Terrible accident record is still insurable
Will I be able to get insurance, and if so, will it cost me an arm and a leg?
Cars in a parking lot
Q When I first got my driver’s licence at age 16, I hit a guardrail with my parents’ 1996 Buick Regal Custom, and the car was written off. The police didn’t charge me.
A few months later, I was involved in a left-turn accident, in which my parents’ car â€” now a 1998 Toyota Camry XLE â€” was damaged. Police gave me a ticket, but I fought it and won.
At age 22, I bought a 1997 Toyota Camry XLE and, the second day I had it, was involved in yet another accident. A driver decided to jump out into traffic without looking. I feel this accident was totally not my fault.
I had insured my Camry with my dad as the primary driver, because I was basically buying the car for him.
After the third accident, the insurance company sent me a letter saying I had to be the primary driver, but that they would take care of the accident. They later cancelled the policy.
At this point, my annual rates had become too high (more than $8,400), so I parked the car and didn’t drive it.
But one day, my dad was pulled over in my Toyota for speeding, and I got a ticket for not having insurance.
Later on, my parents insisted on using the car again and got into a left-turn accident.
I was again given a ticket for not having insurance, but went to court and got the fine reduced.
About three years ago, I left to study abroad. Now, I’m planning on returning home to Mississauga and need to get a car, as I’ll be setting up a business. I’ll be 25 and getting married.
But will I be able to get insurance, and if so, will it cost me an arm and a leg?
Loy Bond, Singapore
A Wow. I know people will be shocked to read this, but every driver with a valid driver’s licence is guaranteed the right to get insurance.
If you’re at fault for an accident, your insurance rate will be affected for six years, whether you were driving or whether you allowed another person to drive your car.
As a rule of thumb, if you lend your car, you lend your insurance. If another person got a ticket while driving your car, it will not count against you. But your ticket for having no insurance will count against you for three years.
Your first two accidents and maybe your tickets would have fallen off your record by now. Being married will generally lower your rate if you’re under 25 years old. Rates between insurance companies vary dramatically.
Your best option is to do an Internet search to find which insurance company offers the lowest rate. Go to Google .ca and type in “car insurance.” Select a site that does online rate comparisons for the greatest number of companies.
Got an insurance question? Send it in 300 words or less, with your full name and address, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well, include the year, make and model of the vehicle(s) involved and key dollar amounts. Letter volume prevents personal replies. Letters may be edited.
Lee Romanov is the founder of www.InsuranceHotline.com.