An Ontario woman said she was shocked when she had to pay for repairs after her car was struck from behind by a pick-up truck and the driver fled the scene of the collision.
“I was so disappointed and hurt. The guy hit me from the back and pushed me into the car in front of me," Toronto woman Niashia Browne told CTV News Toronto.
Browne said she was stopped at a red light on Dec. 21 when a large dark-coloured pick-up truck crashed into the back of her 2016 Honda Civic.
Security video viewed by CTV News Toronto shows the truck did not attempt to slow down as it slammed into her car.
Browne said she was dazed by the crash, but got out to speak with the driver of the pick-up truck.
"He never got out of his truck and all he said to me was ‘Sorry, let’s exchange information,’ and when I went back to my car to retrieve my information in a split second he was already gone," Browne said.
Browne said she is working two jobs to pay her family’s bills, and she said to save money she dropped collision coverage from her insurance policy.
Since the other driver left the scene of the accident, Browne will have to repair her car herself, something she said she can't afford.
Browne says she received a quote to repair the back of her car for $8,000. She was told the front of her car could also cost that much or more which means it may have to be written off and not worth fixing.
"I’m hoping they can find this person to take full responsibility for what he has done," Browne said,
Niashia Browne's car is seen in this undated photograph.
Ontario drivers pay some of the most expensive car insurance premiums in the country and some people are looking for ways to cut costs by dropping collision coverage.
To legally drive, it's mandatory to have liability insurance, but you don’t have to have collision coverage.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said if a driver hits your vehicle and leaves, liability coverage does not cover repairs to your car.
"That would be considered a hit and run and if you don't have collision coverage there would be no coverage under your policy for that," Anne Marie Thomas, with IBC, said.
The high cost of car insurance in Ontario could be contributing to more hit-and-run collisions in the City of Toronto.
According to Toronto Police Traffic Services, there were 5,081 hit-and-run collisions in 2022 and 6,212 in 2021.
Browne is insured with Belairdirect. CTV News Toronto reached out to the company and a spokesperson said “We are unable speak to a particular customer’s claim due to privacy reasons; however, we can share that we work very closely with our customers and investigations are ongoing.”
“For auto accidents, police reports can take up to 30 days to be produced, so outcomes on a claim may take time to be finalized. In some circumstances, if additional evidence becomes available the outcome on a claim may change and coverage restored.”
“In this case, the situation has changed, and we now have additional evidence to proceed with full coverage for the vehicle damage claim. Our customer has been advised of this position and we are moving forward.”
Brown said Belairdirect will now provide coverage for her smashed up 2016 Honda Civic and provide her with a rental car.
“I can actually smile again I was so depressed. This is a massive relief for me and my family,” said Browne.
Thomas said it’s recommended to keep collision coverage on your vehicle unless it's very old or it's not worth very much.
If in doubt talk to your insurance company about your policy and coverages to see if your car is covered if it's stolen, vandalized or in a hit and run.