Costs of auto insurance claim

In early May I was parked in a private shopping strip mall lot.

I started to back out of my space, got about 4′, and then I could see in my mirror that a vehicle on the opposite side of the lane was also backing out.

I stopped, watched my mirror and waited.

The car kept coming, and then backed into my car.

They traveled about 40′ (14M) from their parking spot to hit me.


Rear bumper to my rear bumper.

I exchanged papers with the other driver and took pictures using my phone.

Other persons insurance pink slip was expired.

Their Alberta Graduated Drivers license was due to expire in 2 weeks.

Took pictures of my car and the other persons car.

On their rear bumper, all in the area of the contact there is paint and damage and dents from 2 previous collisions.
Red paint, green paint on their bumper on the dents and cracks.

My car is silver/grey

Went and got my estimate. Filed my claim. Over a month later when I log onto the BelairDirect website it shows the claim, the estimate at $1483, and I read:
“Are you at fault?”
“To be confirmed”
When I phone the adjuster he tells me they want to handle it as a “50/50” claim.
I disagree, but without witnesses I understand that may be difficult.
I ask what the charges to me would be.
$250 ( half my deductible)
I ask what the affect would be on my cost of renewal later this year.
“Call your broker”
I do not have a broker, I deal directly with them.
“We are not BelairDirect, we are Intact”
WTF? Belair is OWNED by Intact.

Whatever, called the general number, got through to a sales person.
Explained the situation.
Asked if the claim would affect my cost?
Asked “by how much, roughly?”
They tell me they can not ( or will not) tell me!

I look at what it would take to dispute this.
Can I go to court?
No, apparently Alberta has decided that all insurance matters must be handled by an arbitrator.


So, if you are in an accident in Alberta, and do not have a witness, you are screwed!

I thought crap like this only happened in places like Mexico!



71 Responses

  1. Parking lot accidents are almost always 50/50.

    • Jim Ristola Jim Ristola says:

      I wish, Nikki. Got screwed at the SS in the West end when this twit cut across me and my tire rubbed her back bumper. It was all my fault according to Legal insurance. Still makes me angry to this day. I was under the same 50/50 impression as most others are.

    • Jim Ristola there are those situations for sure, that’s why I said “almost always”.
      50/50 sucks when it’s entirely not someone’s fault, simply because it happened in a parking lot.

  2. Parking lots r pretty much use at your own risk. U both r backing out, u both r at fault.

  3. Accidents in parking lots are always 50/50

  4. Kathleen Rae Kathleen Rae says:

    This happened to me a few years ago. Except she reversed so hard and smacked me so hard plastic from the bumper went flying everywhere. Insurance still said it was 50/50 even though I saw her, stopped and she kept coming.

  5. I had a similar thing 2 years ago.. she side swiped me and I had no witness.. it was scratches and a minor dent but those scratches and minor dents were $2500+ said the estimator she lied and said i apparently came out off the grass and side swiped her! In the end i refused to claim my 50% and had to fight with both insurance companies for over a year regarding it. Dash cam is your best friend when it comes to low life lying jerks on our roads these days!

  6. A catholic schoolteacher backed up and hit my parents. They were stopped waiting for HER daughter to cross the road. She phoned the school admitting that she had hit someone then proceeded to give my parents a false name, address and information. We advised them to report it which they did, the dents were clearly on the side of the car. They tracked Mrs Walsh down and she lied and said she’d been hit. The evidence of the dents, the admission to the school secretary, the fraud were all ignored and the insurances split it 50/50 then raised everyone’s rates. That’s why people end up paying out of pockets saving car insurance companies millions of dollars. It must be nice to sell a product that people have to buy but avoid using. A license to print money.

  7. Parking lots are 50/50 I think

  8. In a parking lot unless you were driving along and they backed into you it is automatically seen as being a 50/50 especially when both are backing up, even though you had stopped. (I had a lady back into me as I drove along once, she tried to say 50/50 and wouldn’t give me her info, police took it as a hit and run and said she was 100% at fault because I was driving along and not backing up). It sucks but that is the way it is. Kind of like how you get labelled “at fault” if you rear end someone even if they were the ones that hit the brakes suddenly, or backed up suddenly.

