Ontario’s car insurance laws can be rather confusing and difficult to navigate. Some things are mandatory, such as liability coverage, but others are optional, such as higher medical and rehabilitation benefits when injured in an accident, housekeeping, caregiving benefits, etc. It is crucial that you take the time to understand your policy and what options may be beneficial for you.
OPCF 44R Family Protection Coverage
As discussed, when you are purchasing your auto insurance you are often presented with a number of different options, including the OPCF 44R Family Protection Coverage. This particular option is helpful if you are ever hit by an individual who has insufficient or no insurance coverage. For example, if you are seriously injured by someone who rear-ends you at a red light and only has $200,000.00 in third party liability coverage, then you may be in a difficult situation when seeking compensation from the at-fault party.
Eliminate potential risk
The OPCF-44R Family Protection Coverage allows you to eliminate this potential risk of being hit by someone who is uninsured or underinsured. Essentially, the optional coverage will make up the difference between the third party liability limit of the at-fault driver and your own coverage, if you are injured in an accident.
So, if you have $2 million dollars in third party liability coverage and are hit by someone with $200,000.00 in third party liability coverage then you will be able to bring a claim and be covered for the extra $1,800,000.00.
The OPCF 44R is considered excess to any other valid motor vehicle policies. That means in order to file an OPCF 44R claim, the insured driver’s OPCF 44R coverage has to be greater than the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
It covers hit and run accidents
You will also be covered if you are involved in a hit and run accident by an unidentified driver. This also includes situations where a driver causes you to swerve to avoid a collision and that driver gets away. If you are going to use your OPCF 44R coverage for an unidentified driver then the onus will be on you to prove that the accident was actually caused by someone that you are unable to identify. It would not be enough to say, for example, that someone cut you off. Some other “material evidence” needs to be provided to substantiate your unidentified driver claim. You may also have to show that you have taken appropriate steps to attempt to identify the at-fault driver.
Additional protection is recommended
Overall, we recommend that you purchase this optional coverage. It will provide you with additional protection and the cost is relatively minimal. It is important that you speak to your broker about all your options that can protect you after a car accident – you never know when you’ll need it.