In Ontario, drivers are required to have automobile insurance. However, despite the fines and penalties associated with this law, many people choose to ignore it. Other drivers have insurance, but it’s insufficient to cover the full amount of the victim’s injuries. In this case, the victim has to turn to their own auto insurance for coverage.

Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Important

The Ontario Insurance Act requires all insurance policies to extend coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists. By purchasing this coverage, policyholders protect themselves in case of injury or property damage caused by an uninsured driver.

If you believe you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver, inform your insurance company as soon as possible. In this scenario, the insurance company steps in as the defendant in the claim.

Here’s an example of how uninsured motorist coverage works. It’s always a possibility that you can get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough coverage. Your injuries and damages may come to $300,000. However, the other person’s coverage is just $200,000. Who pays for the shortfall of $100,000? In this case, you can file a claim under the family protection coverage. This unique program requires the endorsement of the OPCF44R. This option is available when you buy auto insurance, so be sure to ask your agent how to make sure it’s included in your coverage.

What the Law Says

Ontario is one of five provinces requiring uninsured motorist as mandatory coverage. According to section 265 of the province’s Insurance Act, it must be included with each on every auto insurance policy. That’s why all policies issued in Ontario cover damages due to negligent uninsured drivers. This coverage doesn’t pay for injuries and property damage covered under your regular Ottowa car insurance.

If you aren’t sure about your current uninsured motorist coverage, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance agent. While you should ideally know the details of your entire auto insurance coverage, uninsured motorist coverage is one of the least understood requirements. So, take the time to review your legal obligations and your current coverage amounts to ensure you’re adequately protected.

Claims Process

For uninsured or underinsured claims, the maximum limit is $200,000. The injured party cannot file the same claim under any other coverage. For example, you can’t claim coverage for a third party liability policy if you’ve already filed the claim under your uninsured motorist insurance policy. The insurance company determines which driver is at fault and allocates a claim amount. For instance, if you are 50 percent at fault, you will receive 50 percent of the total damage or injury costs.

Hit and Run

When you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you should file the incident under your collision coverage. Note the details and take as many photos as possible for faster payout.

Understand your rights before you get into an accident by speaking with a reliable brokerage with your best interests at heart.