Your guide to Fire and Theft Deductible endorsements

By Michelle Bates

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Auto insurance endorsements allow you to alter your policy to better suit your individual coverage preferences. While there are several endorsements that can be added to your standard policy, Ontario and Alberta each have one specifically for applying a deductible to a loss due to fire and/or theft.

A driver might choose to opt for one of these endorsements in select scenarios, but the coverage adjustment isn’t for everyone.

When do I need OPCF 40 and SEF 40?

Ontario’s OPCF 40 and Alberta’s SEF 40 endorsements are best suited for those who can afford to pay a deductible in the event of a fire or theft claim.

If you have a more expensive vehicle and a pricey premium, you may choose to opt for the deductible if your chances of fire or theft are low.

Whereas, if you have a less expensive vehicle that wouldn’t be worth the deductible if you actually had to pay it, you may not want to opt for the endorsement. These deductibles also may not be best for those who drive motorcycles or ATVS, as fire loss is more prevalent amongst these vehicles.

The two endorsements offer different deductible additions according to how the comprehensive auto insurance policy kicks in after a claim in each province.

Ontario Policy Change Form – OPCF 40

In Ontario, you pay a deductible in the event of a theft claim up to your agreed upon maximum. But when it comes to a fire claim, the deductible is waived on a standard Ontario Automobile Policy Owner’s Policy (OAP 1).

The OPCF 40: Fire Deductible allows you to add the deductible back to your policy in the event of a fire loss.

Alberta Standard Endorsement Form – SEF 40

In Alberta, there is no deductible for fire or theft under comprehensive coverage with a Standard Policy Form (SPF 1).

The SEF 40: Fire and Theft Deductible Endorsement allows you to add deductibles for both perils to your policy.

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Why do I need a Fire and Theft deductible endorsement?

The OPCF 40 and SEF 40 endorsements help drivers lower their car insurance premiums by adding one key component to their policy — a deductible where one typically doesn’t apply.

By adding a deductible to your policy, you’re sharing the risk of that peril (fire or theft) with your insurance provider. So, if you’re looking to lower your premium and are prepared to cover some of the cost of a claim, the endorsement can save you money.

If you’re not willing to take on added risk but still want to find a lower premium, you can compare car insurance quotes and see what rates are available from other providers in Canada.

How much do OPCF 40 and SEF 40 cost?

While some endorsements lower your risk level for a fee, Fire and Theft Deductible endorsements increase your risk level at the cost of cheaper premium, so there is no cost to add them to your policy.

However, if you add an endorsement that lowers your financial risk after a claim, you can expect that to be reflected in your premium.

How long do I need this car insurance endorsement for?

If you decide to opt for a fire and/or theft deductible endorsement, it makes sense to have it for as long as you can afford the unexpected expense.

But, once your vehicle reaches a certain age, it would be wise to drop the endorsement, as insurance providers replace your vehicle at its actual, depreciated cash value. So, you could end up paying a deductible that’s worth almost half of your car’s value.

If you’ve had a change in income that would affect your ability to pay the deductible, it’s also a good idea to keep your comprehensive policy as is for fire and theft coverage.

Whether you should add an endorsement to your policy is a personal choice that involves weighing your specific risk level to these perils, along with your savings and the affordability of your current premium.