Uninsured Motorist Coverage offers a layer of protection in the event that a person sustains injury due to the negligence of the owner or operator of a motor vehicle that is uninsured or is unidentified. Coverage is mandated by section 265 of the Insurance Act in the amount of $200, 000.00 – which is the minimal insurance liability limits in Ontario. With this form of coverage, your insurer essentially “steps into the shoes” of the uninsured or unidentified motorist.
By the operation of what is often referred to as the “1% Rule,” in the event that an injured party can be compensated by a third-party motorist’s policy, such as in the event of a multi-vehicle collision, Uninsured Motorist Coverage would not be available.
To provide procedural safeguards to protect against fraud, Uninsured Motorist Coverage requires the would-be claimant to report the automobile accident to a police officer within 24 hours. In addition the injured party is required to provide a written statement to his or her insurer detailing the circumstances of the accident, and a description of the claim for compensation with supporting documents within 30 days, as soon as feasible.
Where there is no policy for which to make a claim for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, as a last resort, an injured party can advance a claim to the Ontario Government administered Motor Vehicle Accident Claim fund, which is also capped at $200, 000.00.
In addition to Uninsured Motorist Coverage, typically policyholders also opt for separately purchased coverage in the form of Family Endorsement Protection. Family Endorsement Protection provides coverage in excess of coverage available from a third-party policy of an at-fault party or under the provisions of Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Family Endorsement Protection prohibits the “stacking” of coverage by limiting available coverage to the difference between available coverage from other sources and the limits of the Family Endorsement Protection. For instance, if the injured party’s damages were assessed at $800, 000.00, but only $250, 000.00 of third-party coverage was available, the injured party would recover the difference between the two policies in the sum of $550, 000.00.
If you have any questions about Uninsured Motorist Coverage, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claim fund or the Family Endorsement Protection provisions of your policy, please feel free to contact us for a confidential consultation, at no charge.