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 ScamsRisk 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 collisionA shop that bills an insurer for damage that occurred before the collision took placeA reasonable verbal repair estimate and final bills that far exceed the estimateA 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 existHow to Fight Scams and Prevent Further LossIgnore any advice from a tow truck operator who appears suddenly on the scene after a collision. Seek recommendations. Your insurer likely has a list of preferred body shops in your area. Also ask friends and relatives. Get a written estimate that includes parts and labour Before you authorize any repairs, speak to your insurer 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 UpMost 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. Related ServicesClaims ProcessImmediately after a collision, contact your insurer to make a claim. Learn more about the claims process in your province.Car CrashStay calm and if anyone is injured call 911. It’s important to take notes at the scene of a collision and report the incident to your insurer within 48 to 72 hours. Use IBC’s form to record all contact information and collision details.RepairsYour insurer determines if your damaged vehicle will be replaced, repaired or written off. If it’s repaired with better parts, you may need to contribute to the additional cost. If you decide to have the repairs done at a repair shop that is not one of your insurer company’s “preferred shops,” you will be responsible for managing the repair. Useful LinksStaged CollisionA staged or alleged vehicle collision supports false auto insurance claims. Staged collisions put innocent drivers at risk and contribute to higher insurance premiums. Dispute ResolutionYou have options when filing a complaint. Start by getting more information from your insurer. Consider contacting the company’s ombudsperson. If your dispute is not resolved, you can contact the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) or a federal or provincial Superintendent of Insurance.Fleet LiabilityPreventive maintenance is an essential part of an effective fleet risk-management program. Your organization may be held liable for a collision if a driver operates a vehicle for business purposes.Involved in an Accident? Here’s What to DoCollect names, addresses, licence plate numbers and insurance details as needed.