You’ve just been involved in a fender bender. Damage to your car is minor and you decide it’s not worth reporting this accident to your insurer. But, is that a good idea?
Fichier Central des sinistres automobiles
Insurers use the Fichier central des sinistres automobiles (FCSA), a claims tracking data base, to check your claims history. The FCSA, which is managed by Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA), keeps track of the accidents you’ve been involved in over the past six years.
If your file is accident-free, you could very well benefit from a preferential rate. However, if you’ve made five claims in the past three years, for example, you represent a higher risk for your insurer and your premium will be evaluated correspondingly. It could then be higher.
The FCSA was, in fact, set up to allow insurers to set rates equitably, so that drivers involved in several accidents pay more than drivers with a clean record.
It’s better to declare your fender bender
You may be among those who believe it’s not necessary to declare a fender bender to your insurer if you decide to pay the vehicle repair costs yourself. Think twice: not only are you required to report the accident, but you should know that, if the other driver declares the accident to his insurer, the accident risks being reported in your file at the FCSA.
In this case, when your insurer consults your file at the FCSA, he’ll be informed of the fender bender in question and will only get the other driver’s version of the accident.
Therefore, it’s better to report the accident to your insurer yourself, even if you don’t make a claim. You can then give your version of the facts and he’ll be able to determine your level of liability in the accident.
Getting a copy of your file
You can get a copy of your claims file at the FCSA by making a request through GAA (click on the fallowing link).