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If You Live in Ontario or Alberta, Consider These Auto Insurance Endorsements

Sept. 8, 2021
5 mins
A man reaches for the volume dial while driving his car

Sometimes your car insurance policy doesn’t provide as much coverage as you’d expect, or there’s certain coverage you don’t want. In either case, you can get an endorsement or add-on that increases or reduces the amount of coverage you have.

The names of these vary depending on where you live. They’re known as Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF) in Ontario or Standard Endorsement Forms (SEF) in Alberta and other provinces.

Common car insurance endorsements in Ontario

These are some of the most common OPCFs you may want to pay extra for:

OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement

This endorsement will give you coverage if you’re in a collision or your vehicle is stolen, and you need an alternate method of transportation. If you’re in a collision and it will take some time for your car to be repaired, you may need to take a taxi or rent a car during that time. Those additional transportation costs can add up quickly. There will usually be a limit on how much coverage this endorsement provides. For example, your policy may state you get a rental car for up to 30 days.

OPCF 27: Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s)

With this endorsement, you’ll receive coverage if you damage a borrowed vehicle — whether it belongs to a friend, a parent, or it’s a rental. The coverage limit is usually around $25,000 to $50,000. One reason to get this endorsement is you don’t need to buy the insurance offered by the rental car company.

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OPCF 39: Accident Waiver/Forgiveness

This endorsement will protect your premium when you have your first at-fault collision. That means your premium won’t rise when you make a claim. However, your insurance rate could increase if you decide to switch to a different insurance provider.

OPCF 43: Waiver of Depreciation

The moment you drive a new vehicle off the lot, it starts to depreciate. If you get into a collision and your vehicle is totalled or stolen, typically, your insurance company will deduct the depreciation value of your vehicle from the book value when you make a claim. But with this endorsement, the insurance provider won’t deduct the depreciation for a certain amount of time (usually two to five years).

This coverage is for new vehicles with fewer than 5,000 kilometres. If your vehicle is stolen or totalled, you’ll get what you paid for the vehicle instead of the depreciated value — which could be a lot less than your outstanding car loan.

OPCF 44R: Family Protection Coverage

When you’re in a serious collision, you don’t know if the other driver has adequate coverage until after it occurs. This endorsement gives the at-fault driver the same amount of coverage as you, even if they don’t have insurance, have less insurance, or can’t be identified (which would be the case if it were a hit-and-run driver). The OPCF 44R is particularly useful if you must take time off work and have unexpected medical costs to help with your recovery.

Common car insurance endorsements in Alberta

Alberta has SEFs — which are like OPCFs — but with a different name. Here are some of the common endorsements in Alberta:

SEF 13D: Limited Glass Coverage

This reduces the coverage on your vehicle’s glass in return for a lower premium. It will typically exclude the front windshield from damage from rocks or other debris. In most cases, the reason to get this endorsement is that the cost to replace glass is lower than the deductible.

SEF 19A: Valued Automobile(s)

With this endorsement, you receive coverage up to a certain value. This is often used with antique and classic vehicles where the depreciated value may be much lower than its actual value. An appraisal typically determines the amount.

SEF 20: Loss of Use

Like OPCF 20, you’ll receive a reimbursement for taxis or a rental if your vehicle is damaged and unusable. There’s typically a daily and overall monetary limit.

SEF 27: Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile

Like OPCF 27, this endorsement gives you the same coverage you currently have on a vehicle you don’t own. For example, it can be a rental, but only in Canada or the United States.

SEF 35: Towing and Emergency Services

You’ll receive a specified amount of money to pay for towing and other emergency services if your vehicle is disabled, which can come in handy if you don’t belong to a roadside assistance program.

SEF 39: Accident Rating Waiver

Like OPCF 39, this endorsement will ensure that your premium won’t rise after your first at-fault collision. But again, the at-fault collision will still appear on your driving record, and because you can’t take this endorsement with you from company to company, it means you may face a higher rate if you take your policy elsewhere.

SEF 43: Limited Waiver of Depreciation

This endorsement is like OPCF 43. It waives the depreciation on the replacement or repair of a new vehicle and usually lasts for 24 to 30 months, depending on the insurance provider.

SEF 44: Family Protection

Like OPCF 44R, this endorsement provides protection if you and your family are injured in a collision where you’re partially at fault, the other driver is at fault, or it’s a hit-and-run.

Do you need to add an endorsement to your car insurance policy?

Deciding whether to add an endorsement to your car insurance in Ontario depends on your coverage needs. If you are uncertain, have a conversation with your broker and list your primary concerns.

An endorsement could protect the total value of your new vehicle or your premium if you are in a collision. In Alberta, drivers can also add optional auto insurance coverage to help cover the costs of towing and emergency services.

Craig Sebastiano

Craig Sebastiano is an award-winning writer and editor with more than a decade of experience in journalism, marketing, and communications. He’s written about a number of financial topics, including investing, real estate, robo-advisors, mortgages, credit cards, pensions, taxes, insurance, RRSPs, and TFSAs. Craig’s work has appeared in MoneySense, Morningstar, Benefits Canada, Advisor’s Edge, Job Postings, and Ryerson University Magazine. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course and is an avid do-it-yourself investor.

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