Automotive

What are my rights in Canada when I am zero at fault in a car accident?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 25th, 2018 4:21 pm
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 1:39 am
I think you are missing the point here completely! I am making an assertion here.
If The insurance companies are so generous and so accurate and have the best interest of their clients and consumers, then they should pass this simple test i mentioned with flying colors, yes? The scaremongering about abuse of system is in very bad taste. Why don't we all wake up one day and call all insurance companies a scam too. we don't.

Besides It is not my job to negotiate. they are the ones charged to compensate victim. The victim should not go hat in hand and ask to be made whole again.

You are forgetting that insurance company cannot restore to "whole" if they unilaterally determine market worth with appraiser films and Market Research firms all eat the bread from the hands of insurance companies and work for them. We should not think for a second that their views are impartial.
First of all, it is far from scaremongering. Even with the current safeguards there is already far too much abuse of the system.

Second, you chose not to deal with your own insurance company, therefore you are not their client and they are not there to look out for your interests.

The insurers need a way to handle large number of claims efficiently, using firms and tools is one of those ways. Again you are free to disagree with those tools, and negotiate. Negotiating is part of every settlement process. If you feel that is not "your job", unfortunately, you could be leaving money on the table.
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 1:41 am
Going back to the original topic of this thread… Does anyone know a zero-at-fault person's right with regard to obtaining a rental car? I am interested to see what goes on in different provinces in Canada BC, AB, SK etc. What has been your experience during the years? What are the best practices? What does the law says?

Generally, common sense says that if 100% faulty person takes away your transportation and means by which you make income, they (or their insurance) need to accommodate for a rental car.... they should pay (reimburse) victim party for rental car fees. Isn’t that right? What has been your experience?
Yes in your case the insurer of the at fault party would pay for the rental vehicle up until the vehicle is repaired or a settlement offer has been made. Most insurers will continue paying for the rental for a small amount of time after the repairs are done or after settlement.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
19 posts
1 upvote
Does anyone know when the insurance company can change the registered status of a car to Salvage? Do they make that decision unilaterally? or do i have to accept their offer and sell them my car before they are able to change status to Salvage with the ministry? Under whose authority can they change the status of car?
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Jan 28th, 2018 9:33 pm
Does anyone know when the insurance company can change the registered status of a car to Salvage? Do they make that decision unilaterally? or do i have to accept their offer and sell them my car before they are able to change status to Salvage with the ministry? Under whose authority can they change the status of car?
When they make you an offer to write off your car, they will ask you to send them your registration. Once they receive it they will change it to salvage.

If you're planning to buy the salvage back from the insurer and repair it yourself, your provincial government will outline the requirements before they will change the status to rebuilt or whatever the equivalent is in your province.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
19 posts
1 upvote
absolut123 wrote:
Jan 29th, 2018 10:24 am
When they make you an offer to write off your car, they will ask you to send them your registration. Once they receive it they will change it to salvage.

If you're planning to buy the salvage back from the insurer and repair it yourself, your provincial government will outline the requirements before they will change the status to rebuilt or whatever the equivalent is in your province.
Thanks for your reply, but your explanation is not clear! Can you please elaborate once more.
I want to know at what point do they get authority (authorization) to change status a car to salvage? What, if i don't send them my registration... or say... What if they obtain a copy of my registration (electronically or online from ministry) behind my back without telling me? I think from a contract Law and insurance law point of view,
do they need in formal way my acceptance of their settlement offer? before they are authorized? what if i don't accept their settlement offer?
Last edited by newcal on Feb 14th, 2018 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
19 posts
1 upvote
If insurance write-off settlement payout amount is low, and when cost of inspection of salve to active status is high, then can people repair own cars outside insurance involvement? I imagine in such scenario, car's registration status remain Active and car does not suffer a large depreciation. It may be viable choice to walk away from insurance settlement to avoid a write off.... Can anyone who has been through this process or experience please comment here? Appreciate it
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 2:56 am
Thanks for your reply, but your explanation is not clear! Can you please elaborate once more.
I want to know at what point do they get authority (authorization) to change status a car to salvage? What, if i don't send them my registration... or say... What if they obtain a copy of my registration (electronically or online from ministry) behind my back without telling me? I think from a contract Law and insurance law point of view,
do they need in formal way my acceptance of their settlement offer? before they are authorized? what if i don't accept their settlement offer?
You need to sign the registration indicating you are transferring ownership to the insurance company. If they do not receive this, they will not pay. They cannot get this behind your back because it requires your signature, and like I said earlier, they won't pay until they receive this so there's no motivation to go behind your back and try to be sneaky.
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 3:05 am
If insurance write-off settlement payout amount is low, and when cost of inspection of salve to active status is high, then can people repair own cars outside insurance involvement? I imagine in such scenario, car's registration status remain Active and car does not suffer a large depreciation. It may be viable choice to walk away from insurance settlement to avoid a write off.... Can anyone who has been through this process or experience please comment here? Appreciate it
The process is that you would pay for every cent out of your own pocket. If that's what you want to do, you can do that but it is not recommended.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
19 posts
1 upvote
absolut123 wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 10:25 am
You need to sign the registration indicating you are transferring ownership to the insurance company. If they do not receive this, they will not pay. They cannot get this behind your back because it requires your signature, and like I said earlier, they won't pay until they receive this so there's no motivation to go behind your back and try to be sneaky.
Thank you for your clear explanation. This information is very helpful to all.

