A question our team of personal injury lawyers hears regularly from clients has to do with auto insurance coverage outside of Ontario. Many drivers wonder whether or not they will be covered under their insurance policy in the event of a road accident in another province or in the United States. If you tend to make frequent or even occasional road trips throughout North America, being aware of the scope of your insurance policy can ensure you aren’t faced with any surprises – should you become involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Unlike Ontario, which requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $200, 000 of liability coverage, most states in the United States have no laws in place that require motorists to carry a minimum liability insurance. As a result, many drivers in the United States drive around unprotected with little coverage or none at all.
Are you covered outside of Ontario?
If you have insurance coverage on your own vehicle, you can rest assured that you are covered while operating a motor vehicle outside of Ontario. Standard policies within the province contain several important safeguards to be aware of in the event that the driver or his or her passengers suffer injuries as a result of a car accident that occurred outside of Ontario.
The standard Ontario Motor Vehicle Policy
Most insurance policies in Ontario contain a fixed collection of accident benefits, also known as no-fault benefits, which cover insured drivers regardless of whether the accident occurs within Ontario, within Canada but outside of Ontario, in the United States, or on a ship between ports of Canada and the United States.
The policies generally contain the following accident benefits: income replacement or non-earner/caregiver, medical/rehabilitation, attendant care, lost educational, death and funeral, expenses of visitors, reimbursement for damaged clothing, glasses and medical devices, and potential benefits for housekeeping and home maintenance expenses (depending on the severity of the injury).
What does this mean for Ontario drivers?
Ontario drivers who have insurance coverage on their own vehicles are covered for the benefits listed should they suffer an injury as a result of a motor accident, regardless of who is at fault. In some cases, Ontario drivers may choose to purchase optional enhanced accident benefits coverage, in which case additional funds may be available to them.
Uninsured Automobile Coverage
This is the second protection contained in all Ontario car insurance policies. It protects the injured Ontario driver up to the limits of his own liability coverage plan in case the accident is caused by a driver who does not have any insurance of his or her own.
Family Protection Endorsement
This third protection is contained in most Ontario Motor Vehicle Policies – the premium is very low and thus, is included in most insurance plans. Family Protection Endorsement provides the insured driver and certain family members who may suffer injuries as a result of an accident outside of Ontario with coverage up to their own liability insurance limits. This is beneficial in the event that the driver who caused the accident does not have sufficient insurance to cover the claims of the Ontario motorist and his or her family.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have questions about insurance coverage or are seeking compensation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of Personal Injury Lawyers at Zayouna Law.