The Ontario government will be introducing changes to auto insurance that come into effect June 1, 2016.
Most of the changes are being made to the accident benefits (injury benefits) of your car insurance policy. These changes affect how much you can expect to receive from your insurance company for things like medical rehabilitation and attendant care.
Right now the standard accident benefit for medical and rehabilitation is $50,000 and $36,000 for attendant care for non-catastrophic injuries. These are injuries that are more than whiplash, such as broken bones, but not as serious as say paraplegic injuries. For catastrophic injuries the limit is $1 million for medical and rehabilitation and an additional $1 million for attendant care.
After June 1, 2016, under the Ontario Government's changes, there will be a single limit for the standard benefits of $65,000 for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for non-catastrophic injuries. There will also be a single limit of only $1 million for all coverages of medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for catastrophic injuries.
One last change is going to be implemented. The current time limit for non-catastrophic injuries is 10 years. Except for certain circumstances this limit will be reduced to 5 years.
These changes mean a reduction of coverage and time limits for standard accident benefits for those unlucky enough to be severely or catastrophically injured in a car accident. There are still options for consumers to buy more coverage.
There no changes to the limits of other accident benefits such as income replacement, caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance, dependent care, death and funeral or indexation.
Who are the Most Vulnerable?
- Those Ontario motorists who earn more than $30,000 a year and have no work health benefits. Why? They might need higher limits for income replacement, but should also consider higher medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits because the existing limits will be reduced after June 1, 2016.
- Primary caregivers for children or elderly adults who don't work. Why? If something happened to the primary caregiver could you survive on $185 a week for two years for the non-earner benefit?
- Snow-birds should really consider their accident benefit limits. Why? Because each U.S. state offers different limits for car accident injuries and usually they are lower than what Ontario limits provide. Plus, medical expenses in the U.S. are very high.
What Should I do?
Call your broker and discuss your situation. A broker can advise you on what options are available for you and your family so you can make informed decisions about your protection.
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Thanks for reading.
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