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Do You Have to Pay the Deductible if You’re Not at Fault for a Collision?

Every automobile insurance policy’s collision coverage has a deductible. A deductible is the portion of the cost of repairs you agreed to cover when you took out your automotive policy. Your insurance company picks up the rest.

If you’ve had the misfortune of being in an auto accident, even a minor one, then you know it can be a nerve-wracking experience. But if the accident was through no fault of your own, the idea that you’ll have to cover the deductible on your policy seems like adding insult to injury.

Your insurance company knows this of course, and that’s why in some provinces – like Ontario – you probably won’t have to dish out any money to cover your policy’s collision deductible. Not all provinces have what’s called Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD). This insurance coverage pays for the cost of repairs for a faultless driver, not your collision coverage. Ontario drivers, for example, have this coverage while Alberta drivers do not.

How do collision deductibles work in provinces with DCPD?

Your policy’s collision deductible is the amount you selected when you purchased your coverage, and you would have had several options to choose from to best suit your budget. Your deductible could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand; it all depends on what you chose. If you’re uncertain what your collision deductible is, have a look at your policy or contact your broker for clarification.

When another driver is wholly at fault for the accident

When another driver causes a collision and is entirely to blame for the damages caused, you’re generally not going to have to pay your collision deductible. The claim cost will go through your DCPD coverage, which typically has a $0 deductible.

The exception to this rule is if a hit-and-run driver causes the damages. With a hit-and-run, the damages go through your collision coverage, and you typically have to pay the deductible. It’s an unfortunate reality but At least it isn’t an all-too-common occurrence.

When you’re partially to blame for the accident

In some situations, fault for a collision is shared by the drivers involved. When fault is shared, and you’re partially to blame, you’ll typically have to pay a portion of your deductible. The portion you’ll pay usually mirrors the amount of fault assigned to you. For example, if you’re 50% at fault for the collision, then you’ll have to pay 50% of your collision deductible to get the damages repaired.


Source: Lesley Green for insurancehotline.com


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