No Insurance a Risk to All

TORONTO (September 12, 2002) - The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is warning drivers of the risk of having invalid, or no insurance at all when they are on Ontario roads.

"Some people are just not getting the message" said Bryan Davies, Superintendent of FSCO. "People have to realize how much they could lose if they are in an accident and do not have valid automobile insurance."

A recent OPP blitz on the roads around the GTA led to 29 people being charged with driving without insurance.

People who are caught driving without insurance, or with invalid insurance in Ontario, face a fine starting at $5,000.

Some of the invalid insurance comes through people buying "insurance" online from a barter company.

People who barter perform a service for another member of the barter company and obtain barter dollars for the work they do. They trade barter dollars for other products or services offered through the barter company including insurance. In some cases payments are made through a combination of cash and barter dollars. Barter companies, however, are not licensed to sell insurance.

"Unfortunately people who look at the short term savings don't realize they face a lifetime of payments if they are involved in a serious accident," said Mr. Davies. "They are putting themselves and others at risk."

If people in possession of invalid insurance policies, or no insurance, are involved in an automobile accident they will only be allowed minimal medical and rehabilitation benefits. They will not be allowed to claim wage loss benefits and have lost their right to sue. They may also be personally liable for civil actions for the injuries of the other parties in the accident or other damages that could take a lifetime to repay.

Drivers who have invalid insurance or are driving with no insurance, should immediately contact a licensed insurance vendor to arrange legal insurance.

For more information on automobile insurance in Ontario, drivers can visit the FSCO website at (www.fsco.gov.on.ca).

The website also contains a list of licensed insurance companies and agents, this list is also available by phoning (416) 250-7250 or 1-800-668-0128.

For more information, please contact
Brian Donlevy, Information Officer
(416) 590-7057
bdonlevy@fsco.gov.on.ca