Fender bender without any damage: should you report it?
After a minor fender bender involving your vehicle—like a low-speed collision on a slippery road—the damage may be so minor that you choose not to file a claim with your insurer. If that’s the case, you still need to report it to your insurer. Here’s why.
Because you are required by law to report all accidents
Your duties and obligations as an insured are governed by the Civil Code of Quebec. Sections 2470 and 2471 state that you must notify your insurer of any accident involving your insurance policy as soon as you become aware of it and the circumstances surrounding it.
Enter your version of events in the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles
Any automobile claim reported to an insurer, whether there is a claim or not, is added to the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (FCSA). Managed by the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA), this directory allows insurance companies to access each driver’s claims history over the past six years to determine their insurance premium.
If you don’t report the accident to your insurer, the other driver may still report it to their insurer. The claim will then be added to your file, solely based on the other person’s version of events. By reporting the accident yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding it. If you don’t make a claim, your insurer will also mark in your file that no claim has been paid to you.
You can view your statement for free at the Fichier central des sinistres automobile to make sure the information is accurate and, if required, request that it be verified with your insurer. Here’s what you need to do.
It allows your insurer to determine your level of liability
When a collision is reported, the insurer will investigate to determine the liability of its policyholder. If you haven’t made a claim or a declared anything, your insurer will not be able to establish your liability in the accident and enter it in the Fichier central.
Be honest when shopping for new auto insurance
If you are shopping for car insurance at a new company, you will be asked if you’ve had an accident in the last few years. It’s important to be honest and say that you’ve had this accident even if you didn’t previously declare it. If you fail to do so, it could constitute a false declaration and the consequences may not be favourable for you.
Fichier central des sinistres automobiles