Report and claim: two very different actions
You get distracted for just one second and get into a low-speed collision with another vehicle. Although the damage was minimal, you fill out a Joint report with the other driver. Should you declare the incident to your insurer? Yes, because you are required by law to do so. Should you file a claim? That’s up to you. Here’s an overview of these two very different steps in settling an automobile claim.
Reporting an automobile accident
You must report any accident to your insurer
No matter what the damage is, articles 2470 and 2471 of the Civil Code of Québec require that you report the event and its circumstances to your insurer. The insurance company must add a note to your file in the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (FCSA), a database that lists all automobile accidents you’ve been involved in over the past six years.
If you choose not to make a claim for the damage you suffered, your insurer will note on your file that no payment has been made to you.
Why it’s to your advantage to report an event
By doing so, you allow your insurer to establish your liability for the accident, as the case may be, and to enter it in the FCSA, the reference tool used by insurers to establish a policyholder’s premium. If you fail to report a minor fender bender to your insurer, it’s possible that the other driver will still report it to their insurer.
In such a case, the claim will be added to your file, but only the other party’s version of events will be included, without you having the opportunity to provide your own explanation.
Filing a claim after an automobile accident
Nothing requires you to file an insurance claim
The role of auto insurance is to compensate you for damage to your vehicle because of an accident. Damage that can sometimes be very costly! It’s up to you whether to file a claim or not with your insurer. If your vehicle is still safe to drive on the road, if the damage is cosmetic or if it requires minor repair work, you may prefer to pay for it yourself.
If you choose to file a claim with your insurer following an accident, they will then take over the repair process.
Fichier central des sinistres automobiles