    • They had to stop as her daughter walked in front of their car. I should add the parking lot was empty but for the two cars.

    • I am not disputing that happened in YOUR story, my reply was to the OP about what they posted. But the fact remains 2 cars in a parking lot, backing up; even when one is at a full stop waiting, is deemed 50/50. Had her car been in park it would not have been.

    • What is the main problem to me is that they refused to tell me what the cost added to my car insurance would be.

    • Denise Purdy Denise Purdy says:

      When reversing and stop to yield to someone or another vehicle always put it back into park. Your wheels are then considered to have moved forward and not in a reverse position. Backing vehicle is always at fault.

  9. Ins. Companies always say 50/50. Their way of not having to deal with it and then will screw you on next renewal…ask to speak to a supervisor demand it

  10. Even when you have a witness they still do 50/50 it’s crap! I had a witness (when I was asking people if anyone saw the accident the guy said you mean when that car hit you!) But they waited 2 months to contact him & only did so after my repeted calls (one message from the insurance company even said we don’t want to bother people over the Christmas break) and of course he could not remember enough details by then. I spoke with Supervisors etc!

  11. Nicole Love Nicole Love says:

    In Mexico you wait until the insurance adjuster shows up

  12. Happened to my husband. Got side swiped on the Yellowhead by someone changing into his lane when he was clearly already in it…. 5000 to repair and they called it 50/50 since the other guy denied any wrong doing and there were no witnesses… Laaaame. Such a god damn hassle. Took over a year for the insurance company to deal with too btw.. Painful.

  13. parking lot you are both at fault even if it was the other drivers fault nothing you can do about it except pay up

  14. Perry Moore Perry Moore says:

    If his insurance was expired you should have called the police… otherwise it’s in a parking lot so why wouldn’t it be treated as a 50/50 claim?…

    • I did not notice the date until I got home later, and looked at the photos. That was when I was filing my claim with the insurance company the next day.

    • Rick Smawley Rick Smawley says:

      you still can go to police if the other car is not insured it legally cannot be on the road

    • Police wouldn’t do anything. We were hit while stopped at a red light by someone with a class 7 license driving by himself. This person even tried to drive away after. The police said he would have to go down to the cop shop to get a fine.

  15. Perry Moore Perry Moore says:

    Honking when you back up doesn’t automatically give you the right of way

  16. You shouldn’t post other people’s license plate numbers.

  17. Katie Thomas Katie Thomas says:

    Exactly same thing happened to me! I waited for a car to pass me before backing out of a spot. Well he decided he wanted a spot and starts reversing down the aisle at about 20km ph! Admitted fault several times then and there, said sorry etc then filed as 50/50. I was screwed over. It’s bullshit.

  18. please blur that licence plate number, especially as they were not proven ‘at fault’ by the insurance company. It’s understandable that you would be angry (I would be too), but posting the licence number is not right

  19. That’s super crappy to read, but unfortunately in a parking lot it’s 50/50 whether you’re to blame or not.

  20. Ok… if you honk when you back up like someone stated above you should probably review the learners hand book on proper back up procedures. In no way does honking give you the right of way meaning people dont need to stop. As for the post, you and the other driver are equally responsible to ensure your pathway is clear. If you didnt want to get hit you could have pulled back into your stall, im not saying that them not paying attention is the right thing but you complaining about it now isnt going to change it.

  21. This was on the news once, it’s always 50/50 in a parking lot

  22. dopnt fix it its just a little paint or fix it yourself

  23. Perry Moore what I mean is I stop honk and start to back out people don’t even allow me to back out

  24. I called Alberta Goverment Treasurer ( responsible for insurance companies) got the Ombusdman number.
    That led to me getting the insurance company ombudsperson number. That got me a call back. The led to them having a supervisor call me back from Intact/Belair.
    She told me ( off the record, of course) that rates would be going up probably around 20% next year in general due to the “bad year and the economy” and that this, if claimed, would also result in an increase of around $400 per year.
    For 4 years, minimum.
    So, not worth claiming it.
    $250+(4 x 400) = $1850 for $1470 worth of damage
    Called the body shop and asked what if I brought them my bumper, just wanted it sanded out and painted: $400
    Good job to Cougar Collision!
    Next mission: Buy a pair of car cameras for front and back views.

