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Smith Valeriote Lawyers Blog | Smith Valeriote LLP Law Firm Guelph

Big Changes To Ontario Auto Insurance = Big Cuts To Benefits

You are no longer adequately covered. What this means is that you should be exploring optional benefits with your auto insurance broker and you need to increase your liability limits to at least $2million.  Without optional benefits you will not be adequately covered for income loss, medical and rehabilitation benefits, or attendant care benefits, especially if you are seriously injured.

Without increased liability limits, due to the $1millon dollar cut to Accident Benefits for those who are catastrophically impaired, you run a real and serious risk of being under insured as an at fault driver in a collision.  If it so happens that you cause a collision where someone is seriously injured and you don’t have enough coverage, your house and any property you own might be at jeopardy.

Conversely, if you are seriously injured in a car accident, and the at fault driver does not have an increased liability limit you may suffer substantial losses and even suffer financial ruin. Since the coverage for catastrophically injured has been slashed by $1millon on the Accident Benefits side, to get the proper care and treatment you may need, you will be looking to the at fault party to make up for the difference.  However, in many cases $1million liability coverage will not be enough.  

Here is Why 

Below is a chart as described on the Ministry of Finance website along with the noted impact as commented by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.

CHANGE

IMPACT

Change the standard benefit level for medical and rehabilitation benefits will be $65,000 (from $50,000) and include attendant care services under this benefit. Consumers will also have an option to increase that coverage up to $1 million.

Although described as an increase, this is actually a cut of $21,000 to the standard benefit. The current regime provides for $50,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits and$36,000 of attendant care benefits, for a total of $86,000.

Include attendant care services with the $1 million medical and rehabilitation benefit for catastrophic impairments, and provide the option for additional coverage of $1 million, for $2 million in total coverage.

Another cut. This time by $1 million. The current regime provides benefits of $1 million for attendant careand$1 million for rehabilitation benefits.

Reduce the duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to 5 years, for all claimants except children.

You now have to get better in 5 years. If you remain injured after 5 years you won’t have medical and rehabilitation benefits to help you.

Eliminate the six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits and limit the duration of non-earner benefits to two years after the accident.

Another cut. This benefit is typically claimed by those who aren’t working when injured, such as students.

The change is a massive cut for someone who is seriously injured as a student and who can no longer work.

Under the current regime a person could recover $185/week after a 6 month waiting period up to two years, and then after 2 years $320/week. That benefit would continue provided they had a complete inability to carry on a normal life. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but over a 25 year period this would total about $416,000. Now that same person would be limited to $185/week for 2 years, or about $19,420, total. Ever.

A $396,580.00 cut.

Require goods and services not explicitly listed in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) to be “essential” and agreed upon by the insurer.

If goods or services are needed for your recovery and they aren’t in the SABS you now have to convince your insurer they are essential. What is “essential” is not currently defined in the SABS. And yes, the government actually has that in quotes.


1 Ontario Ministry of Finance, 2015 Ontario Budget, Chapter I: Implementing the Plan, available online at: <http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/ch1f.html>

Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Benefits Recently Cut Further available online at: http://truthaboutinsurance.ca/benefits-recently-cut-further/

For more information on auto insurance in Ontario, don't hesitate to contact the team at Smith Valeriote. You can find our contact information here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.

Date:
2016.09.09

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Guelph Office

105 Silvercreek Pkwy. N.
Suite 100 Guelph, ON N1H 6S4

Phone: 519 837 2100
Fax: 519 837 1617

Toll Free: 1 800 746 0685

Email: guelphinfo@smithvaleriote.com

Smith Valeriote - Map to Fergus Offices

Fergus Office

265 Bridge Street
Fergus, ON N1M 1T7

Phone: 519 843 1960
Fax: 519 843 6888

Toll Free: 1 800 746 0685

Email: fergusinfo@smithvaleriote.com