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Friday, 30 September 2011

What is no-fault insurance?

There are many misconceptions surround no-fault insurance. Some believe that no-fault insurance only covers you if you're not at fault, while others think that it covers you regardless of whether you're at fault or not. In actuality, no-fault insurance only means that you deal directly with your insurance company when making a claim, regardless of who is at-fault. This means that you get the financial help you need right away, instead of waiting for your insurer and the other drivers' insurer to determine fault and pay out benefits then.

How is fault determined? 
There seems to be a lot of mystery around how fault is determined. There are two groups who make decisions about fault: the police and the insurance companies. The police will make a judgement at the scene of the accident, and then later on insurance adjusters from the insurance companies involved will assign fault on a 0%-100% scale. In some accidents, blame is not entirely laid on one party. For instance, if you were rear-ended because you braked unnecessarily, but the driver behind you did not react quickly enough, it is possible that both parties will be found partly at-fault.

Will my insurance premiums go up? 
If you're found to be at-fault, your premiums will likely increase based on the percentage of fault you were responsible for. In many cases, your insurance will allow you to make one claim without penalty if you have been a clean driver for many years. After that, any claim you make will cause a serious increase in your premiums. Talk to your insurance broker about whether your car insurance policy has a "get-out-of-raised-premiums free" card.

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