The Family Endorsement Protection: SEF 44

By Stacey England

The Family Endorsement Protection is an endorsement designed to provide additional insurance benefits to an injured and his or her immediate family members. These benefits provide coverage for injuries or death, arising from a motor vehicle accident, in circumstances where the wrongdoer is either not insured or is not adequately insured. It is optional coverage for which a premium is paid in addition to the premium paid for coverage purchased under the standard automobile coverage. The essence of the endorsement is that the insured protects himself from the risk of being injured by an inadequately insured motorist.

How does it work?

The Family Endorsement Protection provides excess coverage to you in the event you are injured in an accident and the at fault party’s policy limits are less than your policy limit.

For example, if you carry SEF 44 coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 and the at fault driver’s insurance policy only had a limit of $500,000 (the mandatory minimum in Nova Scotia), your Family Endorsement Protection coverage will “top up” your compensation.

However, if the at fault driver’s policy limit is the same as your SEF 44 coverage, then you are not entitled to receive anything further from your own insurance.

Will my CPP disability benefits be deducted from my SEF 44 claim?

In a recent Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision, Sabean v. Portage LaPrairie Mutual Insurance Company, 2013 NSSC 306, Justice Patrick Murray considered the issue of deductibility of future CPP disability benefits payable to an insured under an SEF 44 claim. The plaintiff in this case was injured at the fault of another that was not adequately insured. The Court found that future CPP disability benefits should not be deducted from the amount payable to the insured under his SEF 44 claim.

What this case means for insured plaintiffs is that future CPP benefits that are payable to you following the close of your case will not be deducted from any SEF 44 award you are entitled to. However, the insurer is entitled to deduct all amounts recovered from CPP disability by the insured from the time of the accident until the date of settlement or adjudication of your case.

Should I talk to a lawyer?

If you have an SEF 44 policy and you were injured in an accident, please let one of the members of the personal injury team or the lawyer handling your case know so we can quickly determine if a claim against your SEF 44 needs to be filed.