There is compulsory auto insurance in Ontario, meaning everyone is required to sign onto the same policy of insurance. You can get different limits, but the government defines a province-wide policy called Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) which is required to drive.
You cannot renew your license plate, for instance, unless you can provide proof to the government of valid insurance. If you do not have valid insurance in place, that is a provincial offense accompanied by a steep fine.
While everyone in Barrie is covered under the same policy, individual limits could be different. The minimum limits are $200,000. A lot of people have $1 million, but that amount is rarely enough nowadays. Therefore, one of the things we must consider in the event of an auto accident is whether someone’s coverage is sufficient. If the coverage is not sufficient, or the other driver does not have any coverage, you can claim compensation through your own no-fault policy up to its limits.
There are misconceptions about compulsory auto insurance because of the mixed system of no-fault coverage and tort coverage. A lot of people believe that because there is no-fault auto insurance, that means they cannot sue the at-fault driver for compensation, but this is not true. You can sue the at-fault driver in an accident as long as you meet the severity threshold.
Meeting this threshold requires you to prove to a judge that you have sustained a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, mental, or psychological function. In other words, anyone can advance a tort claim if they can prove serious and permanent impairment. This is an important aspect of compulsory auto insurance coverage to understand.
It is also worth noting that there is a deductible in most SABS claims that is indexed for inflation. Right now, it is about $39,000 CAD. You may reach a point where even though you have a valid claim, it is not economical to proceed if contributory negligence and the deductible are at play.
Our legal team is here to educate you about the differences between no-fault coverage and what is covered in a tort case against the at-fault driver. Specifically, SABS insurance covers income replacement benefits, non-earner and medical coverage, and attendant care, which tort claims can recover pain and suffering, economic losses, and future medical care. It is important to understand these differences in coverage.
It is important to teach our clients about the severity threshold, what goes into proving serious and permanent impairment, the $40,000 CAD-deductible, and how collateral benefits work. Understanding compulsory auto insurance coverage in Barrie and how it could affect your recovery after a motor vehicle collision is something that a lawyer should help you with right at the beginning of your case. Call Rastin Law today to learn more about these legal complexities.