You never know when you’re going to need a tow. That’s why it’s always good to have a plan in place before you find yourself helplessly stuck in a ditch. Most drivers rely on automotive clubs like CAA or tow truck companies to provide roadside help, but there are ways your insurance company may be able to help.
Enter Ontario Policy Change Form 35 and Standard Endorsement Form 35: Both are auto insurance endorsements you can add to your policy to cover a portion of the cost of towing. OPCF 35 is available in Ontario, while SEF 35 is the Alberta version.
Coverage provided by SEF 35 and OPCF 35 – Emergency Roadside Assistance
OPCF stands for Ontario Policy Change Form and SEF stands for Standard Endorsement Form. Policy change forms and endorsements are the same thing — they’re both a type of optional insurance coverage that alters your base auto insurance policy to either include additional coverage or to exclude it.
OPCF 35 and SEF 35 are endorsements that offer emergency roadside assistance. However, only towing costs can be reimbursed. Neither version pays for parts, supplies, gas, oil, batteries, or tires. And be prepared to show receipts and ‘acceptable evidence of loss.’
The most you can be reimbursed for is $50. Also, you can’t claim it more than twice in a 12-month period. Adding one of these roadside assistance endorsements will raise your premium anywhere from $5 to $15 a year. Cost varies by insurance company.
Why purchase an emergency roadside insurance endorsement?
Having a plan for what you’ll do if your car ever stops working when you’re on the road is crucial, especially if your work requires you to be on the road and especially if you often drive to unfamiliar locations. Inexperienced drivers can also benefit from having roadside assistance.
Some car insurance companies in Ontario and Alberta offer endorsement packages you can buy to increase your base coverage that might include emergency roadside assistance. For example, OPCF 35 is sometimes paired with OPCF 27, a rental car insurance endorsement.
However, given the low coverage limits, OPCF and SEF 35 are rarely the solution for most drivers. Neither the increased premium nor and the hoops you must clear to claim the coverage are worth the hassle for $50. In fact, many insurance companies have stopped offering OPCF 35 completely.
Alternatives to emergency roadside endorsements
Most people find that third-party providers offer better value. Here are some other options for roadside assistance.
- Join an automobile club, like CAA (which also offers car insurance) or Canadian Tire’s Roadside Assistance program. Both offer roadside services that include tire replacement, winching, lockout services, gas delivery, and towing.
- Automobile manufacturers often have extended warranties for new cars that include towing.
- Sign up for a credit card that offers towing as a perk for being a cardholder.
Whether or not you opt for OPCF or SEF 35, it’s important to make sure that you’re covered by some form of roadside assistance. To find the right coverage for you at the right price, compare rates from dozens of insurance companies online.
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