What is Collision Auto Insurance Coverage Policy Explained

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There are two major instances when you may think of revisiting your car insurance coverage level. Firstly, your car insurance may be up for renewal soon. Or you may need to get a policy for your new car. Then, you may decide to buy or change coverage specific to your situation. When it comes to car insurance, you may not want any regrets later for not having proper coverage. One of the most common options is to get collision coverage, also known as upset coverage. It is required to have mandatory standard coverage for car insurance in Ontario.

When you are a victim of a hit and run accident and not at fault then you could claim only under collision coverage. This is true even if the driver was identified or not and also when your car is legally parked. This coverage will also pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle if another party was uninsured. If you don’t have collision coverage and your car was new or expensive, then the repair costs could be huge.

When Do You Need Collision Coverage

Collision pays for damages caused when the insured car collides with another vehicle, object or rolls over. The ‘object’ could also be an attached trailer, ground surface or anything on or in the ground.  There is no simple rule to decide whether or not to have collision coverage. The decision may depend on the value of your car. You may check how much your insurer could pay in case your car is totaled due to an at-fault collision. If you drive an old car it may not be worth having collision coverage.

You could calculate how much could be the cost of repairs in case of an accident and compare it with your annual premiums for collision before adding it to your policy. If you have never had an accident for several years, you may be paying for extra coverage on an old car with less value. If you had this coverage when you got the policy, after a few years you may have to rethink about the coverage level. Some factors that you could consider would be the cost of replacing spare parts, deductible, maximum claim amount and effects of a collision claim on your monthly premium etc.  Versus the peace of mind, this coverage could give you.

Is there A Deductible for Collision Claim

When there is a collision claim, the insurance companies determine the percentage of fault to calculate the payout. If you are at fault, then you are also liable to pay the deductible. If you are only partially faulty, then you may pay as per your fault ratio for the deductible. If you were 0% at fault for the collision then you could claim for the repairs under DC-PD coverage with no deductible. In case the collision occurred in any other province and you are not faulty then you could still claim under collision coverage on your policy.

When Do You Go To Collision Reporting Centre (CRC)

In the event of a claim, you may have to estimate if the total damages cost more or less than $2,000. You may also inform the police and they will advise if you need to go to a collision reporting center. The CRC are set up to help with accident reports if there are only damages to property worth more than $2,000 and no injuries. You may go to the closest CRC in that area within 24 hours of the collision. There are no fees for the services at CRC. You may give them your vehicle registration and insurance details to document the damage, complete and file the collision report.

It is important to note the following before you go to CRC after an accident.

  • The contact details of the other driver including license number.
  • Car insurance details such as policy number and car insurer name of the other driver.
  • Vehicle details such as make, model, plate number and VIN etc.
  • Contact details of witnesses at the location if there were any.
  • Jot down the exact location, date, time, description for the collision.

In case you are not able to get all the above details, at least some of it could help the claims adjuster to track the other party. This is vital to determine no fault coverage. If the other party details are missing then you may have to claim under your collision coverage and also pay for the deductible. A dash cam in your car may also be a helpful guide for your claims adjuster to determine fault and benefit you if you are found not at fault.

Is It Important To Inform Your Insurer About The Collision

A collision is an upsetting event and if you are injured, you may not be able to think proactively. After you deal with reporting the incident to the police and CRC, it is also important to notify your car insurance company. If you do not and the other party claims, their insurer could contact your insurer to settle the claim. So, your insurer will anyway know about the collision. Even if you had paid for the damages out of your pocket to avoid a claim. As per your policy terms, you are expected to report any collision or damages to your vehicle, even if there were no injuries or fatalities.

What Happens To Your Insurance Rates After A Collision Claim

When the claim is assessed and you are found partially or wholly faulty, it could affect your insurance rates. Your insurer could increase your rates if you are assessed more than 25% at fault for the collision. The premiums could go up mostly during the next policy renewal. If you think that by not informing your insurer you could keep your insurance rates, you may be proven wrong. If you do not notify your insurer, they may also refuse to renew your policy. As you had violated the terms of the insurance agreement by non-disclosure of facts related to the collision.


Resources:

https://roadrules.ratesdown.ca/Ontario_Automobile_Policy_What_Events_Are_Covered_(Cheat_Sheet)

https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/brochures/Pages/brochure_claims.aspx#company