On June 1st, 2016, changes to auto insurance in Ontario came into effect. Although many of these changes won't affect individual policyholders until your policies come up for renewal, some of them will impact you if you have an accident and are injured after June 1st, 2016.
The most significant changes will be to medical and rehabilitation care, and new optional accident benefit choices that will let you customize your policy to suit your individual needs.
In case of serious injury, basic auto insurance coverage may not be enough for a lifetime of rehabilitation services. When you receive your annual auto renewal policy, you should read the changes carefully and understand how they will impact you.
The changes mean that:
Options to increase coverage, including higher limits of Disability Insurance coverage and enhanced benefits are available.
Insurers can no longer use a minor at-fault accident to increase your premiums when certain criteria are met. The criteria include that no payment has been made by any insurer, where there are no injuries and the damage to each car and property were less than $2,000 per car and were paid by the at fault driver. This provision is limited to one minor accident every three years.
Interest Rate for Monthly Payment Plans – effective your next policy renewal on or after June 1st, 2016
The maximum interest rate that insurers can charge if you make monthly premium payments has been lowered from 3% to 1.3% for one year policies, with corresponding reductions for shorter terms.
Comprehensive Deductible – effective your next policy renewal on or after June 1st, 2016
The standard deductible for Comprehensive coverage has been increased from $300 to $500.
Non-Earner Benefit – effective for all accidents on or after June 1st, 2016
The six-month waiting period for people who are not working to receive benefits has been reduced to four weeks. Also, benefits can now only be received for up to two years after the accident.
Duration of Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Benefits – effective for all accidents on or after June 1st, 2016
For all claimants except children, the amount of time that you can receive this standard benefit is now five years for non-catastrophic injuries, and it will be paid only as long as you remain medically eligible.
Some important things to remember about these benefits:
Other Optional Benefits – effective next policy renewal on or after June 1st, 2016
The optional benefits available for Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care have also changed:
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has a webpage with details of all changes and you are encouraged to review these details at https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/brochures/Pages/brochure_changes10.aspx.
Rates for coverages depend on a variety of factors, from your driving record to the type of vehicle to the use of your car. And even if your current insurance is still in force, give us your expiry date and we'll call to discuss how you can save with OMA Insurance when it's time to renew.
To learn more about rates and to ensure you and your family are protected with the level of coverage you need, and to get a quote, contact The Personal directly at 1.877.277.7165.