Ontario has a no-fault car insurance system, which means your insurance company will always pay your benefits after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
This means that even if you were not responsible for an accident, you will file a claim with your own insurance company rather than the at-fault party’s insurer.
This system simplifies the process of addressing insurance claims. Rather than having to haggle with another party’s insurer about compensation and fault in the accident, you can quickly obtain the compensation you need.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
Although your insurer will pay for your claim no matter who was at fault, this does not mean that fault is not important. Insurance companies will still assign a degree of fault to each driver in order to properly adjust premiums.
Fault can be assigned to each driver from zero to 100 per cent, depending on each party’s contribution to the accident. Because fault can be shared between multiple parties, an injury victim could be partially at fault for his or her injuries.
The insurer will investigate the accident and use Ontario’s Fault Determination Rules to identify which parties were fully or partially at fault for the accident.
The rules provide diagrams and descriptions of different accident scenarios, as well as guidelines on how to determine who was at fault for the accident.
The rules apply to all accidents regardless of weather, road conditions, visibility or the actions of pedestrians.
What is Covered After an Accident?
Because of Ontario’s no-fault system, all motorists in the province are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance, called a standard auto insurance policy. This policy provides coverage for certain injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Standard Auto Insurance Policy
The minimum coverage a motorist can carry is:
- Third-Party Liability Coverage – This protects you if someone else is killed or injured or if their property is damaged. It will also pay for claims from lawsuits filed against you up to the policy limit.
- Standard Accident Benefits – This provides benefits if you are injured in a car accident, no matter who was at fault. It will provide basic benefits for medical costs, rehabilitation, caregivers and income replacement.
- Direct Compensation – Property Damage – This covers damage or loss of use of your vehicle or any of its contents if another person caused the accident. This coverage only applies if your accident happened in Ontario and involved at least one other vehicle that has insurance.
- Uninsured Automobile Coverage – This protects you and your family if you are injured or killed by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
In addition to the standard auto insurance policy, you have the option to purchase additional coverage and higher liability limits for third-party liability coverage and accident benefits.
Third-party liability coverage can be increased to $500,000, $1 million or $2 million.
Additional accident benefits can include increased benefits for income replacement, medical, rehabilitation, attendant care, caregiver, housekeeping, and death and funeral benefits.
You can also purchase dependent care benefits, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, all perils coverage and several additional optional benefits.
The benefits and coverage limits you purchase will determine what is covered by your insurance policy after a car accident.
Legal Help with Your Car Accident Claim
Even though you will be working with your own insurance company after an accident, dealing with insurance adjusters can be complicated.
It is important to remember that adjusters are not on your side. Their job is to investigate and appraise your accident while paying out as little as possible for your claim.
Because of this, it may be in your best interest to hire the experienced lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners. We have decades of experience working with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. We can handle the details of your claim for you and will work to help you receive the compensation you deserve after an accident.
If you are in a dispute with your insurance provider or believe you should have been awarded more for your claim, do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, we will not charge you any fees unless we recover compensation for you.