Insurance companies continue to earn massive profits. Yet they have once again convinced our government to slash your benefits even more. Here are some examples:
- In 2010, they cut medical and rehabilitative coverage from $100,000.00. Today, they offer $50,000.00 of coverage.
- In 2010, they cut attendant care benefits from $86,000.00. Today, they offer $36,000.00 of coverage.
- In 2010, they tightened the test to allow for attendant care benefits to be paid to a sibling/child/spouse so that it became virtually impossible to get care provided in your home for personal care, such as bathing, unless you hired a PSW.
- Further, in 2010, a new category of injury was created known as the MIG (Minor Injury Guidelines) which saw over half of all accident victims being categorized a MIG and, accordingly, having coverage for only $3,500.00 of medical coverage.
This is unfair. The changes invoked were said (by the government) to have been made in order to help save you 15% on auto insurance premiums. What they didn’t say was our plan to save you 15% is to cut your standard coverage by 50%.
What Is Coming
In the recently announced Ontario Budget, more sweeping changes to the accident benefits portion of the auto policy are being asked for. Those changes:
- Combine the medical and rehabilitative and attendant care headings and reduce what used to equate to $86,000.00 of coverage to just $65,000.00 of coverage
- Reduce the maximum period of time for which benefits are payable from 10 years to 5 years
- Most insultingly, for people who suffer catastrophic injuries, the proposed changes:
The reason the government is advancing further reductions? To stabilize premiums.Optional Benefits: Talk to Your BrokerSince these changes took effect, I have explained the reduced coverage limits to scores of clients. Most were surprised when I asked whether they had purchased optional benefits. The general reaction: “We didn’t know we could.”As part of the 2010 changes, while reducing the “standard” level of insurance, the government also encouraged insurance companies to sell “optional benefits,” so that an insured person could spend more to be insured for the same levels at which they were insured prior to 2010.Talk to Your BrokerThe cost to insure yourself for $1 million for medical and rehabilitative benefits and $1 million for attendant care benefits (versus $50,000 for med/rehab and $36,000.00 for attendant care) doesn’t exceed $100.00 yearly for me. I promise that if you ever suffer the misfortune of being injured in an accident, this will singlehandedly be the most important decision you ever made in your life.Talk to Your MPPObviously, doing what I do, working with auto accident victims, my opinion may appear to be tainted in the favour of policy holders. Do not trust me. Go back to your policies and see if your yearly premiums have gone down since 2009. Remember, the 2010 changes were brought in with a promise to reduce rates by 15%.What is happening is not right. And it is not over yet. I have spoken with our local MPP Bill Walker about my concerns. Last week, I attended a rally at Queens Park with about 500 other concerned people. It is my understanding that a committee has been formed to write the regulations which would affect the changes noted above (and more), and the committee will finalize such regulation on June 29, 2015.After reading this, you are aware. You can make a difference. Call your MPP, call Katherine Wynn’s office. Tell the Ontario government that the changes being proposed are not acceptable.Very easily, you can give the government your feedback at: http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=18442&language=en
- Reduce combined medical and rehabilitative coverage from $2 millon to only $1 million
- Restrict the definition of catastrophic injuries to allow for fewer people to meet the already tight and difficult test