  25. Rick Smawley Rick Smawley says:

    parking lot accidents in alberta have been 50/50 for qite a while now

  26. You’re absolutely right. If theres not witnesses to establish fault, it can be a nightmare.
    It sounds like a relatively small amount of damage. $1400.00?
    Long term it may not be worth your while to even claim it through insurance. Just fix it one your own. 2 people backing out of parking stalls and colliding, no witnesses. Its hard to prove fault.

    Going through an insurance claim , you will have to pay a deductible as well as risk future premium increases. Not worth it for $1400.00 damage.

  27. Jessy Turner Jessy Turner says:

    And you watched them back into you.

  28. Doesn’t Most parking lots have cameras?

  29. if you are in a parking lot…it’s always going to be 50/50

  30. Travis Purdy Travis Purdy says:

    Dash cam. Yes it points forward however a good cam with date time location and SPEED will save your ass. It would have shown you were stopped at time of impact making it 100% the other parties fault. Costco has Garmin 2.0 dash cams for about 200 bucks. Worth every penny. Can even be used to fight photo radar as they are GPS calibrated and override the manually calibrated radar guns on photo radar units.

  31. Melissa Ulm Melissa Ulm says:

    Parking lot accidents are 50/50. Even if you are parked and someone hits you. Stupid I know but that’s how it works.

  32. All parking lot accidents are considered 50/50

  33. Sylvia Julie Sylvia Julie says:

    Going through it right now. Had a guy come out of the parking lot too fast back in December, and slid into my front end. I even have the dash cam footage to prove it. They still wanted to 50/50 it and I had to pay my $500 deductible when I picked up my car from the shop. My adjuster decided to escalate my claim so now I get to wait another year or so before they decide if he’s at fault.

  34. Julia Bryce Julia Bryce says:

    parking lot is 50/50 from what i understand.

  35. Perry Moore Perry Moore says:

    I agree it isn’t polite to not let you back out but at the same time they do have right of way and you technically are supposed to treat it as backing out of your driveway onto a road etc. If it’s not clear you wait..

  36. I’m sorry…they do not have to “let you back out” as they have the right of way. It is your responsibility to make sure the way is clear before you back out, honking or not.

  37. Omg common courtesy would be nice at some point ? Don’t u think. I guess I’m wrong I’m not saying I should go right when I get in my car but seriously people don’t even look

  38. Sorry, I just don’t agree. It’s not about courtesy. There are laws and rules for a reason and that reason is to prevent accidents. For example: I am “courteous” and let you back out. The person going in the other direction, who has the right of way, keeps going. You don’t notice them, they don’t notice you. Bam. Accident. That person now has to pay, because it’s 50/50, because I was “courteous” and you were impatient.

  39. So I should sit and wait for 20 min cuz people can’t be alittle respectful ok. Good to know

  40. It’s not about respect or courtesy. Everyone has different ideas of what these things mean. That’s why we have to have rules. As someone who parks in a handicapped stall, I’m truly surprised you don’t see this! Can you imagine if you had to rely on courtesy, and not the law, to have a space for you to park in? I don’t disagree that it would be nice if people were more courteous, but they aren’t, therefore we have rules, which need to be followed to prevent accidents.

  41. Candice Stearns and someone who’s driven since she was 16 and is 52 and no accidents I think I’m doin something right

  42. I had similar thing happen to me as well about 7 years ago a parking lot is 50/50 no matter what really. It’s pure crap just makes us extra careful in those parking lots.

  43. There is a “proper” way to back up… signal to the way the back of your car is going, put your car into reverse… and WAIT. Thats what the lovely alberta learners handbook teaches you.

  44. I do know how to drive it’s the fact when u do said things people come whipping behind without a thought


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