Auto-Reform: Know Your Options

On September 1, 2010, the accident benefit section of the automobile policy changed. This section of the policy is what covers the policyholder, spouse/partner, dependants and any other occupants should they be hurt in an automobile accident. Some of the coverages under that section are Medical and Rehabilitation, Caregiver, Attendant Care and Income Replacement. The old “standard” limits of coverage under this section of your policy remain the same until your policy renews, at which time, the new standard limits are applicable.

These changes have been made in the hopes of stabilizing the ongoing challenge of automobile insurance in Ontario. Some of the
measures in the legislation are aimed at reducing fraud – Fraud pushes up all our premiums.

If you drive a car, you need to make sure you are clear on what has changed and what your options are now. Finding out after an
accident has happened that you don’t have the right coverage or adequate coverage is not the time to review what’s changed! Too
many consumers are ignoring this issue as they “don’t want to pay any more for their coverage”.

Some drivers might be exposed more than others. If you have a really good benefit plan at work, then you might not need to concern yourself with some of the Optional Accident Benefit coverages available to you. But, you need to make informed choices. Employees who work for companies that don’t have group health benefits, or self-employed individuals that don’t have extended health care, are at most risk. The basic income replacement on the auto policy is only 70% of your gross income capped at $400 a week. That’s less than $21,000 a year.

Don’t wait to review this important change. Your broker is your best resource to help you determine what you need and how to tailor your policy to suit your individual needs and ensure you have the right coverage. Make sure you talk to your broker today!