Loss Prevention After a Collision

​By practising safe driving techniques, you can prevent a collision. If you are in a collision, watch out for repair shop scams and other preventable costs.

Beware of Repair Shop Scams

Risk is everywhere – loss can even happen when your vehicle is being repaired after a collision. Organized insurance fraud can include criminal leaders; “bad actor” towing companies; medical clinics with little interest in medicine; and auto repair shops in the business of defrauding insurers. Be on the lookout for:

  • A repair shop that intentionally causes damage to a vehicle after a collision
  • A shop that bills an insurer for damage that occurred before the collision took place
  • A reasonable verbal repair estimate and final bills that far exceed the estimate
  • A mechanic who leaves the estimated amount blank when you sign a repair authorization (he or she can then secretly fill in an inflated amount)
  • A shop padding bills by “repairing” mechanical problems and damage that don’t exist

How to Fight Scams and Prevent Further Loss

  1. Ignore any advice from a tow truck operator who appears suddenly on the scene after a collision.
  2. Seek recommendations. Your insurer likely has a list of preferred body shops in your area. Also ask friends and relatives.
  3. Get a written estimate that includes parts and labour
  4. Before you authorize any repairs, speak to your insurer
  5. Ensure the repair shop agrees, in writing, to contact you for approval before performing any work that exceeds a set dollar amount.

Liability Costs Can Add Up

Most people don’t have the money to pay for losses they might cause while driving. Provincial governments require drivers to carry a certain amount of third-party liability coverage [type of coverage] for any losses they might cause others to suffer as a result of operating the motor vehicle. Typically, the person who did not cause the collision has the right to sue the at-fault driver in certain circumstances for additional costs and damages not covered by accident benefits.
If you’re sued for more than the liability limit in your auto insurance policy, the balance of the award would be paid out of your pocket. Contact your insurer for detailed information about mandatory coverage​ in your province. Your policy may include coverage for the following:

  • Collision or Upset. This coverage pays the cost of repairing your car following a collision with another car or an object such as a tree, animal, guardrail or pothole.
  • Comprehensive. This coverage insures against loss or damage to your car resulting from miscellaneous causes including fire, theft, windstorm, hail, flooding, malicious mischief, riot or civil commotion, explosion, earthquake, falling or flying objects, vandalism, etc. It does not cover loss caused by collision or upset.