In Canada, the law requires you to have a minimum amount of mandatory insurance to drive a car on the road. This insurance provides financial protection for you, your passengers, and others around you. Compulsory coverage varies by province and can often complement enhanced or optional coverage to provide you with more comprehensive coverage.
But unfortunately, not everyone follows the rules. Accidents happen from time to time, sometimes to people who don’t have car insurance and drive the car illegally. This brings up some questions and a sense of uncertainty. For example, what would you do if you happened to have an accident with an uninsured driver? Here is some information to help you feel more at ease knowing what to do in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
What is an uninsured driver?
Quite simply, an uninsured driver is a motorist who has not purchased the minimum mandatory insurance coverage. As mentioned earlier, it is illegal to drive a car without insurance, and there are serious consequences. So, as a driver, make sure the car you drive is insured and that you have the owner’s permission to use it.
As the owner of the vehicle, and therefore the person responsible for insuring the vehicle, it is very important that you and anyone driving your car have a driver’s license. As a car owner, it is also your responsibility to contact your insurance company and let them know of anyone who may be driving your car regularly.
Unidentified drivers are also worth mentioning. An unidentified driver is someone who fled the scene of an accident without providing their information. This is known as a hit and run, and the situation is treated differently than uninsured drivers.
What should I do if I have an accident with an uninsured driver?
If you are involved in an accident, you should follow the same protocol for uninsured drivers as for insured drivers. Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe and contact emergency services if necessary. If you find another driver illegally driving your car without insurance, you must contact the authorities.
Next, you want to exchange contact information. Make sure to get all the necessary information as much as possible. This includes their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and the make, color, and model of their car. It would also be a good idea if any witnesses could also get their contact information. Here are more details on safety tips and what to do after an accident.
Will I be covered if I have an accident with an uninsured driver?
This answer is a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down into three different parts. For accidents involving an uninsured driver, you are generally covered if the uninsured driver is at fault. But depending on the province and type of insurance, there are some details to be aware of to ensure you are fully covered.
If you or your passengers are injured in an accident involving an uninsured vehicle, your traffic accident coverage (mandatory in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador) will usually cover you. In the event of an injury and the third party is at fault, you can also get additional coverage through a home protection insurance policy or SEF 44. In Quebec, residents injured in a car accident can be covered through the Quebec Public Insurance Program administered by the Association of Auto Insurance Québec (SAAQ). Similar entities exist in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, where auto insurance is primarily or strictly government-run. Injury coverage and limitations vary by province and may depend on specific circumstances. If you have any doubts, you can check your policy for more information or consult an advisor for more details.
Often, damage can be to your car, but it can also be to other property. Property damage caused by an accident with an uninsured vehicle is covered by uninsured vehicle insurance if the uninsured are at fault (this is also mandatory in all provinces, except currently Alberta). In Alberta, damage to your vehicle in these situations is generally only covered if you purchase collision insurance. As with injuries, coverage for uninsured vehicle insurance may be limited depending on the province, and in some cases, a deductible may apply. If you are not sure what the limitations are, you can check your policy and if you have any doubts you can consult an advisor for more details.
Hit and run
There are also accidents involving unidentified drivers, usually when someone hits you or your car and flees the scene (hit-and-run). Similar to accidents involving uninsured vehicles, injuries to you or a passenger are usually covered by Traffic Accident Cover, while in Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, this is covered by the government Running plans offer similar coverage. For damage to your property, including your vehicle, coverage usually depends on whether you have vehicle collision insurance ( comprehensive in Alberta ).
How do I file a claim for an uninsured driver?
Car accidents can be stressful, especially if you have an accident with an uninsured driver. We make it easier for you to file a claim. The steps to file a claim related to an uninsured driver are the same as for regular claims.
What if I get caught driving without insurance?
Driving a car without insurance is a serious offense. You may have to pay hefty fines, be charged, and/or have your license revoked. Don’t let this happen to you. Insurance can help and protect you, others on the road, and their belongings. Consult a TD Insurance licensed advisor today to ensure you have the mandatory coverage required by law before driving.