Uninsured vehicles cost us all through higher insurance premiums. It is estimated every insured passenger vehicle owner pays an extra $11.50 per year per vehicle to cover the potential damage caused when an uninsured vehicle is involved in an accident. Of this, one dollar goes to the province’s Motor Vehicle Accidents Claims Fund to pay claims for those injured by an uninsured vehicle.
Since 1996, the government has paid out nearly $250 million to cover damage done by uninsured drivers.
It is estimated over 400,000 motor vehicles are on Ontario’s roads without insurance. Fortunately steps are underway to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles in the Province.
What’s being done?
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the insurance industry have established the Uninsured Vehicles Project (UV Project) in an effort to reduce fraud and stabilize automobile insurance rates. The UV Project includes a province-wide database that tracks individual vehicle identification numbers (VINs). This database is updated daily by insurance companies and their brokers/agents and will eventually be available to police at the roadside when they need to verify insurance coverage.
To crack down on uninsured drivers, the Ontario government passed Bill 198 in December 2002 that included amendments to both the Highway Traffic Act and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. The regulations for this legislation are now being written. By early 2004, it is expected MTO will use the database to electronically verify the existence of your insurance coverage while you are at the licensing office or kiosk in an effort to prevent the licensing of uninsured vehicles.
Here’s what you can do to help
- Insure your vehicle.
- Record the valid Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from your vehicle and provide it to us when requesting insurance coverage.
- If you wish to add or remove liability coverages (i.e. liability) let us know before attempting to do a licensing transaction at MTO. Be sure to allow a reasonable amount of time for us to update the database for you.
- Make sure the VIN on the dash of your vehicle matches the VIN on your insurance policy and vehicle registration. Report any discrepancies to us and MTO immediately.