Parking Lot Accidents: Why Am I Always At-Fault?
It’s happened to nearly everyone. At one time or another, most people have experienced a parking lot fender bender. Most often one car collides with another exiting a space. In these cases, it may seem crystal clear which party was at-fault in the incident. What is not so clear is why your insurance company may disagree. Let us explain.
Auto Insurance companies in Ontario use 7 fault determination rules from which to determine fault in automobile accidents. When there is a car crash, adjuster’s will apply the rules to the incident and determine fault from 0 to 100%. However, when an accident happens in a private parking lot, these rules no longer apply.
Why would someone who is not at-fault be labeled at-fault?
In short, it’s because of the Highway Traffic Act. The fault rules only apply when accidents happen on public roads that are subject to the Highway Traffic Act. In a private parking lot, the Highway Traffic Act does not apply. Consequently, insurers tend to deem a car accident in a parking lot as 50% at-fault for both parties.
How can you prevent a parking lot accident?
While nothing will guarantee you can avoid an accident, remember to always check your surroundings before exiting a parking space. You may also find it easier to exit a space if you back into it when arriving. If you park in a lot with any kind of gradient, ensure you use your parking brake. And lastly, it’s generally safer to just walk a bit further and park away from congested and heavily trafficked areas in a private parking lot.
What should you do if you are in a parking lot accident?
Call your agent or broker (like KTX Insurance Brokers Ltd.) and they can give you advice on how you may want to proceed. The extent of the damage and size of your deductible will be items to discuss. If you find that you have had one of these claims, you may see a rate increase on your renewal. This can be stressful and frustrating but it may not be as bad as you think. Be sure to shop your renewal by doing car insurance quotes online and you’ll make sure you are always paying the best and cheapest rate for you.