Romanov Report 52 - Nov 8, 2006
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty Responds To Drivers
Congratulations. We got the government's attention with the "Partially At-Fault" accident ruling that sends many good drivers' insurance rates skyrocketing.
Partially At-Fault Rate Increases
It's not right that the "Partially At-Fault" ruling should hold as much weight as being "Completely At-Fault". A driver who has been classified as "Partially At-Fault" can easily see their rate jump from $780 to $4,718.
Here's the letter sent to Premier Dalton McGuinty:
I have contacted the office of Greg Sorbara, the Finance Minister, to request a meeting to discuss the "Partially At-Fault" rulings and their need to be updated in light of today's insurance rates.
I'll let you know how things progress.
If a driver stopped on a highway to make a left turn is rear-ended by another driver, overtaking the first, the stopped driver will be considered partially at-fault for the accident. His insurance rate could increase by over $7,000, depending on his age and record.
Private Property & Parking Lots
Accidents on private property or in parking lots are notorious for leaving both drivers partially at-fault.
One accident equals two rate hikes. Both drivers lose, both insurance companies win.
Two partially at-fault accidents within a 6 year period will cause most insurance companies to cancel your policy.
While there may be justification to increase a driver's rate after causing an accident, InsuranceHotline.com feels there is little justification for these partially at-fault rulings to affect driver's rates that happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Drivers Hit Again By The Partially At-Fault Rulings
Most drivers only realize that they've been ruled "Partially At-Fault" when their rate increases or they're canceled on renewal.
Drivers need to know at the time of the accident whether their insurance company considers them to be partially at-fault.
3 Clues You're "Partially At-Fault"
There are 3 clues that will alert drivers that their insurance company considers them partially at-fault.
- You are told to pay all or part of your collision deductible.
- The other driver puts in a claim through his insurance, and his description of how the accident occurred is the only one on file.
- You are the only driver in the collision.
Lowest Rate Search
Don't be afraid to switch insurance companies if you've been deemed "At-Fault" or "Partially At-Fault" in an accident. Rates are thousands of dollars apart between companies.
Do a rate comparison to find the best rated company, no matter what your driving profile is, by clicking on:
If your policy is going to be canceled, switch companies before the cancellation designation affects your insurance rate.
City TV's CP24
I will be appearing on Mohamed Bouchama's Auto Shop TV Show on CP 24, this Sunday, November 12 at 8 pm and invite you to call in to ask your insurance questions.
Mohamed Bouchama is also the president of Car Help Canada, providing up-to-date information on repair records, recalls and safety statistics for vehicles and available information on rebates and incentives that manufacturers don't always advertise.
Car Help Canada will also give you a "Free Appraisal" on your car. This is especially handy if your car has been written-off because of an accident, and you're negotiating its price with your insurance company.
Bought A Lemon?
If you bought a lemon or feel that you were otherwise ripped off by a
registered motor vehicle dealer in Ontario, you may be able to get up
to $15,000 compensation through Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry
Council's (OMVIC) Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.
The criteria under which a claim may be submitted for consideration are:
- You have taken your case to court, and a final judgment hasn't been
made. As it may take a number of years, you can submit your claim.
- You have put down a deposit and you never got your vehicle.
- There is a proven claim of bankruptcy against the dealer.
- The dealer has been convicted of an offence involving fraud, theft or false pretenses.
- An extended warranty or service plan was sold by the dealer where
such a plan is not provided.
- You must have exhausted all other possible remedies prior to making a claim.
Note: You cannot apply for compensation through this fund if you
were ripped off by a private seller.
For more information, visit OMVIC's website or call them at 1-800-943-6002.
Hitting A Pedestrian
This drunk could make a claim under your car insurance for his injuries.
Hitting a pedestrian is scary. Here are 4 different scenarios and their consequences:
1) If the pedestrian does not appear to be hurt, and walks away
If you hit a pedestrian or cyclist who appears uninjured and walks away, you should report it to the police. By reporting the accident to the police, you are covering yourself against a criminal charge of "Leaving the Scene".
Even if the pedestrian or cyclist appears uninjured, they may
suffer pain and stiffness later and seek medical attention. If they have your vehicle plate number or your insurance information, you may be charged with leaving the scene of a collision or failure to remain at the scene. Both are serious charges and can result in your policy being terminated.
The police won't report the accident to your insurance company.
2) If they're taken to the hospital
If you hit and injure anyone, you're required to report this to the police and to your insurance company as this type of accident may cause an injury claim against your insurance.
In almost all cases of accidents between pedestrians and drivers, the driver has the greater responsibility and is therefore almost always at-fault. Cyclists are expected to obey the rules of the road as if they were driving a car, so they're more likely to share fault or to be found at-fault in an accident, while the pedestrian is usually not at-fault.
If the pedestrian or cyclist has their own insurance, they may claim through their own policy, but you will still be considered at-fault. Your insurance rate will go up, possibly by thousands of dollars, and will stay high for 6 years.
Make sure you do a rate search on InsuranceHotline.com for the lowest price, given the circumstances.
3) If they jumped in front of you to get the insurance money
The pedestrian who crashes into your car, intentionally, with the intent of collecting benefits from insurance companies or a cash settlement from you, is a whole other issue. Never pay a "victim" cash or offer, in any way, to pay their medical bills. This is in violation of your insurance contract, and often results in the "victim" reporting his claim anyway.
Witnesses are important when this happens, as often their statements will be taken into account by the insurance company. Note that often cyclists try this stunt as they are already wearing a helmet and know that they are not likely to suffer death or severe injury, just enough to collect benefits.
4) Hit & Run
A "hit and run" is a serious event. A number of "good" people have fled the scene out of fear. The consequences of remaining are far less severe than the consequences of running. If you remain at the scene, you have an accident on your record.
If convicted of leaving the scene, in addition to jail time, the conviction can affect your ability to get a job or travel to other countries.
Insurance companies will cancel your policy if you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident, unless you are already with a high risk company and if so, your rates will increase because of the conviction and the accident.
And if you are convicted of leaving the scene, don't be surprised when your insurance company won't pay for damage to your vehicle.