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Crash for Cash: Survey finds 42 percent of Ontarians prefer cash settlement for fender benders

Toronto, Ontario — A recent survey from RATESDOTCA seems to indicate that a significant portion of Ontario drivers would prefer to leave their insurance company out of the loop when it comes to small fender-bender accidents.

The survey found that 42 percent of Ontario drivers would prefer to pay or accept a cash settlement instead of making an auto insurance claim. RATESDOTCA suggests that this is possibly due to the anticipation that filing an insurance claim will increase a driver’s policy rate.

Of those 42 percent of drivers, 59 percent of them said that they would only accept a cash settlement if it was equal to or less than their insurance deductible.

The survey did note that drivers were asked if they would “consider” accepting a cash settlement, though 83 percent reported that they had never actually done so in the past.

It was also found that female-identifying drivers were more likely than male-identifying drivers to pay or receive settlements of under $1,000, at 58 and 42 percent respectively. Conversely, 60 percent of male-identifying drivers were found to be more likely to accept or pay a cash settlement of more than $2,000, which is Ontario’s collision reporting threshold, as compared to 40 percent of female-identifying drivers.

The report goes on to point out that there are a number of criteria that would prevent an insurance company from increasing the premium rate of a driver found to be at-fault of a minor collision. The criteria are as follows:

  • The collision happened on or after June 1, 2016.
  • There are no injuries, and the damage sustained to each vehicle is less than $2,000.
  • None of the people involved submitted an insurance claim for payment.
  • The at-fault driver pays for all the damage.

This directive only applies to one minor at-fault collision every three years.

The report concludes with the warning that while cash settlements may seem like a painless solution, they could open a driver up to liability later on if a paper trail for the accident was never established.

“It pays to be honest with your insurance broker or provider,” said Tanisha Kishan, RATESDOTCA expert and chartered insurance professional.

“Not only does being upfront about a collision help get you the coverage you may need, but it also gives your insurance advisor the information they need to offer you the best advice for your situation.”

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