As we head further into the summer season, your patience for sheltering in place due to COVID-19 may be wearing thin. You may be considering driving further than to and from your local grocery store as restrictions ease throughout the province. However, before taking off for any destination, it’s important to check government restrictions for the areas where you wish to go. This is especially true if you are looking to head out of the province of Ontario.
On July 3, 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P.E.I. eased inter-provincial travel restrictions within their region, creating a so-called “Atlantic bubble.” But, people from other provinces, including those from Ontario, are not welcome to travel there and are still restricted, depending on the rules of each province. For example, if you want to travel to Nova Scotia, and you are not a resident of one of the Atlantic Provinces, then you must self- isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Auto Insurance Coverage outside of Ontario
Nevertheless, when it comes to auto insurance, you can rest assured that a valid Ontario Standard Auto Policy will cover you for car accidents that occur in other provinces outside Ontario. In fact, the standard auto policy covers you and other insured persons for incidents occurring in Canada, the United States, and while on a vessel travelling between ports of Canada and the US. You will have coverage for liability in the event that you caused the accident or are partially at fault. You will also have coverage for Accidents Benefits, which you are eligible for regardless of fault.
However, it is important for you to take note, if your accident is outside Ontario and you receive benefits based on the law of another jurisdiction, you will not be able to receive Ontario Accident Benefits as well.
In certain instances, there may be more than one possible auto insurance company who should be paying your benefits. In those cases, the first insurance company that you apply to for Accident Benefits must pay. It is then the insurance companies that may dispute between each other as to who the proper payor should be. Regardless, you will still receive your Accident Benefits, even while the matter is under dispute.
Travelers Insurance Company of Canada v. CAA Insurance
A great example of this is in the recent case of Travelers Insurance Company of Canada v. CAA Insurance, where Patricia Soloway was catastrophically injured while driving in Nunavut. She was originally from Ontario but was working in a temporary position as a nurse supervisor in Nunavut. When the accident occurred, she was driving a Nunavut plated vehicle owned by the government of Nunavut and insured by Travelers Insurance Company of Canada. At home in Ontario, she had an Ontario plated car which was insured by CAA Insurance. She originally filed for accident benefits with CAA, and CAA paid her benefits. CAA pursued Travelers for reimbursement and succeeded in Arbitration under section 268 of the Insurance Act.
Travelers then appealed, and in the end, the Court of Appeal found that Travelers was not an Ontario insurer under the Act for the purpose of reimbursement. However, the Court of Appeal made it very clear early in its decision that the claimant would receive entitlement to accident benefits regardless of the Court’s decision. The only question before the Court was which insurer must pay for the benefits.
Have you been seriously injured in a car accident? Your next steps toward recovery are very important. Contact an experienced injury lawyer today! Rastin Law is here to help.