What if You’re Hurt by an Uninsured Driver? Andrew Murray Explains
Automobile insurance in Ontario is so important that multiple safeguards have been built into the system with the hope that those injured in a car crash can access needed compensation. For example, while it’s mandatory for all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance of at least $200,000, nearly every standard auto policy that I see carries a special endorsement, called the Family Protection Endorsement, which offers protection in the event that a driver who caused a crash did not have a valid liability insurance policy. The way this endorsement works is that if an at-fault driver failed to have insurance, the Family Protection Endorsement will provide coverage, equal to the liability limits of your own policy, that steps in to provide the coverage that the at-fault driver should have had in place. This coverage is equal to the amount of liability coverage carried on your own policy. So, if your policy is a $1 million liability policy, the Family Protection Endorsement will provide liability coverage of up to $1 million. This coverage isn’t only triggered in the event that the other driver had no insurance, it is also triggered when the other driver had inadequate insurance. If the at-fault driver had a $200,000 liability policy, you have $1 million in liability coverage, and your claim for damages exceeds the $200,000 available to the at-fault driver, your own policy picks up the slack between $200,000 and $1 million – so long as your claims are provable in that amount. Like all cases, you still have to prove your claims.
This protection is considered so important, that even if you do not own a car and have no automobile insurance available to you, a fund of last resort has been created to offer some minimum coverage. Let’s say you’re walking along the sidewalk, get run over by a car that leaves the roadway, and it turns out that car was stolen and there is no car insurance. For this scenario, you would still have recourse to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (“MVACF”) for coverage in a lawsuit of up to $200,000 (the minimum, mandatory policy limits in Ontario). Additionally, you would be able to access statutory accident benefits through the MVACF. The accident benefit coverage is the same as it would have been for any insured driver or pedestrian.
If the driver who hit you was impaired, or had stolen the vehicle, or was otherwise uninsured, don’t despair. There are protections in place that still allow your claims to be advanced and for compensation to be paid to you. You need to contact a personal injury lawyer at Lerners.