Considering a car insurance policy is mandatory and a pretty daunting task. You have so many options to choose from, and also it is difficult to know if you really have the right protection in place. Not only that, you must have certain types of coverage in your policy that have a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability coverage.
Third-party liabilities protect you and your family from uncertain motor vehicle accidents and prevents you from having to pay compensation for the damage. Judging from this, you know that certain coverage types need to be in place to ensure proper protection for yourself and your family. Such is the Family Protection Coverage. This coverage policy promises the best coverage for your family in case of an accident.
As personal injury lawyers, we always advise our clients to add the coverage into their policy for the greater good. So, in this article, we will walk you through the information you need to know regarding family-protection coverage in Canada, its importance, limitations, and more.
Risk of Running into Underinsured and Uninsured Drivers
The risk of running into an accident with an underinsured or an uninsured driver can put you in a dangerous position, especially if you have suffered an injury caused by the other driver. Underinsured or uninsured drivers do not possess sufficient third-party limits to fully compensate for your damage.
In case of most serious accidents, the at-fault driver is required to pay close to $200,000 to compensate the damage incurred to the injured person(s). As for the worst accidental cases, the injured can claim up to $1 million, and still, it may not be enough to cover your time, lost income, physical health, medical expenses, ongoing treatment, future treatment, and more.
This is one reason to seriously think about family protection coverage and have an open discussion with your insurance agent.
What is Family Protection Coverage?
The coverage allows you to protect yourself and your family from paying the compensation for an accident you suffered from the mistake of an uninsured or underinsured driver. Underinsured and uninsured drivers do not have the necessary liability coverage to compensate the coverage for an accident.
In most cases, the maximum they can apply for via Motor Vehicle Accident Fund is up to $200,000, which can be a small amount if the injury is severe or caused to multiple people.
Why do You Need Family Protection Coverage?
Motor vehicle accidents are a very common scenario in Canada. So, the above situation speaks out for itself. Here are some important reasons to consider –
Eliminate Potential Risk of Compensation
This protects you with coverage money in case you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you are seriously injured, and the third-party coverage limits are not enough to continue your treatment and ongoing expenses, this additional protection will cover the difference between the third-party liability limit and the claimed compensations by the injured person(s).
For example – Suppose you purchased a third-party liability of $2 million on your insurance policy and added family protection coverage to it. This means you are now protected up to $2 million in compensation for an accident caused by another driver who does not have the required liability coverage.
In other words, the coverage is additional coverage to any legal motor vehicle policies. It means, in order to activate your claim after an accident, the coverage of the insured driver must be more extensive in sum than the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents cases are the most unfortunate, and in which case, the at-fault party flees the scene leaving the injured person(s) behind. Most hit and run occurrences are done by the unidentified driver, and so, the compensation cannot be claimed from the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
In this case, your coverage can be claimed through the help of a personal injury lawyer to compensate for the damage suffered from the accident. However, there is a caveat here.
Claiming for the coverage requires some kind of substantial evidence to verify your claim that the driver is unidentified. In hit and run cases, such claims for coverage are nullified by the insurance company due to the lack of evidence to prove two things –
- The presence of an unknown driver
- The unknown driver was the reason behind the accident
In this case, you may need to take some actions to identify the at-fault driver to activate your targeted coverage successfully.
Limitations of Family Protection Coverage – Example from Ontario
As of 9 June 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal decision had drawn a conclusion to the longstanding limitation period issue on Family Protection Endorsement claims. The issue with the limitation period is – when does the limitation period actually begin under the coverage endorsement?
In short, according to section 4 and section 5 of the OPCF-44R Act, the two-year limitation period initiates a day after the insurer receives a claim under the coverage. So, whatever claims you have should be made within the two-year timeline. In fact, to determine the limitation date, the two sections have to be read together.
Family Protection Coverage is not mandatory in Canada. But, the regular occurrence of motor vehicle accidents on the road makes it ideal for adding additional coverage for your accident-related compensation. Remember, your life and family matter more than anything. So, do not let one additional coverage get in the way of your wellbeing in the event of an accident.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of questions that you have might ask. Let’s check them out!
Is family protection coverage mandatory in Ontario?
Family protection coverage is optional in Ontario. This coverage protects you from an accident. If there are underinsured drivers who were at fault, then this family protection coverage can help you.
However, one mandatory insurance is motor vehicle liability. These liabilities have coverage of a minimum of $200000.
Is OPCF 44 mandatory?
In Ontario, OPCF 44 is not mandatory. But OPCF 44 is for drivers to add and purchase a protection policy in their plan. In most cases, drivers can use this OPCF 44 to compensate the people who they have injured.
Do I need SEF 44?
In Alberta, SEF 44 is one of the most important family protection endorsements. SEF 44 helps your family or you while you have a motor vehicle accident. However, SEF 44 is not mandatory, but it is an important endorsement for motor vehicle accidents.
What are standard accident benefits in Ontario?
In Ontario, the standard accident benefits are mandatory.
The 4 main types of standard accident benefits are:
- Benefits for caregiver, income replacements and non-earner
- Benefits for medical, attendant care, and rehabilitation
- Benefits for deaths and death
- Benefits for other expenses