that made an abrupt stop at a green light, and I slid on ice into their vehicle. The damage was minimal, so minimal in fact, that no claims were made to either driver’s insurance companies. The police did respond to the scene and made a collision report, and I was charged with a following too closely charge. Will my insurance company find out about the collision? or only the ticket? If they discover one or the other, or both, how much should I expect my insurance to increase?

  • Jim S.

    Someone hit me on the highway, we exchanged insurance information but they have not contacted their insurance company. Their insurance company has tried to contact them several times, with no luck. Is this considered a hit and run?

  • amanda

    I was driving on the hwy and there was a guy one car ahead of me speeding up.and slowing down i saw what was going on i put my left signal on to get into the other lane and as i looked into my mirror then to my left mirror to see if it was safe to go the man slammed on his brakes and the car in front of me slammed on hers i cranked the wheel to the right to aviod hitting her but it was too late i hit her bumper i offered her to pay for the bumper i gave her 500 cash if i paid her can she still try to go threw insurance?

  • ananth

    Hi I met with an accident at 401 Hwy in 2011. actually it is not my fault . it happened when i change lane the toert truck came behind me hit my car driverside door and car got damage. i call police and insurnce company. finally the guy who hit me said to my insurence company he has witness. finally my insurence company said 100% my fault. and incresed my premium by 150$ now I am paying 300$. since I am new to the ontario I didnt know how to solve this problem thats by the guy handle this case very easily and claimed 8000$ for no damage. I didnt get anythig since my insurence only liablity. Now I am thinking of cacelling the insurence for few years until it get remove from my record. when i get my insurence again in 2017,will it be higher or less as there would be no accident record that time?and would it be less as my experience longer period that time.?
    please respond me

  • John

    I ran into a tree stump trying to avoid hitting a car. No one was hurt, my front is done in.
    I have Accident forgiveness. Will that cover it?

  • Patronuscharm357

    Hello. I hit a parked car (and they know that I did) and I wanted to know how high my insurance rates will increase if the accident is reported. I assume I’m entirely at fault and if they claim it then my rates will go up. I have not had any accidents or parking tickets or anything before but I am still a G2 driver. I don’t think I have accident forgiveness but I am unsure, how do I check that? And how do I know how much my monthly/or yearly payments will increase?

  • Tony.J

    Hello I was wondering if this is considered an accident and if it should be reported. In a parking garage I accidently grinded my car against a pillar. Would this be a accident and would it need to be reported.

  • Zyad Al Saoor

    hello , i was involved in an accident ( i was at fault ) , can i still fix my car and not report to insurance ? the other driver already reported

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    If you did damage to the pillar, you should report that to the building owner.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    it is likely that your insurance company has already been notified by the other driver’s company.

  • Donna

    My daughter just got her G2 and in the school parking lot, backed into another car. Our car was NOT damaged at all but the other car has a dent in the front quarter panel and part of the front of the car. We went to a police collision reporting center and it because it was on private property (parking lot) the cop said she will not get a ticket. HOWEVER the other person is going to go thru their insurance (as I would have NO idea how much this might cost). Do I have to tell my insurance company about the accident since we are not putting in a claim and since she was not ticketed for it? Will the other person’s insurance company contact our insurance company? Thanks

  • Maj

    I was in a minor accident last month October the other vehicle already claimed the accident from her insurance while I still did not claim mine. Is it legal to switch insurance now, not claim from my insurance. What is your advice.

  • Ashton Stark

    I got into an accident (my fault) but I had accident forgiveness. I got into another accident within the year (also my fault). My insurance increases as 10% for 1 accident and 45% for 2. Would this second accident count as 1 since the other one was forgiven?

  • ahmed

    Hello I had a first accident yesterday and it was my fault i hit somebody from behind and it was just a little hit from behind will that be a big problem.?

  • Menard Inad

    My mom’s friend got injured by a car . The stop light was on GO for pedestrian the car hit her. When she was in the hospital the police said it was her fault for jaywalking when the pedestrian sign was on go. The police gave her a ticket and seems like the police man was on a bad mood. She is the one injure and now she gets a ticket?. When my mom’s friend was talking to the police man, he just walked away. If you could help thanks!

