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Eventhough all drivers in Canada need to be insured to operate a car, there will be times you may be in an accident with someone who does not have any insurance. This type of insurance, which is the same as uninsured motorist coverage, covers you if you are in an accident with a driver who is uninsured, or they commit a hit-and-run.
Uninsured automobile insurance, which is included in basic policies, will have nuanced coverage differences in different provinces.
For example, if you or someone in your vehicle is injured involving someone who is uninsured, Accident Benefits coverage will provide coverage except Newfoundland and Labrador where accident benefits are not mandatory.
If there are sustained injuries you can get something called Family Protection Endorsement coverage, except in Quebec. It’s important to check your specific coverage as there are varied limits and exceptions in different provinces.
What about damages? If there is damage to your car, you will likely receive coverage under Uninsured Automobile coverage, which is mandatory in all provinces except Alberta. In that province you would likely be covered by Collision coverage.
Finally, there could also be cases of hits-and-runs. This again would likely be covered under Accidents Benefits or through similar coverages by government-run programs in Quebec, B.C., Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The main difference between uninsured automobile coverage and collision coverage is that the former applies only in an uninsured driver was at fault, while the latter applies to more situations and can be used to repair or replace a vehicle after any accident, regardless of who is at fault.
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Yes. There are a few types of car insurance that are mandatory in Canada and uninsured automobile insurance coverage is one of them.
Most policies have limits. For example, in Ontario, the minimum limit for uninsured automobile insurance is $200,000. If this is not enough for your situation, you can increase limits by using the Family Protection Endorsement, where you can get additional protection up to $2 million. But check your individual policy to ensure you are getting the coverage you need.
Uninsured automobile coverage is part of mandatory coverage within your overall insurance policy. Therefore, it cannot be quoted as a stand-alone coverage. However, you can compare quotes between insurance companies on InsuranceHotline.com to find the best overall rates that suits your needs.
Essentially, since the other driver has no insurance or benefits, your benefits will be paid by your insurance company directly to you. According to the Financial Regulatory Authority of Ontario, if any other vehicle in the accident was uninsured, you can make a claim under the mandatory Uninsured Motorist Coverage of your policy. Coverage is up to $25,000, less the first $300. You must be able to identify the owner or driver of the other vehicle to qualify. If it is a hit and run, and you can’t identify the driver, for example, you might be covered but will depend on your policy. If the driver who causes damage to your vehicle cannot be identified, your claim will be paid under your collision insurance. Your insurance provider will likely make you to pay the deductible.
This also allows your own auto insurer to “step into the shoes” of the at-fault driver. You would then sue the at-fault driver and your own auto insurer. If an unidentified driver hits you and causes damage, there is no way to reach out to them. Therefore, you can make claims against your own provider, or sue them, if need be, to get compensation for medical bills, loss of income etc. But don’t expect your provider to hand over the money too easily. Your car insurance company will fight your claim just like any other claim. However, at least with your coverage you’ll have some recourse to recover money for your car accident claim – even in a situation where the driver cannot be identified.
Also, your auto policy has an endorsement or rider option, called the OPCF-44 endorsement, also known as the Family Protection Endorsement. As mentioned earlier, the minimum limit for uninsured automobile insurance is $200,000. If this is not enough for your situation, you can increase limits by using the Family Protection Endorsement, where you can get additional protection up to $2 million. Essentially, your insurance provider will make up the difference between the liability coverage an under or uninsured driver may have and the full extent of the damages or medical treatment you need up to your $2 million limit.
If you are caught driving without insurance, you will be fined and could face other penalties such as a license suspension of up to a year and your car could be impounded for up to three months.
Here are some of the most common questions we get about uninsured car insurance...
The short answer is yes. But different policies and different jurisdictions have varied amounts. In Ontario, for example, uninsured automobile insurance is subject to a $300 deductible. Check with your insurance provider to see what options you have in your part of the country.
It depends on the situation, but it certainly could affect your rates. Even though your insurance provider will pay the coverage to you, it is possible they will not be able to recover all the costs from uninsured driver protection, therefore your rates could increase.