Auto insurance policies can be confusing. Many people may not have a clear understanding of what their policies actually cover. After a crash, drivers are often surprised to find out that their insurance will not cover all of their damages. They may have to pay out of pocket to help make up the difference.
Below, our lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners discuss the kinds of damages that basic auto insurance policies may not cover, the minimum amount of auto insurance required in Ontario and why it may be worth purchasing higher levels of coverage, especially in the event of a serious accident.
An initial consultation is 100 percent free, completely confidential, and comes with no legal obligation. It costs nothing to have a lawyer review your claim and determine your eligibility for compensation after being injured in a crash. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront fees involved.
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What Auto Insurance Policies May Not Cover
Ontario has a no-fault insurance system. This means that you will need to go through your own insurer to help cover your damages after an accident – regardless of who was at fault.
However, if you have basic auto insurance coverage, your insurer may not compensate you for certain damages after filing a claim. These damages may include, but are not limited to:
- Damage to your car – If you caused the crash, your insurer will not cover any damage to your car unless you have collision coverage.
- Damage to a rental car – If you get into an accident in a leased car, your policy will likely not cover damage to the rental car unless you purchased additional coverage or endorsements.
- Damage due to the elements – If your car gets damaged by the weather, a natural disaster, falling objects or from hitting an animal, it will only be covered under a comprehensive policy.
- Theft of your car – If your car is stolen or vandalized, your insurer will not cover the loss of your car unless you have comprehensive coverage.
- Wages you have lost – Even if the crash has caused you to miss work while recovering from your injuries, there is a cap or limit on the amount of wages that can be replaced by your insurer. (In most cases, the difference could be sought out in a lawsuit against the at-fault party).
- Pain and suffering experienced – Emotional and psychological damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish are generally not covered in a basic auto insurance policy. (If your injuries are serious enough, these damages may be compensable in a lawsuit).
Mandatory Auto Insurance for Ontario Drivers
Ontario law requires all drivers to have auto insurance. The mandatory minimum amounts are as follows:
- $200,000 in third-party liability coverage, which helps pay for injuries the other party suffers and property damage sustained
- Accident benefits coverage, which can help pay for a portion of your lost wages, medical expenses, and other related damages regardless of fault
- Uninsured motorist coverage, which helps pay for damages if hit by an uninsured driver
- Direct compensation – property damage coverage, which can help cover damage to your car caused by another party
Additional Coverage to Consider Purchasing
You may want to consider purchasing additional optional coverage or endorsements for added protection. The following coverages can be bought when seeking auto insurance for the first time or when renewing your policy:
This coverage helps pay for repairs to your vehicle if you have been in an accident. It is similar to direct compensation – property damage coverage except that you must be 100 percent not at fault for causing the crash. However, in order to file an insurance claim through your collision coverage, you must be found at least partially at fault. There is typically a deductible involved.
This coverage can help pay for the loss of your car or repairs to it for reasons that do not involve a crash. It can also help cover damages if your vehicle is stolen, vandalized or if a tree falls on your car after a storm. There is typically a deductible involved and it will not affect your premiums at renewal time.
Specified Perils Coverage
This coverage is similar to comprehensive coverage in that repairs are not covered for crash-related damages. However, it does not cover as many risks. Specific perils coverage will only cover damages specifically listed in the policy. Examples may include damage caused by fire, theft or adverse weather.
All Perils Coverage
This coverage is a combination of both collision and comprehensive coverage. It covers everything in these policies, including loss or damage caused if someone who lives in your home steals your car.
Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles (OPCF 27)
If you operate cars that you do not personally own, this endorsement extends physical damage coverage to any car being rented or borrowed. There is typically a deductible involved.
Rented or Leased Vehicles (OPCF 5)
This endorsement extends coverage to a vehicle that you drive but is owned by a leasing company.
Family Protection Coverage (OPCF 44R)
This coverage can help protect you or an eligible family member. For example, if you are involved in an accident caused by another party, if the negligent driver involved has insufficient or no insurance or if the other driver cannot be identified or located, such as in a hit-and-run accident.
Call Greg Monforton & Partners to Get Started
If you have been injured in a crash and are unsure about the terms of your auto insurance policy, it is important to review your coverage and discuss it with an experienced car accident lawyer in Windsor.
We are prepared to handle all communications negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf to help obtain the maximum compensation possible.
No Upfront Fees Involved. Ph: (866) 320-4770