  • Moi

    By the sounds of it, if your drivers side door got hit, then you merged into the passing lane without first checking your blind spot, there is absolutely no way a car could hit there otherwise. The car already in that lane has the right of way, so you should have waited for them to pass before moving over, it IS 100% your fault buddy.

  • Moi

    It’s one thing to ask if insurance will cover it, that’s nice of you… However who is at fault?? Your son! The person driving was at fault period. And you’re an ass if you can’t acknowledge that. He’s 15 , he made a choice, pay the other person’s parents for damage and make your son work it off.. What is wrong with people..

  • Rod

    My girlfriend got into an accident that was her fault in my car under my insurance which she is not covered under. Just wanted to know if this will make my insurance skyrocket or should I just not involve the insurance because the car is not worth much bought it for $1000 2 years ago…..what’s best/worst case scenario….my insurance is with intact insurance.

  • tram1012

    Hi, I scratched a paint off a new car recently. And I bought a liability coverage which doesn’t require deductible. the coverage would only pay for the damage of the other person, not mine. I called my broker and they said that property damage ( not bodily involved) under 999$ would not cause my premium rates to increase. While everyone I know say that whenever an accident occur, the rates will always go up. The damage was only about 500$ (repaint and rent) and my insurance was alliance united. Should I settle the money with them or make a claim to my insurance. because it is hard for me to get that kind of money to make up for the guy. but it would be harder for me if my premium rates go up by 20%. This is my first accident, im’ 18 and i just bought the insurance 2 months ago. Please! If anyone knows anything, help me. im in CA

  • Jas

    Hi, so i was hit by a driver that fled the scene, the police came and the witnesses gave their statements, The police officer ruled it essentially a hit and run. Currently the driver is not identified. My insurance (ontario) said that I am 100% at fault even though they didnt request the police report or see my car. I don’t have collision coverage (even though I really thought I did)…I’m not sure what to do next, but it feels really wrong that my insurance adjustor didnt even look at the police report or my car. What do you think i should do next

  • Jas

    The claim denial was said to be based on rule of HNR but I couldnt find that in Ontario’s insurance act for determining fault

  • Mel

    I just got into a 3 car accident with my sister as a passenger. There was little damage to any of the 3 cars, however my sister aggravated a previous injury she had from an accident that happened a few years ago. If she puts a claim through for injury, treatment like massage and physio, but I don’t put a claim through on my insurance for car damage, will my rates still go up?

  • InsuranceHotline

    If you were at fault for the accident then your rates may go up. If you were not at fault for the accident then your rate will not increase.

  • Jen

    I hit someone in a private driveway. THe cost to fix their vehicle is $75.00. Can I pay them out and claim my damage to my insurance or do we have to claim both?

  • Kalia

    I had reversed and slightly scratched a Hyundai in a parking lot. The individual and I decided it is best not to go through insurance. He has gotten back to me with a quote over $800.00. The parts are quite cheap at $141.00 but I personally believe it is an excessive cost for the labour. I have proposed a second opinion. But have yet to receive a response. If I decline to pay the full amount what options does the other person have? How could that decision negatively impact me other than an insurance hike?

  • InsuranceHotline

    If the other driver goes through insurance, your insurance company will be notified and you will have an at fault accident on your record and will likely see a premium increase.

  • charles

    totaled my one year old truck due to a falling utility line insurance paid truck off but im still down eight thousand dollars laywer did not want to deal with it what to do

  • Nathan

    I was at a stop light and rolled into a lady we called the police and told us to go to the Collison center we are not going to go and we will be paying out of pocket will my insurance go up and will they report it to my insurance?

  • InsuranceHotline

    Collision centers do not typically report to the insurance companies.

  • InsuranceHotline

    That depends on the province that you’re insured in. In Ontario any accident should be reported to your company .

