Do You Have To Tell Your Car Insurance About Accident?

Do you have to tell your car insurance about an accident?

Regardless of low experienced you are as a driver, accidents happen. Whether it be your first time in a collision or not, dealing with your insurance afterwards can be a daunting experience, which raises the question of whether or not you are required to tell your insurance provider about an accident in the first place under the law.

As such, if you have never been involved in a car accident to date and are wondering what the process is like after one has occurred, the experienced insurance team at aha Insurance has put together answers from some of the most frequently asked questions we receive as a leading insurance brokerage in Ontario so drivers can have a better idea about what to expect.

Therefore, if you want to learn more about how to navigate the process following a collision, keep reading!


Frequently asked questions

What happens if I don’t inform my insurance company about an accident?

Before telling you about the consequences that could occur if you do not inform your insurance company about an accident, we first need to look at the circumstances that would require you to tell not only your insurance provider but also file a report with the police.

In Ontario, if the damage exceeds $2000 for all vehicles involved in a collision, you are required by law to file a police report. With that being said, it should also be noted that there are other circumstances in which you must report an accident in Ontario, regardless of whether any damage has occurred. As such, here is a closer look at the circumstances where you are mandated by Ontario law to file a report with law enforcement following a car accident: 

  • You, a passenger, or someone in another vehicle has been injured
  • A government vehicle was involved in the accident.
  • If the driver is not covered by auto insurance.
  • A criminal act takes place, like driving under the influence, driving without a license, and so on.
  • A pedestrian was involved in the accident.
  • Private or municipal property is damaged as a result of the collision.

Furthermore, in the event that a minor fender bender has happened within the province, we understand that it can be tempting to not inform your insurance company as no one wants their insurance premiums to increase. With that being said, the majority of insurance companies have a written section within the policy that indicates that you must report any and all accidents that occur, regardless of their severity. It’s also important to keep in mind that just because you have informed your insurance company of an accident doesn’t mean that you need to file a claim. Further to this, while you may be able to strike a deal with the other driver and pay for any damages out-of-pocket to avoid making any insurance claims, there are still several risks associated with not reporting your accidents to your insurance provider. As such, here is a closer look at some of the potential consequences:

  • If the other driver does decide to report the accident, your insurance provider will be alerted, and your coverage may be voided. Because you did not file a claim, you may appear guilty, leading to further problems down the road.
  • Regardless of whether you were at fault, you may be obligated to pay for the damage if the other driver refuses to pay for damage to their vehicle.
  • Injuries may occur after the fact, and you will be responsible for paying these medical costs out of pocket.
  • If the other driver files a police report, you could face charges of leaving the scene of an accident which can have legal consequences.

All in all, to ensure you are protected at all costs following the event of an accident, make sure to report to the police if necessary and inform your insurance company right away. It is best to speak with your insurance provider over the phone. However, depending on the provider, you may be able to submit your claim online. 


What is considered a minor car accident in Canada?

The concept of a “minor” car accident in Canada varies by province or territory. A minor car crash, on the other hand, involves an incident in which the damage to the cars involved is minimal, and there aren’t any severe injuries. For example, a minor car accident in the province of Ontario is defined as one in which the overall damage to all automobiles and property involved is less than $2,000, with no reported injuries or deaths.

It’s essential that you keep in mind that even if an accident is deemed “minor,” you should still disclose it to your insurance provider and, if required, the police. Failure to report an accident may lead to repercussions, including coverage denial or criminal prosecution.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should exchange information with the other motorist, take pictures of the harm that occurred, and notify your insurance provider as soon as possible. This will help make sure that you’re provided with adequate coverage and that any repairs needed or medical care are covered.


How long does an accident stay on record?

An accident in Ontario will typically remain on your driving history for six years from the date of the accident. This means that for the next six years, the accident information will be accessible to insurance businesses as well as other entities that require your driving history. However, it is important to keep in mind that the time frame that an accident remains on your record depends on the extent of the collision as well as whether there were any charges or convictions associated with the incident. Major accidents, as well as those involving criminal charges or convictions, may remain on your driving history for a longer amount of time and a suspension in your driving privileges.

It’s also important to note that even if an accident is no longer on your driving record, it may still affect your insurance premiums or ability to obtain insurance in the future. Further to this, insurance providers often use previous accidents as a factor when determining your risk and setting your premiums as a way to encourage safe and responsible driving.


How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance?

In Ontario, it is recommended that you report a car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. However, if the 24 hours have passed, make sure to report it as quickly as possible, as it can affect how your insurance company chooses to process your claim moving forward. It’s important to note that your insurance policy likely has a requirement that you report any accidents or incidents promptly. In addition to this, failing to report an accident within a reasonable time frame could result in your claim being denied or reduced.

Reporting the accident to your insurance company allows them to start the claims process and investigate the incident, which can help ensure that you receive the coverage you need for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident. Even if the accident is minor and there are no injuries, it’s still a good idea to report it to your insurance company. In fact it is common for some minor accidents can result in hidden damage or injuries that may not become apparent until later on, and reporting the accident can help protect you in case any issues arise down the line.


How do I inform my insurance company about an accident?

So, an accident has just occurred. What do you do now? We recognize that being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Therefore, take a deep breath and remain as calm as you can. Following the accident, you should take the following steps:

  1. Check for injuries: First and foremost, check to see if you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured. If anyone is injured, call 911 for emergency medical assistance right away.
  2. Move to a safe location: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe and secured location off the road, and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. You must, however, remain at the scene of the accident as it is required by law to do so.
  3. Exchange information: Exchange your details with the other driver(s) involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers. Take photos of the other driver’s license plate, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries sustained.
  4. Contact the police: If the accident involves injuries, significant property damage, or a hit-and-run driver, call the police immediately. They can help to secure the scene, gather evidence, and file a report. Remember, if the damage is over $2000 between all vehicles involved, filing a police report is required.
  5. Collect evidence: Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and any property that was damaged. This documentation may be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company.
  6. Get medical attention: Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you were injured in the accident, even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious. Some injuries may not be as noticeable as others right away, so it’s critical to document any injuries sustained in the accident.

