Don't be fooled by the title, no-fault insurance isn't entirely what is sounds like. No-fault insurance means you deal with your own insurance company after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Someone still gets the blame, but you don't need to wait for the others driver's insurance to kick in if you're not responsible for an accident. The Insurance Bureau of Canada states that with no-fault coverage, your insurance company pays your claim, even if another driver is at fault.
For insurance purposes, someone is always at fault in a car accident. A degree of fault may be assigned to both parties. A driver is anywhere from 0 to 100 percent at fault. Anything over 0 percent fault will affect your insurance record. Both drivers can be found at fault. Fault is assigned to each driver based on the fault-determination rules.
Fault Determination Rules
According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, insurance companies must use Regulation 668 Fault Determination Rules to assign fault in an accident. The rules cover more than 40 accident situations with diagrams to illustrate specific situations. The rules are applicable to almost every possible accident scenario, regardless of weather conditions, visibility, impact and pedestrians. The Fault Determination Rules are part of government regulations meant to help insurance companies deal with claims promptly and fairly.
If fault is assigned to you in an accident, your insurance premiums are adjusted accordingly. Any degree of fault will show up on your insurance record, despite the confusing title of no-fault coverage. If you've been fault-free, claims-free and without any convictions for six or more years, your premium might not change at all. It takes six more years of accident-free driving to lower your premiums again. Some companies let you keep a clean record, even after your first at-fault accident. But expect your premiums to rise considerably with two at-fault accidents in a six-period.
With no-fault coverage, if you're injured in a car accident, you access your policy's medical benefits immediately. If you're not at fault, you don't wait around for the health care and income replacement you are entitled to from the at-fault driver's insurance.
Even if the police don't file charges at the scene of an accident, insurance companies still assign fault. Police charges are often irrelevant to an insurance claim. For example, if weather conditions are poor, and you rear-end a vehicle, the police may say no one was at fault, but insurance companies always apply the rule that a person who rear-ends a vehicle is always at fault.
When you lend your car to someone, you also lend them your insurance. If a friend has an at-fault accident while driving your car, with your insurance, the accident goes on your insurance record. Your premiums may rise with an at-fault accident on your driving record.
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