Basic third-party liability insurance

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If your car is in an accident, you can be legally responsible for damage or injuries others claim against you – even if you weren’t driving it at the time. Basic third-party liability insures you against claims others make against you up to $500,000.

As a vehicle owner, you’re covered when driving your own vehicle or when someone else drives your vehicle with your permission. When driving someone else’s vehicle, you’re covered as long as you’re driving with the owner’s permission. In all cases, the driver must have a valid driver’s licence too.

Basic third-party liability covers you if the vehicle you’re driving:

  • Damages another vehicle or other property in Manitoba
  • Injures a person, or damages a vehicle or property outside Manitoba but within Canada and the U.S.
  • (Motorcycle liability coverage provides protection against passenger injury claims outside Manitoba.)

For more protection, you may want to increase your coverage – especially if you travel outside Manitoba, even if only for one-day or weekend trips. Autopac options are available to increase your third-party liability protection to $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, $7 million or $10 million.

When coverage is denied

To ensure your third-party liability coverage is valid, you must follow the conditions of your policy.

We can refuse to cover you if:

  1. The driver was impaired.
  2. Someone was driving who wasn't qualified and allowed by law to drive (an unlicenced driver).
  3. Someone was driving with a suspended driver's licence or who can't drive because of a court order.
  4. Someone under 16 was driving who didn't have a learner's permit or wasn't following its terms.
  5. The vehicle was being used to carry on an illegal trade or to transport items in violation of the law (for example, the vehicle was being used to smuggle cigarettes).
  6. The vehicle was in a speed test or motor race.
  7. An unregistered trailer was attached to the vehicle when the law requires the trailer to be registered.
  8. The vehicle was being used to flee from the police.
  9. The vehicle was used to deliberately cause injury, death or property damage.

In any of these situations, you are personally responsible for any claims made against you. Or, if we had to make any payments because of your actions, you'll have to pay the money back.

With the Graduated Drivers licensing (GDL) program, you need to be especially cautious lending your vehicle to a new driver. Anyone in the GDL program who drives while breaking the rules of the program is not authorized by law to drive. Your Autopac won't cover you if you lend your vehicle to any driver who isn't authorized by law to drive. Find out more about the rules for drivers in the GDL program.

Responsibility for collisions

Although fault doesn't affect how much injury compensation Manitobans get, it's still important.

  • Being at fault affects the amount of deductible you pay now and your insurance premiums in the future. When we pay a claim from an accident for which you are responsible, your driving record is affected. This happens even if the vehicles involved had no damage but the other driver or a passenger claimed minor injuries.
  • In Manitoba, you can be sued for damage your vehicle causes to someone else's property. The Personal Injury Protection Plan (PIPP) eliminates lawsuits for injuries to people (except for off-road vehicles – see below), but lawsuits for property damage claims can still occur. Fault affects the outcome of court actions for damages.
  • You can be sued for injuries from accidents occurring outside Manitoba. Increasing your third-party liability coverage is a good idea if you travel outside the province.

See more information about how we assess fault.

Off-road vehicles

An off-road vehicle, or ORV, is any wheeled or tracked motorized vehicle designed or adapted to travel cross-country on land, water, ice, snow, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain.

Snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies and dirt bikes are examples of ORVs. Examples of vehicles not considered to be ORVs are: a golf cart, a garden or lawn tractor, infrastructure equipment and agricultural equipment.

With a few exceptions, ORVs must be registered. Your ORV registration includes Basic $500,000 third-party liability and underinsured motorist coverage. No other coverage is included. Because most ORVs are only used seasonally, the rules applying to your Basic coverage and registration differ from the rules applying to your car.

Here are some important things to remember:

  • Beyond $500,000 third-party liability and underinsured motorist coverage, you do not receive any additional coverage for damage or injuries with your ORV registration and licence plates.
  • You pay your premium when the riding season starts.
  • Your Basic coverage and registration lasts all year.
  • You always pay for the whole riding season. There are no refunds if you cancel part way through the riding season, or reductions if you buy your coverage part way through the riding season.

Your ORV presents two financial risks different from your automobile.

  • First, Personal Injury Protection (PIPP) doesn’t cover ORV accidents unless your ORV collides with a moving car, truck or other motor vehicle that must be registered for road use. That’s why Accident Benefits options through Manitoba Public Insurance are so important for you and your passengers.
  • Second, others can sue you if your ORV injures them in Manitoba—unlike your automobile. That means buying extra third-party liability coverage is a wise choice.

See detailed information on ORV Extension coverage options.