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What Is an Auto Insurance Endorsement Form?

Sept. 17, 2020
3 mins
Older gentleman driving and happily chatting with his passenger

Sometimes your car insurance policy doesn’t provide as much coverage as you 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.

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

Common OPCFs

These are some of the most common OPCFs you may want to sign up for:

OPCF 20: Coverage for Transportation Replacement

This endorsement will give you coverage if you’re in an accident or your vehicle is stolen, and you’ll need an alternate method of transportation. In the event you’re in an accident and it will take some time for your vehicle to be repaired, you may need to take a taxi or rent a car for a period of time. Those additional transportation costs can add up quickly. There will usually be a limit on how much coverage is provided with this endorsement.

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 typically $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 preferred driver rating or driving record when you have your first at-fault accident. That means your premiums won’t rise when you make a claim. However, your insurance rates could increase if you decide to switch to a different insurer.

OPCF 43: Waiver of Depreciation

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 insurer won’t deduct the depreciation for a certain amount of time (usually two to five years).

This coverage is for new vehicles with less than 5,000 km. 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 accident, 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 was a hit-and-run driver). This is particularly useful if you have to take time off work and have unexpected medical costs to help with your recovery.

Common SEFs

Alberta has SEFs — which are similar to 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 because 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. The amount is typically determined by an appraisal.

SEF 20: Loss of Use

Like OPCF 20, you’ll receive a reimbursement for taxis or a rental in the event your vehicle is damaged and can’t be used. There’s typically a daily and overall monetary limit.

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

Similar to OPCF 27, this gives you the same coverage you currently have on a vehicle you don’t own. For example, it can be a rental but only if it’s 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 in the event your vehicle is disabled, which can come in handy in the event you don’t belong to an auto club.

SEF 39: Accident Rating Waiver

With this endorsement, your driving record won’t be downgraded, and your premium won’t rise as a result of your first at-fault accident. This is similar to OPCF 39.

SEF 43: Limited Waiver of Depreciation

This endorsement is similar to OPCF 43. It waives the deprecation on replacement or repair of a new vehicle. This coverage usually lasts for 24 to 30 months depending on the insurer.

SEF 44: Family Protection

Like OPCF 44R, this endorsement provides protection for you and your family are injured in an accident if you’re partially at fault, the other driver is at fault, or it’s a hit-and-run and that driver has no insurance or is underinsured.

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

Deciding whether or not to add an endorsement to your car insurance policy depends on what your coverage needs are. If you are uncertain, have a conversation with your broker and get their opinion.

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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