Does Your Ontario Auto policy cover you while driving on Vacation? The short answer is yes and no.
The first thing to consider is whether you are driving in Canada and/or the U.S.
If you are driving your own car while traveling inside of Canada or the U.S. your Ontario auto policy will respond in the event you injure yourself or others in an auto accident. You will also have the same coverage for physical damage (collision & comprehensive) to your vehicle that you would at home. Just remember if you are renting a vehicle you will need to add the “Legal Liability for Damage to Non-owned Automobiles” (OPCF 27) coverage to your policy. Details of the OPCF 27 include:
This form will extend your policy to cover third-party liability, accident benefits, uninsured automobile and direct compensation-property damage coverage whenever driving the rented vehicle.
The OPCF 27 will cover you anywhere in Canada and the United States.
You will need to already have physical damage coverage on your auto insurance policy in order to purchase the OPCF 27.
This form carries a policy limit ranging between $25,000 and $50,000.
The cost of the OPCF 27 ranges from $30 to $50 for a one-year policy term.
A claim under the OPCF 27 is treated the same as if you were driving your own car and will affect your insurance.
Coverage only applies listed drivers on your Ontario Auto Policy
What if you are driving outside of Canada or the U.S.?
The Ontario auto policy has a territorial limit of Canada and the United States so if you are driving outside of Canada or the U.S. the coverage under your policy will not respond. This means that if you drive your own car or rent or borrow a car outside of Canada or the U.S. and get in an accident you will have no coverage for Third Party Liability, Accident Benefits or for Physical Damage to the car under your Ontario Auto policy. This applies even if you have purchased the OPCF 27. When you rent a car outside of Canada or the U.S. you need to investigate how much Third Party Liability is provided under the rental contract. Some countries may have adequate limits but many will carry extremely low limits leaving you to pay for injuries you cause to someone else out of your own pocket. You will also need to purchase coverage for physical damage to the vehicle. This can usually be purchased from the rental car company and the price varies depending on the extent of coverage purchased. Some credit cards will provide physical damage coverage to a rental vehicle but please read the contract carefully to determine what coverage is provided, who can drive the car and how the coverage interacts with any other coverage you may have purchased. Credit cards do not provide coverage for Third Party Liability.
Personal Excess or Umbrella Liability policies
A Personal Excess or Umbrella policy is a good way to increase your Liability coverage and provide some coverage that is not provided by the liability coverage found in your homeowner’s policy. However, do not rely on your Personal Excess or Umbrella policy to provide any type of coverage in the event of an automobile accident outside of Canada or the U.S. Most of these policies are what is called “Follow Form”. This means that since the Ontario Auto Policy doesn’t provide coverage outside of Canada or the U.S. neither will your personal umbrella or excess policy in the event of an automobile accident. There are a few Insurers that provide excess/umbrella coverage over your Ontario Auto policy when outside of Canada or the U.S. but this is very rare so please check with your broker first.
This information is general and for illustration purposes only. Other factors may affect your coverage. We highly recommend that you contact your broker to discuss your specific circumstances.