FCSA: The Right Information Means the Right Premium
Article revised on 22 June 2017
Will you being taking out or renewing car insurance soon? You should be aware that insurers use your file with the Automobile Claims Database (FCSA) to help determine the right premium.
What is the FCSA and how does it affect your insurance premiums? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Automobile Claims Database?
The FCSA was created in 1990 and is a public database administered by the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA), under the l’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). The FCSA catalogues all automobile losses involving an insured for the previous six years, whether or not a claim is filed. It’s an indispensable tool for your insurer when you apply for insurance or renew your contract, since it allows your insurer to determine the risk that you represent and establish your premium accordingly.
What does my FCSA file contain?
Your file contains a history of the automobile losses associated with your driver’s licence, including those that aren’t declared, regardless of responsibility for the accident and the owner of the damaged vehicle. Since 2009, losses have been assigned to the person who has care of the vehicle, that is the person who was at the wheel of the vehicle when it was damaged or stolen, or the last person to have driven it before it was damaged or stolen.
So if an accident occurred while a member of your family was at the wheel, the loss would be entered in his or her file, not yours. Similarly, if you’re involved in an accident when driving a friend in his or her car, the loss will be entered in your file and not your friend’s file.
How does the FCSA affect my insurance premium?
When an accident happens, you file a police report or a joint report, on which your driver’s licence number appears. When you call your insurer, the loss will be entered in your FCSA file. What if the damage is superficial? You might be tempted to pay for the repairs yourself or offer to compensate the other driver, so that the incident isn’t recorded. Think again! If the other driver informs his or her insurer of the accident, the loss will be entered in your file, even if you don’t file a claim. Plus, the percentage of fault for the accident that will be assigned to you will be determined by the other driver’s insurer.
That’s why it’s important to notify your insurer of any incident involving your vehicle and to never directly pay for damage, even if you don’t file a claim. That way you know that your file contains accurate information and that your insurance premium is fair.
Who may see my FCSA file?
The only people authorized to see your file are yourself and the insurer with whom you file a claim or a quote request for automobile insurance.
Check it to make sure it doesn’t contain errors! For example, your driver’s licence may have mistakenly been entered in connection with an accident that you weren’t involved in. You’ll find the directions for how to access your file and correct it in the event of errors on the GAA website.
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