Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Ontario

uninsure motorist coverage ontario canada
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Ontario, Canada

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Ontario?

Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance protection in Ontario.  Uninsured automobile coverage comes as a default, mandatory coverage under the Ontario Automobile Policy, or OAP 1. The coverage applies in situations where you’re involved in an accident with a vehicle that does not have a valid Ontario liability policy.  

What does Uninsured Motorist insurance cover in Ontario?

Uninsured automobile insurance covers you if you’re injured or killed by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.  It also provides physical damage coverage to your vehicle if the uninsured driver can be identified. 

The Insurer will pay the following:

  • Any amount you or any other insureds are legally entitled to recover from the owner or driver of the uninsured vehicle that caused your injuries, death or vehicle damages, subject to limitations. 
  • Any amount any person has a legal right to recover for damages, injuries or death caused by the owner of the uninsured vehicle, up to policy limits.
  • Vehicle damages, the loss of use of the vehicle and its contents, caused by an accident with an uninsured and identified owner or driver of an uninsured vehicle.  Coverage for the physical damages to your vehicle is capped at $25,000 and subject to a mandatory $300 deductible. Note that the uninsured vehicle’s driver or owner needs to be identified for coverage to apply. If the uninsured driver/owner is not identified the loss would be covered under collision or all perils coverages if purchased. 

Is Uninsured Automobile Coverage mandatory in Ontario?

Yes, uninsured automobile coverage is mandatory in Ontario, Canada. Section 5 of the Ontario Automobile Policy, or OAP1, stipulates the terms and conditions of Uninsured Motorist Coverage under the Insurance Act of Ontario. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Deductible in Ontario

Uninsured motorist coverage has a mandatory, $300 deductible for vehicle damages, caused by an uninsured, identified vehicle.  The $300 deductible cannot be waived, however, it can be recouped from the at-fault, uninsured vehicle owner and/or driver. 

How long does it take to get my deductible back under Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

The length of time your insurance company takes to give back your mandatory, $300 Uninsured Motorist deductible, depends on administration times, contested liability and also the ability to recoup the entire monies paid out on your claim.  

The reimbursement of your deductible is proportional to the percentage of damages your insurance company can recover. 

For example: if the at-fault, uninsured vehicle caused $10,000 worth of damages, and the uninsured owner/driver challenges the payout amount by $1,000. If your insurer agrees to this, then you would only receive 90% of your $300 deductible ($300 x .9 = $270).   

Some insurers may choose to garnish the wages of the uninsured vehicle owner and/or driver. This method takes a lot longer since garnishment is typically paid in installments. 

Lastly, there’s a good chance that you may never recover your deductible if the Uninsured vehicle owner/or driver does not have the resources to pay. This is the most typical scenario since not having car insurance usually indicates an inability to pay for it. 

What is the definition of an Uninsured Automobile?

An uninsured automobile or vehicle is one where neither the owner of the car nor the driver has a valid liability policy to cover bodily injury or property damage arising from its ownership or use and operation. This does not include automobiles you own or have registered in your name or your spouse’s.  

How does Uninsured Motorist Coverage apply to injuries?

If the at-fault party is unidentified the accident must be reported to your insurance company within 24 hours, or as soon as possible after that. 

You must give a written statement within 30 days, describing the details of the accident and injuries sustained. 

If the at-fault party was uninsured but identified you need to give your insurance company written notice within 30 days of the accident. 

If the at-fault party is either uninsured or identified you must provide your insurance company with all the evidence to support your claim and also be willing to undergo examinations under oath. You also need to disclose any other insurance policy that might provide coverage for the same accident. 

What happens if my injuries and damages are more than what Uninsured Motorist Coverage offers?

The most your insurer will pay under Uninsured Automobile Coverage is the minimum liability limit of the province in which the accident occurred.  For example: if you get into an accident in Ontario, the minimum liability limit is $200,000.  If your injuries are assessed at $400,000, the most your insurance company would pay is $200,000.  So how do insurance companies address this shortcoming? The answer is in the OPCF 44r endorsement

What are some limitations and exclusions to Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Ontario?

  • The insurance company will pay the lessor of the liability limits where the accident occurred or the minimum limits if the accident happened in Ontario. 
  • The insurance company will only pay the difference between any other insurance policy and the auto policy, where the other insurance is primary, except the death benefit. 
  • The insurer is not liable for any payment if you are entitled to recover from the liability section of another automobile policy. 
  • There is no liability to anyone who can recover from an unsatisfied court judgment or similar fund. 
  • No coverage for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by radioactive material
  • The amount payable for vehicle damages, loss of use of the vehicle and contents is capped at $25,000 and subject to a mandatory $300 deductible.
  • No coverage if an excluded driver operates the automobile

How does Uninsured Motorist Coverage work in Ontario?

Suppose you get into a motor vehicle accident with an at-fault, uninsured vehicle in Ontario, and sustain bodily injury and damage to your vehicle. 

When you submit a claim to your insurance company, they will investigate the details of the accident and also assess your injuries.  If submitting a claim for injuries you need to substantiate your claim and allow your insurer to investigate the extent of your injuries, which may include examinations under oath and medical assessments. 

The damages to your vehicle would be covered under Uninsured Motorist Coverage once the insurance company confirms the identity of the at-fault vehicle and driver.  Your claim for the damages to your vehicle would be treated as if it were covered under any other physical damage coverage but with limitations. The maximum your insurance company can pay for vehicle damages, and the loss of use of the vehicle and its contents is $25,000, and subject to a mandatory $300 deductible.

Once the insurance company pays out on your claim, they will subrogate (attempt to recover) the monies paid out for your claim, including your $300 deductible from the at-fault vehicle owner and/or driver.  However, the recovery attempt is usually, unsuccessful due to the financial constraints of the owner or driver of an uninsured vehicle. 

Peter Martire, CIP, CRM, RIBO – Executive Editor and Insurance Advisor

Peter has been working in the insurance industry since 2005. He has over 18 years of experience adjudicating complex auto insurance claims and sales and service brokering. In March of 2024, he partnered with Begin Insurance Inc. as a Senior Insurance Advisor. He also serves as Executive Editor of carinsuranceinontario .ca.

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