This is the third entry in our Accidents Benefits series. You can find the first entry here where we discuss the basic changes the Provincial Government made to the accident benefits portion of Ontario auto policies during the 2016 auto reform. In the second entry, we explored the Medical, Rehabilitation & Attendant Care Benefit.
Today, we’re going to shine the spotlight on one of the optional coverages available to policyholders for purchase: the Income Replacement benefit.
WHAT DOES IT COVER?
If you are injured in an auto accident and are unable to work, the Income Replacement benefit provides coverage for a regular weekly income starting one week after the accident. The benefit payout is 70% of your gross income up to a maximum of $400 per week.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
Policyholders have the option to increase their weekly maximum to $600, $800, or $1,000 per week. Keep in mind that, regardless of the limit you select, the amount you receive will always be 70% of your gross income up to the weekly maximum you have selected.
This is a very important coverage option everyone should explore, especially those who:
- are self-employed
- have no benefits through work or other associations
- make over $30,000 per year
All policyholders should review and re-asses this coverage on an annual basis. A lot can happen in a year: a promotion, a new job, starting your own business. Your auto policy’s limits and coverages need to be reviewed and updated as your lifestyle changes.
Contact your broker today to review your current limits and go over the other coverage options available to you. Don’t wait until you’ve had an accident to find out you don’t have the coverage you need.
In June of 2016, the Government of Ontario implemented an auto insurance reform of which all policyholders should be aware. This reform changes the way your policy responds when it comes to accident benefits claims.
What are Accident Benefits?
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault, the accident benefits portion of your policy will cover expenses not covered by OHIP such as rehabilitation, caregiving and loss of income.
What Changed on June 1, 2016?
First, the government has decreased the amount insurance companies can payout in the event of a loss. For example, prior to June 2016, the limits for Medical, Rehabilitation & Attendant Care for non-catastrophic injuries were as follows:
- Medical & Rehabilitation = $50,000 limit
- Attendant Care = $36,000 limit
The June 2016 auto reform saw these two limits combined into one lower lump sum:
- Medical, Rehabilitation & Attendant Care = $65,000 limit
Second, the government has narrowed the definition of a catastrophic injury and changed the guidelines for how doctors classify head injuries. This means it’s more difficult to be classified as a catastrophic injury and therefore harder to access the greater catastrophic injury limits, especially when it comes to head injuries.
What Should You Do Now?
The good news is there are now several optional accident benefits coverages that policyholders can purchase in order to off-set the changes made by our Federal Government. Over the next several posts, we’ll be exploring some of the different benefits available for purchase. You can also get more information by visiting our 2016 Auto Reform Information page here: http://lomonteandcollings.ca/2016-auto-reform-information/
In the meantime, it’s important to contact your insurance broker today to review your current accident benefits coverage. Don’t wait until you’ve had an accident to find out you don’t have the coverage you need.