How Much Insurance Premium Increase After An Accident?

How much do insurance premiums increase after an accident?

Driving on busy roads takes a lot of responsibility and practice. Even so, no matter how good of a driver you may be, accidents can still happen. And, as a Canadian insurance broker, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive at aha Insurance is how much do insurance premiums increase after an accident occurs? Therefore, we’ve taken the liberty to answer this question and others throughout this post, so you can have a better idea about how your car insurance premium may change following the event of a collision. As such, let’s dive deeper into Canadian automobile insurance premiums and driving records in more detail below.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an accident affect your insurance rate?

It should come as no surprise that following the event of a collision, whether you are found at fault or not by your insurance company, your car insurance rate will inevitably increase and show up on your driving history for a total of six years. Therefore, even if you were to change insurance companies, any and all accidents will continue to appear until six years have passed. With that being said, it should be noted that this period may vary amongst provinces. However, in the province of Ontario, the duration is six years. Furthermore, another thing to take into account is if you are found at fault for the accident. In most instances, if you have been found not at fault for a collision that you are involved in, the majority of insurance companies won’t increase your premium. However, keep in mind that you will lose your accident-free status. In most cases, this type of accident forgiveness allows drivers to avoid a rate increase after their first accident. If you are not at fault in a collision, your rate will not rise, but your accident redemption will be deleted. The Insurance Act, which governs how insurance is purchased and sold in Ontario, as well as how insurance claims are resolved, outlines Ontario’s fault determination regulations. Typically, a driver will be assigned 100%, 50%, or 0% fault.

How much does an at-fault accident raise insurance?

Unfortunately, the actual amount your insurance premium will increase following an at-fault accident will depend on numerous factors and will vary between motorists. Therefore, while we are unable to determine how much this will increase for you specifically, the average increase you can expect to see is 15% of what you are already paying at the time of the accident. Furthermore, we can provide you with some insight into the factors that will ultimately be considered by your insurance company. Here is a closer look at some of these factors in more detail:

  • The type of accident and the severity of the accident
  • Who was driving your vehicle at the time of the accident
  • Which vehicle the accident occurred in
  • Your previous driving record at the time the accident occurred
  • How much damage is done to your car
  • The cost it will take to repair or replace your vehicle depends on your insurance policy
  • Whether or not you have previously used your accident forgiveness designation

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to this type of question. However, the reality remains that if you are deemed at fault for a collision, you can expect to pay a higher insurance premium the next time you got to renew your car insurance. Even if you do not meet the criteria for accident forgiveness from your auto insurance company, there could be ways to reduce your insurance costs following a collision. Here is a closer look at what you can do to potentially decrease your insurance premium:

  • Increase your deductible, as the higher your deductible is, the lower your overall premium will be.
  • Consider bundling your other insurance policies, as most insurance providers offer discounts when you purchase more than one insurance policy with their company.
  • Adjust your insurance coverage.
  • Consider using a different car, as the make and model inevitably influence what you will pay for insurance at the end of the day.
  • Shop around with other insurance providers to see if there is a better deal for you somewhere else.
  • Use an insurance broker rather than purchasing from an insurance provider directly, as they can offer you access to several major insurance providers for free.


How long does an accident stay on your driving record?

 As we mentioned earlier, the length of a car accident will remain on your driving history and will vary between provinces. However, in Ontario, you can expect this accident to stay on your record for a maximum of six years. And, as long as this accident remains on your history, you will continue to pay an increased insurance premium until the accident is expunged from your record.   Again, if you are found not at fault under the Ontario Insurance Act, you will most likely not have to pay an increased insurance rate the next time you go to renew your policy. You may, however, lose your accident-free status on your driving history.  

How long after an accident can you make a claim to your insurance?

Following a car accident, we understand that navigating what happens next can be a daunting experience. In the province of Ontario, if you are involved in an automobile crash that causes damage to your property or injury, you must notify your insurance agent, broker, or company within seven days, irrespective of which party was at fault. If you cannot file a claim within seven days, you need to do so as soon as you can. Your insurance company might not be obligated to recognize your complaint if you do not notify them of your accident within a reasonable time frame. It shouldn’t take more than an hour most of the time, but it could take as few as 15 minutes in some cases. It will ultimately depend on the severity of the crash, the number of details you can provide your insurance agent, and the number of inquiries your adjuster asks. However, the time it takes an insurer to respond to a claim varies. Ultimately, if you are involved in an automobile crash and are unsure whether you need to file a claim, speak with an insurance broker from the Aha Insurance team. Our group of car insurance specialists can advise you as to whether filing a claim would be advantageous to you moving forward, and we are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

How long does an insurance company have to investigate a claim?

Once you have filed your claim with your insurance provider, a claims adjuster will delegate to your file and will contact you over the phone or by email promptly. In some instances, the insurance agent will want to meet with you in person, while in others, the claim will be managed entirely over the phone. A claim form, also identified as a Proof of Loss form, may be needed to back up your claim. Furthermore, during this time, your claims insurance agent will find out the extent to which your insurance policy covers the claim, explain the coverage options offered by your plan, and assist you throughout the claims process. This agent will serve as your point of contact during the claims process should you have any questions or concerns during this time. Furthermore, when an insurance company is required to conduct an in-depth inquiry into your claim, in general, the insurance provider must investigate your claim within 30 days of receiving it. If they are unable to finish their inquiry within 30 days, they must explain why in writing. Following this initial letter, the insurance company is required to send you a case update every 45 days. During this time, you may seek professional counsel from a lawyer if needed. 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that accidents are prone to happen. In fact, on average, 160,000 accidents are reported across Canada each year. Therefore, if you are ever involved in a car accident, just know that you aren’t alone and that your insurance company is here to help you navigate the claims process after the fact.  With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, the team at aha Insurance in Ontario is here to provide you with high-quality solutions, regardless of what policy you’re in search of. We understand that all clients are different, which is why we are dedicated to offering customizable insurance policies that reflect your needs and protect your assets at all times. We’re here to make sure your experience with us is streamlined and seamless from start to finish, whether you’re getting a guaranteed quote in 3 minutes, buying and managing your policy or filing an insurance claim.  Contact us directly at 1-855-242-2440 or drop us a message via email at any time.

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