In our May 20, 2014 client update, we reported on significant changes affecting automobile insurance in Prince Edward Island, including changes to no-fault benefits available under section B and changes to the damages cap for minor personal injury. Most of those changes went into effect on October 1, 2014. The final change provides for direct compensation for property damage ("DCPD"), and was recently proclaimed to come into force on October 1, 2015. The amendments to the PEI Insurance Act setting out the DCPD regime can be viewed here.
DCPD entitles an insured to obtain payment directly from his or her own insurer for damage to an automobile. Recovery is based on the insured's degree of fault, as established under a set of fault determination rules ("Rules") prescribed by regulation. The Rules provide specific fault determinations for described accident scenarios, and prescribe that:
- the insured's degree of fault is to be determined without reference to the point of contact between the vehicles, and without reference to circumstances such as weather conditions, road conditions, visibility, or the actions of pedestrians;
- if two Rules apply, and one Rule would result in the insured being 100% at fault and the other would result in the insured not being at fault, the insured is considered to be 50% at fault;
- otherwise, if more than one Rule applies, the Rule that attributes the least degree of fault to the insured is determinative; and
- if the accident is not captured by any of the Rules, or if there is not enough information to determine the degree of fault, fault shall be determined using the ordinary rules of law.
A complete copy of the fault determination Rules can be found in the regulations available here. The Rules for DCPD apply on and after October 1, 2015.