Endorsements to the Standard Automobile Policy add extra coverage for certain things. Alberta’s Family Protection endorsement, commonly referred to as the SEF 44, is the most valuable and important one.
This common insurance policy endorsement is an optional but highly recommended endorsement to any motor vehicle accident policy.
The mandatory legislated insurance coverage required by law under the SPF 1 Alberta Standard Automobile Insurance is $200,000. In many cases, that amount may not be sufficient to cover all personal injury and property claims arising from a not at fault or partially at fault accident in which you or your family members may have been involved.
If you or a family living in the household is injured in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, or involved in a hit and run, you can then access your own SEF 44 endorsement to cover any shortfall for your claims.
Most if not all brokers add the SEF 44 endorsement up to $1,000,000, or the limits of your Section A liability coverage, to insurance policies.
There is a provincial entity called the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (commonly called the Fund). This Fund covers injury claims only (not vehicle damage) the limit of coverage is $200,000. If you or a family member are involved in either a hit and run where the other driver is unidentified, or struck by a driver with only the statutory minimum $200,000 coverage, and the total injury claims exceed $200,000, then you can claim the shortfall from your SEF 44 Family Protection Endorsement.
However, consider a situation where an accident involves multiple serious injuries. It is important to note that if the at fault driver has $1,000,000 liability coverage, and you also have $1,000,000 coverage, then you cannot access your SEF 44. The policies don’t “stack”.
If an injured party does not have does not have their own insurance with an SEF endorsement, it is important to explore if there is SEF coverage from another source, including but not limited to the following:
There are other situations that may provide SEF 44 coverage so it is important to consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer at Braithwaite Boyle to explore other areas of recovery.
**Please note that this article is to only provide general information. It cannot be considered as legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns, or have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, please contact Braithwaite Boyle Injury Law at 780-451-9191 and one of our lawyers would be happy to assist you.
If you operate a motor vehicle in Alberta, you are legally required to carry motor vehicle insurance. The Standard Automobile Policy is governed by provincial legislation, and therefore the basic terms and conditions are the same for all policies.
The mandatory level of Section A coverage is $200,000. However, most people choose to increase that coverage to at least $1,000,000 or $2,00,000 to ensure they have enough coverage in the case of multiple claims from one incident, or very serious injuries to people in the other vehicle/s, where $200,000 may not be sufficient to cover all claims.
There are three sections of the policy:
ALBERTA'S MINOR INJURY CAP
In 2004, the Alberta government introduced a piece of legislation called the Alberta Minor Injury Regulation, which placed a cap on the compensation available to an individual who sustained minor injuries in a motor vehicle accident (the “Cap”). This bold move was taken in an attempt to balance the rights of injured victims, with the increasing costs of providing and purchasing insurance. In the years prior to the introduction of the Cap, insurance companies lobbied the government for a change, arguing that, as a result of an increase in personal injury claims and subsequently, a spike in their costs to settle these claims, they had no choice but to increase insurance premiums. The insurance companies promised the government that by limiting the money that goes to injured Albertans by putting a cap on payouts for “minor injuries”, that they could reduce their own costs and consequently, lower insurance premiums to the general public. This scheme proved successful, and the Cap was created.
The value of a personal injury claim is determined through a calculation of your heads of damages. There are several heads of damages which are classified as pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages. Special damages, also known as pecuniary damages, are monetary awards for specific losses such as economic losses, including repair costs, loss of income, loss of future income, loss of housekeeping, and medical and rehabilitation costs. General Damages, also known as non-pecuniary damages, are awards to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
1. General Damages
In 1978 the Supreme Court of Canada put a limit on the amount of general damages one can claim. Accounting for inflation, that current limit is $366,000.00, and is only awarded in those cases where some one has suffered catastrophic injuries. In 2004 the Alberta government implemented legislation that caps general damages for pain and suffering at $4000.00 for “minor injuries”. This amount is increased every year for inflation. The 2023 CAP in Alberta is $5,817.