  • InsuranceHotline

    It is possible that your rate will increase since you hit the tree.

  • InsuranceHotline

    If the police reported it to your insurance company then you could likely see an increase in your rate.

  • InsuranceHotline

    you can try to fight it but without witnesses it could be difficult to prove that you were not at fault.

  • InsuranceHotline

    If you were not moving and the incident was as a result of the sign falling or swinging onto your car you may not be at fault.
    If you were driving and scraped your car on the sign then it’s likely to be your fault and that could affect your insurance.

  • InsuranceHotline

    You are responsible for the original damage. If you took pictures at the time that you hit the vehicle then you can prove the damage that you did. Otherwise, you can’t prove that you didn’t cause the other damage.

  • Paul James Penasse

    Our insurance hiked well above the “expected and advertised” rate of 2% this year.
    Yes she had a “at fault accident” that was, not last policy, the policy
    before that (expected a hike on the last policy, but not on this one).
    We did “update” our vehicle since, on the old paperwork(sent to us when we bought the car) the difference was $15.00.
    The new vehicle, same model and price as the last, has a few more “safety
    perks” rear view camera, blind spot detector, and even has signal lights
    on the mirror.
    Realizing that accident forgiveness is only with the company you are with, therefor best to stay with that company, givesbthem the right to hike your rate?
    Policy change sent June 29th 2017 $1307.80 with “net Premium Change of $15.00″(new car added older one taken off)
    Renewal policy sent July 7th 2017, $1674.00…..
    28% increase is just crazy!!!
    We legally need insurance…is this a legal raping?
    Is this the right place…or is there a right place to address these concerns?
    And yes accident forgiveness was on the policy since neither of us had anything prior to the last decade….
    GIO DOES NADA FOR ONTARIO Concerning pricing (ANOTHER WYNN!!! PARDON THE PUN!!!) any other recourse or resource?

  • InsuranceHotline

    Since you made no claim, most companies don’t require that you report it. If there was damage to public or private property as a result of the incident your insurance company might find out via the police report.

  • Marian Kennedy

    A friend of mine was driving her boyfriends car.. the car is insured but she is not insured personally… she was in a accident. What happens

  • 2beautiful2btru

    WRONG !!! If your car is hit by an Unknown person that claim goes thru your UNINSURED MOTORIST !! If u R hit by an uninsured driver, it goes thru the same. Most uninsured deductibles R $250. If u cause an accident then that when you go thru your collision coverage. Fire, theft vandalism, glass breakage, hitting a deer (animal) goes thru Comprehensive coverage. However, if u hit sumthg in the road that can be considered an accident & will go thru COLL but your adjuster will make that call. If an object flies from where ever & hits your car then that goes thru your COMP. If you are in a car accident & R injured the medical bills & missed work goes thru your PIP. Most PIP minimum is $2500 unless u raise it which i recommend $5-10k. If you are sueing another driver their PI limits kick in. If they only have state limits then you won’t get much. I recommend getting 100/300/50 coverage. If you hit a $75k Audi & total it then U are screwed BC u only have $50k in PD coverage so if u live in a state with a ton of expensive cars I would get higher limits. Why U ppl R stating insurance facts when U have NO clue what U are talking about & it is really annoying !!! When you have graduated insurance school & passed the state exam then U should comment. Most of U don’t know what you are talking about !!

  • InsuranceHotline

    In Canada (Ontario ) If you car is hit by an unknown third party’s vehicle then it is paid out through the collision coverage if you have purchased that.

  • sarah

    I was in a minor car accident where I scratched the left fender and a small part of the front bender of the car when reversing out of a parking spot. I have a G2 liscence and have had it for a month and my fees for the repair of the other person is $1800. What should I do, report it to insurance and have my costs go up or pay it upfront. Also how much will my insurance go up by (im under my parents insurance)

  • InsuranceHotline

    You could see a significant increase in your insurance premium. The accident will stay on your record for 6 years. once you multiply the increased insurance rate over 6 years it is likely going to be much less in the long run to pay the $1800