Are you a driver that prides yourself on having a clean driving record? Have you been accident-free for the last six years? If so, you may qualify for an OPCF 39 Accident Forgiveness endorsement or rider. We get into more detail about this endorsement and explain how the OPCF 39 Accident Forgiveness can help protect your driving record after an accident.
What is the OPCF 39 endorsement?
Accidents happen every day. Some aren’t your fault, and others are. When an accident is your fault, it can erase all those years of accident-free driving. That is, unless you have accident forgiveness. The OPCF 39 endorsement will protect your premium when you have your first at-fault collision. It is commonly known as accident protection or accident waiver. This means that your premiums will not increase as a result of an insurance claim as long as you remain with the same insurer. It is an extra form of coverage that you can opt to purchase and tack on to your insurance policy.
Why do I need the OPCF 39?
If you have a clean driving record and are involved in your first at-fault collision, this endorsement provides one-time amnesty, or a free pass. This means the accident won’t have an effect on your driver rating, and your insurance premiums won’t go up. However, this endorsement only protects you as long as you stay with the same insurance company. If you switch to another insurer (while this insurance endorsement is in use) and apply for a new policy, your rates may rise.
Minor accidents and fault determination rules
In Ontario, the Insurance Act prevents insurers from increasing premiums for minor at-fault collisions with a few stipulations:
- The damage must be less than $2,000
- There are no injuries
- No payouts made by the insurer
- This is inclusive of all accidents that occurred in July 2016 or later
- This provision has limits to one minor accident every three years, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
After an accident, insurers in Ontario’s no-fault insurance system use the province’s fault determination rules to determine who is responsible for a collision. These guidelines outline if you will receive blame in a wide variety of scenarios. If you are given an allocation of more than 25% of fault, you may see an increase in premiums at renewal for damages over $2,000. Accident forgiveness provides policyholders with a buffer layer of protection from your first at-fault accident. However, you can only use it for one incident.
Will an OPCF 39 rider protect my driving record?
If you are found to be at-fault for an accident, adding this endorsement means your insurer will forgive you for the collision. They will not increase your premiums. However, although your premium won’t go up, the collision remains on your driving record for six years. Also, not all insurers offer their policyholders the option to buy an accident forgiveness rider for their policies.
When can I add Accident Forgiveness to my policy?
As with an endorsement or rider, you can contact your isure broker to add or remove coverage from your policy. However, an Accident Forgiveness rider must be added to your policy before an at-fault accident occurs. It will only protect the principal driver of the vehicle on the insurance policy who has a clean driving record.
Does OPCF 39 apply to all vehicles?
The Accident Forgiveness coverage applies on a per-vehicle basis. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorhomes. Moreover, it needs to be added annually when renewing a policy or when switching to a different insurer.
When would an Accident Forgiveness endorsement not apply?
However, an Accident Forgiveness endorsement will not apply if:
- You’re convicted of a Criminal Code offence in relation to an accident, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- If there’s a major conviction on your record, like driving without insurance
- If you switch companies, forgiveness may not apply and your new premium will reflect the accident
What does OPCF 39 not cover?
Accident forgiveness in Ontario won’t shield you from:
- Serious driving convictions
- Any secondary or additional collision(s) you are in after the first one
- Demerit points being added to your driver’s licence as a result of a conviction
- An accident while driving a business or commercial vehicle
Different insurers may have different rules governing if they will add an accident forgiveness clause to your auto insurance policy. In general, most insurers will insist your driving record is free of collisions for a period of six years or they will not add this rider to your policy.
You may qualify for an Accident Forgiveness endorsement if you have been accident-free for the last six years. Contact one of our isure representatives today to discuss this add-on endorsement to your policy and reap the benefits of a clean driving record.