This time of year, many Canadians are travelling to Florida to enjoy the sunshine. When a Ontario resident is involved in a car accident in Florida, they will often have access to Canadian and US insurance benefits. It may surprise you to know that when a Canadian is injured in a car accident in Florida, very often the claims for losses are primarily paid by a Canadian auto insurance policy.
Ontario auto insurance policies provide insurance coverage in the event that you are injured while travelling in Florida or other US States. The Ontario auto policies include first-party accident benefits, as well as coverage for liability and underinsured and uninsured motorists in the event of an accident in Florida.
In the case of a Florida car accident, an Ontario resident will have the option of electing benefits of either Ontario or the State of Florida. The election cannot be changed, so it is important to understand the difference between Ontario benefits and Florida benefits before making an election.
Additionally, Florida also has lower minimum insurance requirements for their drivers and vehicles. As such, many Canadians from Ontario will also need to consider advancing an Underinsured or, sometimes, Uninsured motorist claim in Ontario, even though the accident occurred in Florida. These claims must be commenced in the Province of Ontario, even though the accident occurred in Florida. Canadian courts have recognized that Ontario residents injured in an accident in the United States have a direct right to commence the Underinsured or Uninsured claim independently of any claim they might also have against the at-fault driver in the United States. See, Somersall v. Friedman, 2002 SCC 59 (CanLII),  3 S.C.R. 109; Johnson v. Wunderlich (1986), 57 O.R. (2d) 600, 1986 CanLII 2618 (ON CA), 1986 CanLII 2618 (C.A.);Forsythe v. Westfall, 2015 ONCA 810.
Iacobelli Law Firm regularly represents Canadians in their insurance claims following a car accident in Florida. Lawyer Andrew Iacobelli has experience in Ontario and the United States, and has offices in Ontario and Florida.
If you are a Canadian (Ontario) resident and have been injured in a car accident in the United States, we may be able to assist. We provide FREE CONSULTATION with no obligation to prospective clients. The Consultation is Free, Confidential and without any obligation on your part. Call us any time, day or night, to learn more about your rights or to request a free consultation with a lawyer by calling 1-866-234-6093 or completing our contact form here.
Andrew Iacobelli is a lawyer, licensed to practice law in Florida, Michigan and Ontario. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of individuals that have been seriously injured.