Most drivers know that their deductible is an amount they must pay towards a claim before their insurance company pays. However, it is a common misconception that the deductible must be paid every time a claim is made. Although in most cases the deductible is enforced, there are instances where it is not. The following are some common examples of when a deductible is applicable and when it is not, in the province of Ontario.
You are involved in an accident where you are 100% “at-fault”
Insurance companies use a set of guidelines called the Fault Determination Rules, which are detailed in the Automobile Insurance Act, to determine who should be deemed "at-fault" in a car accident in Ontario. If you are determined to be completely at-fault, then you will have to pay the deductible on your car insurance policy.
You are involved in an accident where you are not “at-fault”
If the insurance companies of the parties involved determine that you are not at-fault, you do not have to pay the deductible on your car insurance policy. Your repairs will be covered under the Direct Compensation portion of your policy, which is a mandatory coverage in Ontario.
You are involved in an accident where you are partially “at-fault”
If you are determined to be partially at-fault by the insurance companies involved, you would then have to pay only a percentage of the deductible. For example, if you are deemed to be 50% at-fault, you would be responsible for paying 50% of your deductible.
Your vehicle has been hit by an unidentified third party (hit & run)
This is an unfortunate situation to face. If you do not have Collision coverage on your car insurance policy, you may not be covered for this type of loss. In this situation, you will have to pay for any repairs, or replacement of your car at your expense. However, if you are able to identify the person who hit your car, the loss would then be covered under the Direct Compensation portion of your insurance policy, for which you do not have to pay a deductible. The person who hit your car must also have an insurance policy for this type of coverage to apply.
Your vehicle has been stolen or vandalized
Should your vehicle be stolen or vandalized in some way, the Comprehensive portion of your car insurance policy would cover the damages. You will, however, have to pay the deductible.
When in doubt, be sure to ask your insurance professional about what coverage is most appropriate for your particular situation and if a deductible payment will be necessary when making a claim.