New Changes in Auto Insurance

Posted by Stevenson Whelton LLP
June 20, 2016

In an effort to make insurance premiums more affordable for Ontario residents, these major changes were put in place to govern the amount of coverage available after a car accident.  Policyholders are being informed of these changes through the mail by their insurance companies, but they can also access the changes on the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) website or contact their insurance representative about their renewal packages.

There have been many adjustments to optional/additional benefits.

Some of the most important changes to auto insurance are:

  • Medical and rehabilitation for catastrophic injuries and attendant care for catastrophic injuries have now been grouped together with benefits reduced to one million dollars (previously at one million each).
  • Medical and rehabilitation for non-catastrophic injuries and attendant care for non-catastrophic injuries have also been combined and reduced to sixty-five thousand dollars (previously at fifty-thousand dollars and thirty-six thousand dollars respectively).
  • Minor accidents are no longer a criterion for insurers to justify an increase in insurance premiums.
  • There has been an increase in the comprehensible deductible from three hundred to five hundred dollars.
  • The waiting period for non-earner benefits has been decreased from six months to four weeks.

Please note that standard automobile insurance policies will still cover accident benefits, uninsured automobile, third party liability and direct compensation property damage.  

It is very important that policyholders are aware of their coverage. This can be done by reading and understanding your specific policy.  In a study conducted by FSCO, it was concluded that only ten percent of all insured drivers actually had an in-depth knowledge of their policies. This can be quite detrimental when you seek benefits after an accident.  Be sure to avoid any unpleasant surprises and disappointments in your time of need by educating yourself on what is covered in your policy.

Some people may be unsure of what kind of policy they should purchase.  Below are a few guidelines for ensuring that you get the best policy for yourself and your family.

Be sure about the amount of coverage you need.  Paying for extra coverage that is not required can accumulate over time and be a waste of your money.  An insurance agent can help guide you to the policy that is perfectly tailored to you and your family’s needs.

Compare quotes.  Never buy the first policy you come across.  Hastiness can cost you.  It is advisable to shop around and obtain quotes from different companies for the same coverage.

Don’t be shy to ask about discounts.  Many insurance companies offer deals for coverage on more than one vehicle, which can save you and your family money.

The type of vehicle you drive will directly impact your insurance premiums.  The more luxurious the vehicle, the higher the premiums due to the higher possibility of theft and other such factors.

Knowledge is power. Waiting until you are in need of your benefits to understand what you are entitled to, is never advisable. These new changes will affect all drivers in Ontario and we at Stevenson Whelton Macdonald & Swan encourage you to find out how they will affect your coverage.

Disclaimer: Our blog is intended to inform our existing and prospective clients about topics pertinent to their lives. While our goal is to provide accurate and factual information, this in no way should be taken as legal advice or applied to specific cases. It is in your best interest to contact a licenced and practising lawyer for legal representation, as matters of the law are often complicated and cannot be fully assessed without knowing all of the details of a case.