Do you know general guidelines around Insurance companies write-off payout? For example: Does insurance company add GST to settlement amount? I ask because i heard some people negotiate to buy back their car by giving back GST amount to insurance company for purchase price of car.
Much appreciate any clarification.
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2009
143 posts
24 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Feb 14th, 2018 6:01 pm
Thank you for your clear explanation. This information is very helpful to all.

Do you know general guidelines around Insurance companies write-off payout? For example: Does insurance company add GST to settlement amount? I ask because i heard some people negotiate to buy back their car by giving back GST amount to insurance company for purchase price of car.
Much appreciate any clarification.
The settlement amount should factor in taxes.

My own experience is a little bit different so your experience may be different. I had a relatively new car that was written off, we had the new vehicle protection so insurance was required to replace it with a current model year. They still hired a firm to do research on the costs to come up with the settlement amount. The report they sent me factored in all taxes and other fees associated with purchasing a car.
Newbie
Feb 14, 2018
4 posts
You don't actually buy your car back from the insurer. You own the vehicle at all times. Once you agree on a settlement value, the insurer owns the salvage, unless you have asked to keep it. Then you will be paid the settlement amount, less an amount for the salvage. If you aren't keeping it, you sign over the ownership of the vehicle salvage to the insurer.
Be very careful about keeping the vehicle. Make sure it is deemed repairable first . In some provinces, the insurer must notify the government of the status of the salvage. If it has been declared unrepairable, you will not be able to register it again even if you repair it. The reason the insurance company won't fix it is because the cost to repair exceeds the value of the vehicle. Do you want to pay more than the vehicle is worth.
If you disagree with the settlement offered by the insurer, you can invoke the appraisal provision of the policy. It is in the "Statutory Conditions" and details what to do in case of disagreement.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
19 posts
1 upvote
sage123 wrote:
Feb 15th, 2018 11:58 am
You don't actually buy your car back from the insurer. You own the vehicle at all times. Once you agree on a settlement value, the insurer owns the salvage, unless you have asked to keep it. Then you will be paid the settlement amount, less an amount for the salvage. If you aren't keeping it, you sign over the ownership of the vehicle salvage to the insurer.
Be very careful about keeping the vehicle. Make sure it is deemed repairable first . In some provinces, the insurer must notify the government of the status of the salvage. If it has been declared unrepairable, you will not be able to register it again even if you repair it. The reason the insurance company won't fix it is because the cost to repair exceeds the value of the vehicle. Do you want to pay more than the vehicle is worth.
If you disagree with the settlement offered by the insurer, you can invoke the appraisal provision of the policy. It is in the "Statutory Conditions" and details what to do in case of disagreement.
Thank you for your reply. Your information is very helpful. So you are saying if i don't sign a settlement agreement with insurance company, they are not authorized to sneak behind my back and de-register my car and set its status to salvage? I ask because they use this very intimidation tactic to bent people over. In a nutshell saying "If you don't take our offer, we will send in our forms to ministry etc etc and you won't be able to use or register your car ever again". Is that even legal? If insurance adjuster ever de-registers a car or set it as salvage without owner's agreement , wouldn't that amount to a malpractice? In view of absence of my signature, could insurance twist my words saying that they got my approval verbally? Or say that i was somehow agreeable because i didnot respond to their threats.
Newbie
Feb 14, 2018
4 posts
You are talking about 2 different things. There are two reasons why a vehicle is declared a total loss:

- The vehicle is repairable, but it would cost more to repair than the vehicle is worth, and that makes it a total loss.
- Vehicles that are so badly damaged they are not safe to repair and are therefore declared salvage. If the vehicle is not repairable (damaged too badly to be repaired), the insurer MUST notify the government that it cannot be repaired, regardless of whether you keep it, because that's the law. That is to prevent people from putting unsafe vehicles back on the road.

I am not aware of any Insurance companies that use this as an intimidation tactic. Most total loss disputes arise over the value of the vehicle at the time of loss. Just because you have put a bunch of work into it does not necessarily make it more valuable. i.e. a new transmission may not make your vehicle more valuable - it needs a transmission to run. Your best defence if you disagree on the value is to invoke the "appraisal" provision laid out in the Statutory Conditions listed at the back of your insurance policy ('in case of disagreement'). That provision is there so you have a way of resolving the dispute.

Top