Submitting the Appeal:
- Complete the appeal form on the back of your surcharge notification. Be sure to answer all questions asked and review it before mailing it in. Refer to a copy of your operator’s/crash report when completing the appeal form so that your version of events remains consistent. Keep a copy for yourself.
- Submit it promptly. The form says you need to submit it within 30 days of the surcharge notice date. The earlier you submit this form the better as the wait for an appeal hearing is currently as long as 8 months. And don’t forget the $50 check (follow the instructions on the front of the form!)
At Your Hearing:
- If you are appealing a surcharge, then you feel that you are no more than 50% at fault for the accident. State your case as to why this is true. And remember, the fault doesn’t always lie with the other driver(s). Adverse weather conditions are the number one reason that surcharges are overturned, even in the event of single vehicle accidents. You are trying to convince the board that this incident was either not your fault, or unavoidable.
- Don’t whine! If this is not your fault, make that plain. The magistrates who listen to appeals all day hear one sob story after another. Complaining that this is your first ever accident or that a surcharge will increase your insurance premium is not a valid argument. It doesn’t negate the fact that this incident occurred, which is the reason for the hearing. Explain clearly and concisely what happened, and what elements of the situation were beyond your control, whether it was the actions of other drivers/pedestrians/animals involved, weather, etc… You certainly want to make it clear that this was not your fault, but don’t alienate the magistrate in the process!