Insurance Across Borders: Why OPCF 44R is a Must-Have for Ontario Vacationers

Insurance Across Borders: Why OPCF 44R is a Must-Have for Ontario Vacationers

Written by: Lindsay Charles, Partner and Jamie Davison, Student-At-Law

A motor vehicle collision during a vacation sounds like a nightmare no one wants to experience. Unfortunately, it happens, but thankfully, there are steps you can take before leaving for vacation that can help you prepare for the worst. Ontario residents driving outside of Canada should ensure they have ample protection through the OPCF 44R insurance add-on, also known as Family Protection Coverage.

This article breaks down the importance of having sufficient OPCF 44R coverage for travelers whether you are a student attending school internationally, visiting family abroad, or escaping the cold for March Break. We aim to outline the rights and protections available to you and your family in the event of a motor vehicle collision outside of Ontario. To learn more, check out Lindsay’s Law Times article: Cross-border car accident cases see a slight increase when snowbirds travel in the winter months.

Understanding OPCF 44R Coverage in Ontario

The Ontario Family Protection Endorsement, called “OCPF 44R”, serves as an optional add-on for motor vehicle insurance policies in Ontario. Many drivers may already possess this coverage without being aware of it. Its purpose is to offer additional insurance coverage in scenarios where a collision leads to injury or death, and the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance, is uninsured, or remains unidentified. This add-on typically extends coverage to you, your spouse, and dependent children, even if they are passengers in a vehicle that you are not driving. Often, the additional cost for OPCF 44R coverage is nominal, providing financial protection from insufficient insurance coverage when it matters most.

“Before leaving the province, travelers should ensure that their auto-insurer will cover them for the where they are driving, the purpose they are driving, and the duration they are outside of their own jurisdiction. In some instances, coverage may change, or the insured person’s insurance premium may also change given their potential travel plans.” -Lindsay Charles, Law Times

By alerting the insurer of your upcoming trip, you may prevent your policy being treated as void because of a failure to notify the insurer.

Protecting Travelers with OPCF 44R

The OPCF 44R insurance add-on becomes an added safeguard for families traveling abroad if involved in a collision with a driver carrying insufficient insurance. For instance, if an out-of-country driver has only the minimum required insurance limits – which can be as little as $15,000.00 – your OPCF 44R insurer

steps in to cover the remaining amount available under your policy. This means that if a family is rear-ended in Florida by a driver with the minimum $20,000.00 in third-party liability insurance, and the damages suffered in the collision exceed this cap, their Ontario insurer covers the shortfall up to their coverage limit. By extending your coverage, such as opting-in for $2, $3, or $5 million in coverage, you can provide enhanced protection large enough for your lifestyle at a potentially minimal additional cost.

“Someone who has a big earning potential might need a bigger family protection policy than someone who has a smaller income level, [or] someone who’s younger, who has a much longer time period where they need to work or might need care if they’re catastrophically injured, could need more coverage than someone that’s closer to the end of their life.” – Lindsay Charles, Law Times

Most importantly, a claim for damages resulting out of a collision occurring in another jurisdiction can still be handled by an Ontario lawyer, allowing you to undergo healthcare, rehabilitation, and the claim process at home. An Ontario-based lawyer can also help you to transition any treatment started out-of-province to Ontario. If you do not have out-of-province health care coverage, incurred costs can be claimed through your own auto insurer and if all else fails, through the lawsuit against the negligent driver.

Another crucial scenario where OPCF 44R protection comes into play is when the negligent driver is unidentified, such as in a hit-and-run collision. In such cases, again, your own insurer can step up to help you recover the damages.

Steps to Take if Involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision Across the Border:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately. Prioritize your health.
  2. Report the collision to local law enforcement. Even if you feel the collision is minor, reporting it is crucial in creating an official record of the incident.
  3. Notify your Ontario auto insurance company promptly. Coverage generally extends to collisions in the United States.
  4. Consult legal counsel in Ontario to understand your rights and protections under Ontario Law and insurance policies. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help with navigating complexities, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.


With adequate OPCF 44R insurance coverage, you and your family can cross the border for March Break with peace of mind, knowing you are financially protected in case of a collision. At McLeish Orlando, we have successfully pursued numerous claims against OPCF 44R insurers to secure compensation for our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries abroad and are unsure about pursuing damages, contact the McLeish Orlando team for a free consultation through our website or by calling (416)-366-3311.

Lindsay Charles


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