Which Insurance Company Covers The Damage To My Vehicle If I Was In An Accident

Alberta Auto Insurance FactsWhat is Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) in Alberta?

Since January 1, 2022, Alberta has included the Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) coverage in all auto insurance policies. The DCPD coverage replaced the previous property damage portion of the third-party liability coverage in auto policies. The main purpose of this auto insurance reform was to streamline property damage claims and make the system more efficient for people involved in no-fault accidents.

Before these changes, if you were in a no-fault accident, you would have to go through the at fault drivers’ insurance to have your vehicle repaired. Since these changes, you are simply only required to deal with your own insurance company. This streamlines the process for property damage, including damage to your vehicle, after a car accident. Talk to your Edmonton car accident lawyer for more information.

To be clear, the DCPD coverage only effects property damage claims and does not affect personal injury claims.

 What does DCPD cover:

The DCPD coverage in your auto policy covers:

  • any damage and repairs to your vehicle,
  • any damage to contents in your vehicle and
  • loss of use of your vehicle.

Loss of use essentially means that if you rent a vehicle or pay for taxis while your vehicle is being repaired, DCPD coverage will cover the cost.

It is important to note that DCPD coverage is only triggered if you are not at fault for an accident or are partially at fault. For accidents where you are found to be at fault, you must have additional coverage to be covered. This is usually Collison insurance or Comprehensive insurance that you add onto your vehicle insurance policy. Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance are optional, and have an additional cost in your insurance policy. If your vehicle is financed, then the loan may require you to have comprehensive insurance on the vehicle so that your vehicle is covered even if in an at fault accident.

For example, if you are found to be 0% at fault for an accident then DCPD coverage will cover 100% of your vehicle repair cost and car rental costs.  However, if you were found 50% at fault then DCPD coverage will cover 50% of the costs. The rest must be paid out of pocket by you or through optional insurance coverage that you may have, such as Collison insurance or an optional endorsement.

When does DCPD coverage NOT apply:

It is important to be aware of the various situations that DCPD does not apply, so that you may have additional coverage in place to protect you. The most obvious one is if you are at fault in an accident. In this case, your insurance will only cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle and any expenses related to renting a car if you have the required optional insurance coverage such as Collision coverage or comprehensive coverage.

Another scenario that DCPD will not apply is in hit and run accidents. This is because your DCPD coverage is only engaged if you are hit by a vehicle insured by an Alberta insurance company. Since with a hit-and run the other insurer cannot be confirmed, DCPD coverage will not apply. This means that if you do not have the optional Collision insurance coverage and are hit by an unidentified driver, you will be on the hook for any damage to your vehicle, car rental and contents in the vehicle.

Can you opt out of DCPD Coverage?

The Alberta government introduced 2 endorsements, S.E.F No. 49(A) and S.E.F No.49(B) in March 2023 that allowed drivers to opt out to save on their insurance premiums. However, it will likely be extremely difficult to find an insurance company that offers either of these endorsements. As of June 2024, nearly all the insurance companies in Alberta have decided not to offer the opt out option. If you can find an insurance company that allows you to opt out, it is extremely important to fully understand the ramifications. While you may save a small amount of premiums in the short term, over the long term you may end up paying much more. For example, if you opted out of DCPD coverage and got in a 100% not at fault accident, you would be personally responsible for paying any cost related to your vehicle damage, car rental and damage to the contents in your vehicle. This could mean tens of thousands of dollars for an accident you were not at fault for.

When deciding what coverages and endorsements to include in you auto insurance policy, it is vital that you speak with an insurance expert. This will help ensure you are properly protected in the event of an accident.

If you have been in an accident, and have questions about vehicle repairs or insurance covering the expenses, contact the experienced lawyers at Moustarah and Company to discuss your personal injury claim.