Will my car be repaired, or written off? Auto Insurance Tips

In the aftermath of a traffic accident, it helps to have an understanding of how decisions are made by your insurance company.The assessment of whether your vehicle will be fixed or replaced is always top of mind.
Here’s some insight:
Guided by the province’s Insurance Act, your insurance company will pay the lower of the following when you make a claim for damages to your vehicle:
the cost to repair the loss or damage, or the “actual cash value” of your vehicle to replace it with a comparable one.  The “actual cash value” of your vehicle is determined by its age, total mileage, overall condition and more. If you’ve recently completed work on your vehicle that you think would increase its value, tell your claims adjuster.
According to Ontario’s insurance industry regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), your insurance company will not pay more to repair your vehicle than its “actual cash value” at the time it was damaged—less the deductible, specified on your Certificate of Automobile Insurance.

If necessary repairs would cost more, the company is likely to treat your vehicle as a total loss and offer you a cash settlement.

If you disagree with the insurance company

In the event that a fair cash settlement has not been reached, take the time to gather facts, figures and evidence to support your claim, then speak to the insurance company claims adjuster.
If you still disagree over the value of the vehicle, its contents, or the cost of repairs, the matter can be settled by an appraisal under the Insurance Act, if both parties agree to the process. Each side will appoint an appraiser, and if the appraisers are unable to agree, a final decision will be reached with the assistance of an umpire.
More information on auto insurance is available online at www.fsco.gov.on.ca where you can also download the brochure Understanding Automobile Insurance.
-- News Canada