Auto insurance can be confusing, and many people aren’t very clear about what their policies cover. After an accident, drivers are often shocked to learn that their insurance won’t cover many of their damages.
Below, we discuss the types of damages that a lot of bare bones policies do not cover, the basic types of coverage that every policy must have, and a sampling of add-on coverages drivers can purchase to augment their policy.
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What Many Basic Auto Insurance Policies Don’t Cover
If you have a basic auto insurance policy, your insurer may not compensate you for the following damages if you file a claim.
- Theft: Unless you have comprehensive coverage, if your car is stolen or vandalized, you cannot recover the loss of your car.
- Damage to your car: Unless you have collision coverage, if you were at fault for the accident, your insurance will not cover your damage.
- Damage from the elements: If your car is damaged by the weather, acts of nature, or an animal, your insurance company will not cover the damages unless you have comprehensive.
- Damage to a rented car: If you rent a car and cause an accident, your policy will not apply to the rented vehicle damage, unless you have pre-purchased an endorsement.
- All of your lost wages: Even if your accident has left you unable to work, there is a cap on the amount of wages that will be replaced by your own insurance policy. (The balance will have to be sought through a negligence claim or lawsuit against the responsible party. However, the law places restrictions on how much can be obtained for past loss of income.)
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other emotional and psychological damages are generally not covered in your auto policy. (Although, these types of damages are compensable if you file a negligence claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.)
Required Auto Insurance in Ontario
Many drivers just purchase the minimum amount of insurance that Ontario law requires. The following four coverages are mandatory.
- $200,000 of Liability: Bodily Injury (pays for the other party’s injuries and property damage)
- Accident Benefits (provides you with a portion of lost wages, medical benefits, and other related payments regardless of fault)
- $200,000 Uninsured Automobile (pays for your damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver)
- Direct Compensation: Property Damage (pays for damage to your vehicle caused by somebody else)
Additional Coverage worth Considering
You can better protect yourself by purchasing additional coverage and endorsements. Some of the coverage you might want to consider is below.
- All Perils
- Specified Perils
- Increased Liability
- Increased Accident Benefits
- Rented or leased vehicles (OPCF 5)
- Added coverage to offset tort deductibles (OPCF 48)
- Loss of use (OPCF 20)
- Liability for damage to non-owned automobile(s) (OPCF 27)
- Family protection coverage (OPCF 44R)
You can speak to your insurance agent about what types of coverage might be suitable for your specific needs.
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Discuss Your Accident with a Lawyer at Preszler Law in Ontario
If you’ve been in an accident in Ontario and you’re unsure of what your policy covers, you should obtain a copy of your policy and discuss it with an auto accident lawyer. For legal assistance in Ontario, you are welcomed to call Preszler Law. Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE®.