Many people are confused regarding Ontario’s no-fault car insurance system. When people hear that Ontario operates with a no-fault car insurance system they automatically think that no one is at fault when an accident occurs. Prior to 1989 and Ontario implementing the no-fault car insurance system, if a car accident occurred the insurance companies would have to determine who was at fault and what company had to pay the claim. With the implementation of Ontario’s no-fault insurance, drivers involved in car accidents don’t have to wait for insurance companies to duke it out to see which company is going to pay. Every driver in Ontario that is involved in an automobile accident will make a claim with their respective insurance provider. This change in the insurance industry makes it much easier for drivers to have their claims processed and avoids the long dragged-out process that was in place prior to the no-fault insurance system that Ontario now has.
Fault Determination Rules
The government of Ontario has provided insurance companies under the Automobile Insurance Act with Fault Determination Rules. These rules were put into place so insurance companies could fairly determine the percentage of fault for drivers involved in an automobile accident. It is important for insurance companies to determine who was at fault and to what degree as it directly affects driver’s insurance claims and future car insurance rates. Regardless of who is found at fault, all insurance providers involved must pay their insured parties compensation according to their respective policies. The Fault Determination Rules include almost all collision scenarios to help determine who is at fault and to what degree they are found at fault.
Misconceptions Surrounding No-Fault Car Insurance
Part of the confusion for Ontario drivers is the term “no-fault”. Many drivers think they cannot be found at fault when they are in a car accident. Drivers also feel since no one is to blame for the accident, insurance providers will not be required to make a fault determination. The biggest misconception Ontario drivers have is they think a no-fault accident will not appear on their driving record. Drivers may be found fully, partially, or share fault when involved in a car accident.
Insurance Coverage For No-Fault Insurance
Coverage for no-fault insurance will be paid out by your insurance provider for:
- Accident benefits
- Direct compensation for property damage
- Uninsured motorist or hit and run
No-Fault Insurance In Ontario
Even though Ontario has adopted the no-fault insurance system, insurance companies are still responsible for investigating car accidents to determine who was at fault. A driver can be found between 0 and 100 percent at fault.
No-Fault Insurance Pros and Cons
The pros of no-fault car insurance include the speed at which payments are made regarding claims and the fact that each party makes a claim through their own respective insurance providers. All parties involved in a car accident are entitled to damage and injury compensation. The claims process is much faster. There is no need to go to court or sue for compensation.
With the implementation of Ontario’s no-fault car insurance system, all drivers are now required to make a claim with their respective insurance provider regardless of who is at fault. Prior to this system, only the at-fault driver would make a claim with their insurance company.
Whose Insurance Pays In A No-Fault Accident?
All drivers in Ontario are required to make a claim with their respective insurance providers following a collision.
Deductibles and No-Fault Auto Insurance
Drivers involved in collisions do not always have to pay the deductible portion of their insurance claims. Many people think if they make a claim with their insurance provider they automatically have to pay their deductible for damage repairs to their vehicles. According to the rules and regulations of Ontario’s no-fault insurance system, drivers who are not found at fault during a collision are not required to pay their deductible on their car insurance policy. Damages to the vehicle will be paid under the Direct Compensation clause set out in your insurance policy. This type of coverage is mandatory in Ontario. However, if a driver is found partially at fault in a collision they may be required to pay a percentage of their deductible. 50% responsibility for the accident would mean paying 50% of your deductible.
When A Hit and Run Occurs
If your vehicle has been hit by a third party and they leave the scene, and you cannot identify the driver, you must have collision coverage to claim the damage repairs on your vehicle. If you do not have this type of coverage you will be responsible for paying out of pocket for the repairs on the damages that occurred to your vehicle. If you can identify the driver and they have valid car insurance, you would make a claim under the Direct Compensation portion of your policy. In this instance, you would not pay your deductible amount.
Coverage For Stolen or Vandalized Vehicles
In the event your vehicle is stolen or has been vandalized you would make a claim under the Comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy. In this instance, you would be required to pay your deductible portion of the claim.
Understanding No-Fault Car Insurance in Ontario
When you approach your insurance provider to purchase car insurance, have the agent fully explain how Ontario’s No-Fault Car Insurance System works. Your insurance provider is fully trained and experienced in the auto insurance industry. If you are confused or unclear about any aspect of your car insurance policy it is wise to ask the questions and be clear on your coverage prior to making a claim. Fully understanding your car insurance policy can help avoid any surprises in the future should you be required to make a claim. Your insurance provider can explain the entire claims process so you can easily understand how the claims process works. Many people have auto insurance but never read their policy, they take it for granted that they are fully covered for everything. Speaking to an insurance specialist can help you make the right decisions when purchasing auto insurance.