Protecting yourself from car insurance rate hikes from an accident

It seems that you have to decide how you want to buy the insurance for the car.  Apparently when it comes to ICBC, the insurance rate goes up for the car owner and not the driver.  If an owner has two cars, and a friend is the principal operator of one car for work, the owner is responsible for the insurance on that car too.  There is an exception to this rule though.  If the friend has his/her own car with car insurance, The friend can be held responsible for any accidents.

It seems that the only way to protect yourself from any car insurance rate hikes is to transfer ownership of the car to the other person if he/she has no car.  ICBC will only transfer the claim to the driver if he/she has a car with car insurance.

Therefore, if you have a car sitting in the garage, it is better to sell it than lend it to a friend who has no car.  If he/she gets into an accident, you, the owner, will be held responsible and will be required to accept all penalties incurred if he/she does not own a car with insurance.

This is something that I did not know before.  I always assumed that the principal operator would be the one taking the hit, but this is not the case.

Another option if it is viable is to pay the damages out of your own pocket.  In some cases, the damage done is minor and it would be cheaper to pay for the damages out of your own pocket.

Therefore, when the repairs are complete, you can ask the insurance company if it will be cheaper to pay them in cash.  Surprisingly, they may do the calculation for you and tell you if paying cash will save you more money in the long run.  They will tell you if paying for the damages will be cheaper than paying the penalty for the next few years.

ICBC did this for me.  Therefore, it is something that should be considered.  I do not see the point of watching your car insurance costs go through the roof for a minor fender bender.

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