As of June 1st, 2016, auto insurance in Ontario
is going to undergo a change, with major revisions to no-fault
benefits (statutory accident benefits). Announced on August 31,
2015, the new Statutory Benefits Schedule will be implemented for
each driver upon the renewal of their policy after June 1st. But
what does this mean to you as a driver, and how will it affect
These new revisions to the Statutory Accident Benefits
Schedule drastically reduce benefits. One of the more
severe examples of the cuts is to the non-earner benefit. This
benefit was available to a non-earner after a 6 month initial
waiting period but was payable for so long as a complete inability
to carry on a normal life was demonstrated. Now – while this
weekly benefit becomes payable after a four week waiting period
– it will be paid for only a two-year maximum.
Other statutory benefits for medical care, rehabilitation, and
attendant care have all also been reduced. For non-catastrophic
impairments from car accidents, what was once a basic medical care
and rehabilitation benefit of $50,000 and an attendant care benefit
of $36,000 – a combined total of $86,000 – will be
combined into a single benefit covering all three expenses of
$65,000, a reduction of $21,000. As well, the time during which
these benefits are paid has been halved from ten years to five.
Additionally, for the most severely injured and found to be
catastrophically impaired, the total benefits available for medical
care, rehabilitation and attendant care – which are currently
covered by two benefits at $1,000,000 per benefit, for a total of
$2,000,000 – will be reduced to a single combined benefit of
$1,000,000. This halves the coverage that those suffering
catastrophic injuries will receive.
The current system has a second optional medical care and
rehabilitation benefit of $100,000, along with an optional
attendant care benefit of $72,000 – both of which will be
eliminated and replaced with a combined benefit of $130,000, a
reduction of $42,000. This means that all three levels of coverage
for medical care and rehabilitation expenses, from basic statutory
benefits to the largest optional benefits, will see major
Your insurer is going to have more power to deny miscellaneous
goods and services that were previously payable provided that your
healthcare practitioner determined you required them and they were
reasonable. The new regulations change this such that your
insurance company now must agree that the expenses are required for
your recovery or rehabilitation, in addition to being reasonable
The deductibles will also be increasing – the current
standard deductible for comprehensive coverage of $300 will
increase on June 1st to $500. In exchange for
this, as of June 1st, insurance providers will no longer be allowed
to take minor accidents – defined as involving less than
$2,000 damage with the costs paid by the at-fault party (and not by
any insurance company) and no personal injuries – into
account when calculating premiums. The exception to this, however,
will be if you have had more than one at-fault minor accident in
the last three years. In that case, your insurance company is
permitted to consider a minor accident after June 1, 2016, in
calculating your rate or renewing your policy.
The new changes obviously benefit the insurance companies far
more than consumers. It is crucial that you find out what optional
coverages you need by talking to your broker or insurance company
when your policy renews to make sure you have adequate coverage. No
one ever expects to be injured in a car crash- but best to make
sure that if this happens, you will be fully covered.
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