Romanov Report 40 - June 1, 2006

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Fighting the Partially At-Fault Ruling

To refresh your memory about our fight against the partially at-fault ruling, here's the Romanov Report that dealt with it, along with your emails: /newsletter/archive/romanov37

When there's an accident and one driver is found to be "at-fault", many times the other driver is designated to be "partially at-fault". These "partially at-fault" designations hold as much weight as being "completely at-fault", sending many good drivers' insurance rates skyrocketing.

I received a reply from Bob Christie, CEO and Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Don't worry, I expected this, and I've already got some industry supporters looking into it.

Automotive Recalls

Car manufacturers don't like to conduct recalls. They're expensive and bad for business. Most problems never get to the recall stage. But that doesn't mean there aren't problems, especially when it comes to your insurance rate.

Defects include tires, brakes, gas tanks, fuel systems, steering, rollover potential and unintended acceleration!!!!!

If you have an accident that's directly the result of a manufacturer's defect, your insurance company may investigate, and go after the manufacturer, but you're not off the hook. Even if the insurance company gets completely reimbursed for the entire amount of the loss caused by the accident, the claim will still count against you and your rate will go up.

Most lawsuits state that the defective product is a "contributory factor" as opposed to a "direct cause" of the accident. This means that the manufacturer is never assigned complete fault. So be warned, the fault still lands on the driver.

Even if you're only deemed to be partially at-fault, your insurance rate can increase by several thousand dollars, as if you were completely, 100% at-fault. You can always try to fight a "partially at-fault" ruling, if you don't find it fair, through the company's ombudsman. There's also an organization set up to mediate between insurance companies and drivers with respect to the "Fault Determination Rules". You can contact the General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO) and ask to speak to Glen Williamson, the Executive Director, at 1.877.225.0446. Their website is:

Insurance Rates

Right now insurance rates are all over the map, with great savings to be found for drivers with good records, and even for those of you with tickets and accidents. It can never hurt to do a quick rate search to ensure you're paying the best price out there. If you've got a great rate, tell a friend to go It's good karma. Oh yeah, and ABC's Good Morning America called me about my book" Car Carma: When bad things happen to good drivers, is your astrological sign to blame?" Unbelievable, eh?

Is Your Car Safe?

Here's a good way to research vehicles and check out their road tests, click here.