Nova Scotia Auto Insurance Policy
As you are likely aware, auto insurance is required by law in Nova Scotia.
When people are injured in a motor vehicle accident, automobile insurance can be helpful in providing needed financial support for recovery. What coverage you might have after an accident depends on several factors including if the other party in an accident has insurance, if you have insurance, and what policy options you may have chosen.
In Nova Scotia, the Insurance Act outlines the basic requirements of an auto insurance policy. In a typical policy, there will be four types of coverage provided. These are generally referred to as Section A, B, C, and D.
What Are Section A Damages?
Section A applies if you are at-fault for an accident or if you have been injured by an at-fault driver. Section A damages are often referred to as “third-party liability” damages, so who is the third party?
In this situation, the at-fault driver first party, their insurance company is the second party, and the injured person is the third party.
What Section A does is protect injured parties by requiring the insurer of the at-fault party to provide a minimum amount of coverage to the injured person.
Coverage includes costs resulting from injury or death as well as damage to property. Damage to property can include both the damage done to a car as well as damage done to the contents of the car.
In Nova Scotia, there is a minimum requirement of $500,000 in Section A compensation for any policy. Many people will have more than the minimum in Section A compensation.
What Are Section B Benefits?
Section B Benefits are often referred to as “no fault benefits.” These do not mean that they only apply to accidents where nobody is responsible. Instead, it means that your insurance company will provide you coverage regardless of whether you were at-fault for the accident. They apply if you were a passenger or a driver.
These benefits are claimed from your own insurance company. This means that if you are injured in an accident, whether you were at-fault or not, you can immediately seek compensation from your insurer.
It is important to note that Section B Benefits only apply to expenses from up to four years after the date of the accident.
Section B Benefits can provide four types of compensation: medical and rehabilitation expenses, weekly payments, funeral expenses, and death benefits.
1. Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses
Section B medical benefits have limits to their coverage. There is a limit of $50,000 per person for all reasonable expenses. This covers many services such as medical, dental, and ambulance services as well as supplies which are deemed necessary for treatment.
2. Weekly Payments
Weekly payments can be provided to compensate loss of income for people who were employed at the date of the accident and suffer an injury from the accident that makes them unable to perform the essential duties of their job within 30 days after the accident.
These payments will not be made beyond 104 weeks, or 2 years, unless it can be shown that the person cannot engage in any occupation or employment they are suited to.
These payments will amount to either $250 per week or 80% of the person’s weekly income. The lower amount will be provided.
Weekly payments can also be provided to people who are not employed but instead the principal unpaid housekeeper of their household. This can apply to stay-at-home parents. Payments are provided if the housekeeper is unable to perform their household duties.
For housekeepers, weekly payments will be provided at $100 per week for no more than 52 weeks.
3. Funeral Expenses
Funeral expenses are covered under Section B for an amount up to $2500 for the death of any one person.
4. Death Benefits
Section B death benefits apply when a death happens within 180 days or 104 weeks of the accident. Payments are based on the status of the deceased person in their household:
- Head of Household: $25,000.
- Spouse or Common-Law of Head of Household: $25,000.
- Dependent: $5,000.
Dependent does not just refer to children under 18 years old. It can also include the spouse or common-law partner of the head of household, those over 18 who might be dependent due to mental or physical disability, those attending full time education who, and parents or relatives of the head of household or spouse. Dependents, however, should live in the same household and be reliant on the head of household or spouse for financial support.
In cases where there are two or more survivors in the household, the amount will increase by $1,000 for each survivor.
For example, if the head of household dies in a one-person household, the compensation would be $25,000, but if they die in a three person household, the compensation would be $27,000.
What Are Section C Damages?
Section C Damages deal with damage to vehicles. These are optional benefits, not required by all insurance policies.
Coverage can be provided for damage to vehicles, damage to vehicle equipment such as objects attached to a vehicle like bike racks. Section C can be broken into four sections depending on what events the insurance company has agreed to provide compensation for. These include all perils; collision or upset; comprehensive; and specified perils.
All perils means that the insurance company has agreed to provide compensation when there has been direct and accidental damage to your vehicle or loss of your vehicle. This includes your vehicle’s equipment.
Collision or Upset
Collision or upset means that the insurance company has agreed to provide compensation only for any direct or accidental loss which has occurred because of a collision with another object or upset. Upset can refer to something such as your vehicle rolling over.
Comprehensive means that your insurance company has agreed to provide compensation for only direct or accidental loss caused by peril other than a collision or upset. This coverage would include things such as damage from falling objects, earthquakes, and water.
Specified perils means that your insurance company has agreed to provide compensation when your vehicle was damaged or lost due to fire, lightning, theft, earthquakes, and other similar events.
What are Section D Damages?
Section D Damages apply when a vehicle was uninsured or unidentified. This can apply to situations where someone has forgotten to get insurance for their vehicle as well as hit and run accidents. Section D can also apply when an accident occurred somewhere other than Nova Scotia.
In cases of an uninsured or unidentified vehicle, you can recover from your own insurance company, amounts which you would have been able to recover from the other driver had they been identified and insured. This includes compensation for injuries, death, and damage to a vehicle.
If an accident happened in a location other than Nova Scotia, your insurance company will pay the minimum required in either Nova Scotia or the location in which the accident happened. The insurance company will be responsible to cover whichever of those two minimums is lower.
Accidents Involving Unidentified Automobiles
If you are involved in an accident which involves an unidentified automobile, you have a responsibility to report the accident to a peace officer, judicial officer, or administrator of motor vehicle laws within 24 hours of the accident or as soon afterwards as reasonable considering the circumstances.
Within 30 days you must inform your insurance company that you were involved in an accident involving an unidentified party and provide them with information about the accident.
What Compensation Can I Access?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and are not sure what compensation you can receive under your auto insurance policy or another party’s auto insurance policy, you may want to ask a personal injury lawyer for help.
A personal injury lawyer can help you sort through what claims you might have against insurance companies as well as claims that other individuals may have against you.
Get Support for Your Personal Injury Claim
Here at NOVA Injury Law, we will always put our clients first. We know car accidents can be life-changing event that not only affects a person’s physical health but can also have an impact on their emotional and mental well-being as they try to adapt to a new lifestyle. Our mission is to ensure you have the resources and support you need to live a better life and have peace of mind about your financial status.
You can learn more about how we handle car accident claims here.
If you are in need of legal advice or help understanding auto insurance policies and are located in the Nova Scotia area, our personal injury lawyers are here to help. We also serve other areas of Atlantic Canada, including Prince Edward Island. Contact us today and tell us more about your claim – we are here to help!