Can I change to a new auto insurance company if I have been in a car accident?

By Laura Pearce

Can I change to a new auto insurance company if I have been in a car accident?
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Yes. In fact, you can change auto insurance companies at any time.

However, if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you want to change insurers afterwards, there are some important things to remember:

1. Any deductible that you are required to pay is payable to the company you were insured with at the time of the accident;

2. If you were at fault for the accident and someone injured in the accident sues you as a result, the insurance company that insured you at the time of the accident is the one that is responsible for paying any compensation to the plaintiff;

3. If you are sued for causing the accident, you cannot avoid participating in a lawsuit by changing insurance companies. You will have to co-operate with your former insurer for as long as the lawsuit continues;

4. The third-party liability coverage on your auto insurance policy at the time of the accident is all the coverage you have available to a claim made against you, even if you buy increased coverage from the same insurer or from a new insurer after the accident;

5. If you need medical or rehabilitation treatment and apply for Statutory Accident Benefits after the accident, you must apply to the insurance company that held your insurance at the time of the accident;

6. You are limited to applying for the Statutory Accident Benefits that you had available on your insurance policy at the time of the accident, even if you later buy optional benefits on a new policy; and

7. If you were at fault for the accident, the premiums on any renewed or new policy will increase. Your current insurance policy might have a “one free accident” clause that means your premium will not go up for an accident you caused. However, a new insurer might consider all accidents within a 3 to 5 year span of you applying for insurance.

This article is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have any questions, please contact us at 519-946-4300.