If you suffered injuries in a car crash, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying your medical bills. Generally, their insurance company will provide reimbursement either as part of a settlement agreement or following a judgment in a car accident claim. However, some drivers have low insurance policy limits, or no insurance at all, and serious injuries can require care that exceeds the limits of even generous insurance policies.

It is possible to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver who caused your injuries. But if that driver has low insurance policy limits, the medical costs and income losses of your claim may be greater than the insurance policy limits. Sometimes the at-fault driver doesn’t have significant savings or assets making collecting a judgment impossible.

SEF 44 coverage provides protection against these under-insured drivers.

SEF 44 Coverage in Car Accident Claims

SEF 44 coverage is also known as the Family Protection Endorsement, since it protects the insured and their immediate family when an underinsured driver causes an accident with serious injuries.

SEF 44 coverage is not part of the standard form insurance policy. It is not mandatory that insurance companies offer this coverage to you. However, most insurance companies do offer this coverage for a small extra premium. When SEF 44 coverage is selected, it covers the insurance policyholder, their spouse, and their dependents.

The Family Protection Endorsement is considered to be excess coverage. That means it only comes into play when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are not high enough to cover the full amount of your claim. SEF 44 covers the value of any claim over the at-fault driver’s insurance policy up to the limits of your insurance policy.

SEF 44 is excess coverage only — the limits do not stack.

Examples: Your compensation claim is $2 million, but the at-fault driver’s policy limit is only $500,000.

  • If you have SEF 44 coverage of $500,000, your insurance company would not pay any additional money because your limit is the same as the at-fault driver. it is not added to the at-fault driver’s limit. In this case you lose $1.5 million.
  • If you have SEF 44 coverage of $1 million, your insurance company would pay the $500,000 not paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In this case you lose $1 million.
  • If you have SEF 44 coverage of $2 million, you would receive $1.5 million to cover the difference between the at-fault driver’s policy limit and your policy limit. Only in this case would you be fully compensated for your losses.

When seeking reimbursement for serious injuries, whether under SEF 44 coverage or through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, it is important to remember that insurance companies have strong incentives to not pay the full value of your claim. Before deciding whether to accept a settlement or making any other decisions, ask a Nova Scotia personal injury lawyer whether you are receiving the full value of your claim.