Assumptions After a Car Accident that Could Hurt Your Insurance Claim

Car insurance offers financial protection in the event of an accident. However, many victims may have false assumptions about coverage. When it comes to insurance, you should know what and how much your policy covers to avoid unnecessary setbacks in pursuing the compensation you need.

The experienced Windsor car accident lawyers at our firm are available to help explain your coverage. We are prepared to discuss your rights and legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.

My Personal Policy Covers Business Use of My Car

Personal coverage is only intended to cover the use of your privately-owned vehicle for leisure, personal reasons or to commute to and from work. Many personal car insurance policies specifically exclude accidents that occur while the vehicle is used for business purposes. You may need to purchase commercial insurance to cover your vehicle in case these accidents occur while you are performing business tasks, such as:

  • Using your vehicle for rideshare purposes
  • Hauling supplies
  • Meeting with clients
  • Transporting other employees

If Someone Borrows My Car, They Are Liable for Any Accidents

Your car insurance typically follows the vehicle, so if you lend your vehicle to another person, your own car insurance will be implicated before the person who borrowed it. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the potential legal and financial consequences before lending your vehicle to anyone.

As Long as I Meet the Minimum Insurance Requirements, I Am Protected From Liability

This assumption is one of the most serious. Ontario law requires all vehicle owners to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance that covers the damages to the other driver and passengers. However, if the damages others sustain exceed the amount of your liability coverage, you may be financially liable for damages in excess of your liability limits.

Ontario requires you to maintain the following minimum car insurance coverage:

  • Third party liability insurance – You are required to maintain liability coverage of at least $200,000 to cover damages if you cause an accident that injures or kills another person.
  • Statutory accident benefits insurance – This insurance pays for 70 per cent of your income, up to $400 a week. It also pays for your supplemental medical care, attendant care and rehabilitation.
  • Uninsured automobile insurance – This insurance covers you in case you are hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. It also pays benefits to families if a family member is killed by an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver. 
  • Direct compensation – property damage (DC-PD) insurance – This insurance covers you if another motorist caused your accident, the other driver is insured under Ontario law and the accident occurred in Ontario.

Full Coverage Insurance Means I Am Covered for Anything

Full coverage does not really mean that it “fully” covers all damages. Full coverage simply means that you have comprehensive and collision insurance so that if you are responsible for the accident, your insurance will cover your own damages while liability insurance only covers damages to the other party.

In any event, your insurance is subject to the policy limits. If you have insurance limits up to $200,000 and you sustain damages of $500,000, the most the insurance company would pay would be $200,000, so you would have $300,000 of out-of-pocket expenses.

You can purchase additional, optional insurance to provide more coverage, such as:

  • Additional third party liability coverage – You can choose to carry more than the standard $200,000 liability insurance so that you can avoid being held personally responsible for damages that result if an accident causes a serious injury or death. Many drivers pay for liability coverage up to $2 million.
  • Additional statutory accident benefits – You can purchase additional insurance so that you can pay for replacement services like housekeeping and attendant care expenses, medical costs and funeral costs.
  • Additional property damage insurance – If you are not eligible for DC-PD coverage and found at fault for an accident, additional property damage insurance will cover damages to your vehicle.

You can also purchase additional insurance to cover expenses, such as:

  • Rental car
  • Emergency road-side assistance
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Depreciation for your vehicle

Speak With a Lawyer About Your Rights

Insurance coverage in an Ontario accident can be a confusing subject. You may not understand whose insurance and what limits apply. The knowledgeable legal team at Greg Monforton and Partners are prepared to review your insurance policy, explain your rights and assist you with the legal process should you have a viable claim and we represent you.

Request a free legal consultation to get started. There is no obligation to move forward and no upfront fees for our services. We only receive payment if we successfully help you obtain compensation.  

Contact us at (866) 320-4770 to learn about your legal options.