Beginning January 1, 2024, auto insurance policyholders in Ontario will have more choice when it comes to their coverage. The Ontario government has introduced an optional endorsement for drivers called OPCF 49 – Agreement Not to Recover for Loss or Damage from an Automobile Collision.
What does OPCF 49 mean?
Ontario Policy Change Form (OPCF) 49 is an optional endorsement to opt out of the Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) coverage normally provided under the OAP1 automobile insurance policy.
This means, if you remove the DCPD coverage and you’re involved in an automobile collision, for which you are not-at-fault or partially at-fault, you would be responsible for the following, without compensation from your insurance company:
- Automobile repair
- The value of the automobile or its replacement
- The loss of use of the automobile (i.e. the cost to rent a replacement vehicle)
- Damage or loss of the contents inside the automobile at the time of the collision
- Towing and storage costs associated with removing the vehicle from the scene of the collision
What is DCPD – Direct Compensation Property Damage?
DCPD coverage stands for: “Direct Compensation Property Damage”. It’s a mouthful, but ultimately DCPD coverage, provided that certain statutory requirements are met (outlined below), means that you will be compensated by your insurance company in the event that you are involved in a not-at-fault or partially-at-fault accident.
The statutory requirements are:
- An automobile or its contents, or both, suffers damage arising directly or indirectly from the use or operation in Ontario of one or more other automobiles (i.e. it is not a single vehicle accident, other automobiles are involved in the collision);
- The automobile that suffers the damages or in respect of which the contents suffer damage is insured in Ontario; and
- At least one other automobile involved in the collision is insured in Ontario.
Can I still have Collision, Upset, or All Perils Coverage on my Vehicle?
No. If you add the OPCF 49 endorsement to your policy and remove the DCPD coverage, you will also automatically opt out of Collision, Upset, and All Perils Coverages, and they are not available to add back on. The OPCF 49 endorsement removes all coverage for loss or damage to your vehicle in the case of a collision, so you as the insured will have to bear all the damage costs associated with the accident, whether you are at-fault or not!
However, Comprehensive Coverage is still available as an optional add-on that ensures you are compensated by the insurance company for losses other than collision, including perils such as fire, theft or attempted theft, vandalism, and more. Comprehensive Coverage is still available with the OPCF49 endorsement, if desired.
What if I Lease or Finance my Vehicle?
If you lease or rent your automobile, or your automobile is financed, you should not sign an OPCF49 endorsement form unless you have specifically consulted with your leasing/financing company. It is likely that by signing an OPCF49 that you may be in breach of your financing or leasing agreement.
If you lease or finance the vehicle you should not sign this form without consulting with the leasing or financing company because you may be personally responsible for loss or damage.
What are the potential savings with OPCF 49?
There may be some premium savings but the financial risks of signing an OPCF 49 endorsement outweigh the short-term cost savings. One study in Ontario concluded the average savings to opt out of DCPD would be about $16 per month.
On the other hand, the study noted that a typical automobile collision in Ontario requires the following: Towing (approximately $300), Car Rental ($700/week), Storage ($400/week), plus the cost to repair the damage to the vehicle and replace any damaged items.
Based on these estimates, even one accident can eliminate any cost savings from adding the OPCF49 and, in fact, is likely to end up costing you more in the long run.
What are Alternative Options to Save on my Auto Insurance Policy?
Your Staebler Broker is the best resource to ask about cost savings on your auto insurance. Some examples where insured drivers may be eligible to save include:
- Bundle your home and auto insurance with the same insurance company
- Consider a higher deductible
- Add a telematics device or app to track safe driving
- Make sure you’re maximizing discounts by using winter tires
- Check to see if you’re eligible for Group Rate Insurance Savings
- Your Staebler Broker is always there to review your policy with you and ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.
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Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in car insurance, home insurance, small business, and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, Wellington County, Perth County, Waterloo Region and southern Ontario. Get a Quote to get started today.