Now that you have gone through the steps listed above, it is now time to inform your insurance provider about the accident that has occurred. So, how do you go about doing so? Here is how to report your accident correctly:

  1. Examine your policy: Your insurance policy will detail your coverage, the procedures for reporting an accident, and any other pertinent information. Look for details on the information disclosure process, such as the deadline for reporting accidents and any supporting documents or information you’ll need to provide. Generally speaking, you should aim to talk with your insurance provider as soon as possible, within 24 hours of the accident occurring.
  2. Collect as much information as possible: Following an accident, it is critical to collect as many details as possible. Make a record of what happened, such as the time, location, as well as any additional specifics you recall. Gather the names, contact details, and insurance information of any other drivers or witnesses involved. Photograph the harm done to your car and any other property, in addition to any injuries you may have suffered.
  3. Contact your insurance provider: You can notify your insurance company about the accident by calling their claims department or using their online claims portal. Provide as much information about the accident as possible, along with the details you gathered in step 2. Prepare to answer questions about the accident as well as your insurance policy.
  4. Cooperate with your insurance company: As they process your claim, your insurance company will most likely require additional information from you. This could include providing a written statement, accompanying documents, or taking part in an investigation. Make every effort to cooperate with your insurance provider and give them any information that they request, as it will help the entire process progress as seamlessly as possible.
  5. Following up: Throughout the claims process, make sure to check in with your insurance company on a regular basis to see how your claim is progressing and to provide any extra details they may require. Keep thorough records of your interactions with your insurance provider, including the names of any representatives you talk with and the specifics of your conversations.

As you can see, by complying with these instructions, you can help ensure that your insurance provider has all of the information it needs to process your claim and provide you with any benefits to which you may be entitled. However, if you have any further information regarding the claims process, we encourage you to reach out to your assigned claims agent, as they will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Your designated claims agent is there to help guide you through the process of navigating your claim, as it can be a daunting experience no matter how many times you have been involved in an accident throughout your driving history.

With that being said, there are steps you can take if you are dissatisfied with how your claim is being handled. In fact, enhanced efforts have been made to assist consumers in getting their insurance claims settled more rapidly. This includes the Complaint-Handling Protocol that all Ontario-licensed insurance providers are required to follow. As such, even though the complaint process differs from one company to the next, If you have a complaint about how your experience with your claims process is going, your company representative will be able to give you specific details about the procedure to be followed moving forward.


Should I report a minor car accident?

Yes, even if the damage appears minor, you should report a car accident to your insurance company. But why is this? Well, here is a closer look as to why it is essential to do so, no matter how serious the damage may appear to be:

  1. Protect yourself from future liability: Even if the accident appears minor and both parties have agreed not to report it, the other driver may later decide to change their mind and file a claim or sue you for damages. You can protect yourself and ensure that your insurance provider has all the details they need if the other party chooses to take legal action in the future by reporting the accident to your insurance provider.
  2. Receive compensation: If the other driver was at fault for the collision, disclosing it to your insurance company can aid in ensuring that you obtain the compensation you are due for any damages or injuries sustained. This might involve repair costs, medical expenses, and other accident-related expenses.
  3. Comply with legal obligations: Some provinces and territories require drivers to notify all accidents, regardless of severity. In these places, failing to report an accident may result in legal consequences such as fines or the suspension of your driver’s license. As a result, it’s critical to review your region’s laws as well as your insurance plan to fully comprehend the reporting obligations in your specific circumstances.
  4. Protect your insurance premiums: Reporting a minor accident to your insurance provider may not lead to a spike in your insurance rates, especially if you were not at fault. However, failure to report an accident, even if it is minor, may result in higher rates or the cancellation of your policy if your insurance company learns about it later.

As you can see, reporting a minor accident is critical to ensuring you are protected at all costs in the future, regardless of who is found at fault. It is suggested that you do so within the first 24 hours of the accident occurring or as soon as possible. Doing so can help protect you from future claims, ensure that you receive compensation for any damages or injuries sustained, fulfill legal requirements, and protect your insurance rates which will help you save money and stress in the long run.


The bottom line about reporting minor accidents

The bottom line is that accidents happen more often than you may think. However, regardless of the severity, it is essential that you take the necessary steps following a collision to ensure you are protected under your insurance policy, no matter who is found at fault. It is also important to note that notifying the police is required under specific criteria, such as if the total damage between all vehicles is over $2000. Furthermore, reporting your minor accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible is crucial as it can help start the claims process if needed and protect you from liability.

That said, if you have any further information regarding minor accident reporting, we encourage motorists to speak with their insurance provider as they will be able to provide you with specifics related to your auto insurance policy as most insurance coverage requires you to report any and all collisions, regardless of their severity.

The team at aha Insurance in Ontario has over 20 years of insurance industry experience and is here to provide you with high-quality solutions, regardless of the policy you’re looking for. We understand that each client is unique, which is why we are dedicated to providing customized insurance policies that meet your needs while protecting your assets. We want your experience with us to be as easy and effortless as possible, whether you’re getting an assured quote in 3 minutes, purchasing and managing your policy, or filing an insurance claim.

You can reach us at any time by dialing 1-855-242-2440 or sending an email.

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