New Auto Insurance Changes Coming To Ontario Effective June 1 2016

New Ontario legislation will soon impact Ontario drivers in an effort to reduce auto insurance premiums. Expect a new definition of catastrophic impairment, more optional coverages, modified coverage limits and new restrictions on driver rating. If you have an auto policy renewing on or after June 1, 2016 some of your coverages will be reduced and some options for increased coverage have been eliminated or changed. If your automobile policy has renewed or will be renewing before June 1, 2016 your policy will not be affected by the new changes until renewal. A car accident lawyer in Owen Sound can discuss with you how these changes will impact you.

Catastrophic Impairment – New Definitions

The definitions for catastrophic impairment have been revised. The rationale given for the change is that it reflects a more current and up to date medical interpretation of the injuries suffered as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident.

Catastrophic impairment will include new and/or updated definitions and criteria for traumatic brain injuries for adults and children, amputations, ambulatory mobility, loss of vision, and mental and behavioral impairments. An automatic designation of catastrophic impairment will apply for children with traumatic brain injuries in specified circumstances. A new process for combining physical with mental and behavioral impairments is also being introduced.

Higher Coverage Limits Offered Optionally

For catastrophic injuries, the limits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care that you may require have now been combined, to a reduced combined limit of $1 million from previously $2 million. The option to purchase $2 million coverage is available.

For non-catastrophic injuries, the limits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care that you may require have been combined, with a reduced combined limit of $65,000 from a previously $86,000. The option to purchase $130,000 coverage is available.

Higher income replacement benefits than the standard of $400 per week can be purchased for up to $600, $800 or $1,000 per week. This option may interest you if you are self-employed, do not have benefits through your employer, or you depend on a second part-time job. The six-month waiting period for people who are not employed at the time has been reduced to four weeks. However, benefits can only be received for up to two years after the accident.

Enhanced death and funeral benefits are available for purchase at a $50,000 lump sum, up from $25,000 to an eligible spouse. The lump sum to each dependant increased from $10,000 to $20,000 and the maximum is $8,000 for funeral benefits. Depending on the financial stability of your family members, you may need the higher coverage amounts.

Optional Coverage

Caregiver benefits will now be available optionally if you are injured non-catastrophically for up to $250 per week for the first dependant plus $50 for each additional dependant.

Housekeeping and home maintenance expenses will now be available optionally if you are injured non-catastrophically for up to $100 per week.

Driver Rating – One Time Forgiveness

Insurers can no longer raise your premium after a minor at-fault accident on or after June 1, 2016 if no injuries and damages were claimed, the property damage was less than $2,000 per car, no payment was made by any insurer and the damage was paid by the at-fault driver. This provision can only be obtained once every three years and only if all parties involved agree to settle the issue.

Contact the Owen Sound Lawyers at Tamming Law

At Tamming Law, we can help you to access the benefits you are entitled to and to obtain additional compensation you deserve after being injured in a motor vehicle accident. Our lawyers in Owen Sound have more than 20 years of experience and we stay current on new legislation. Call us today at 1-888-945-5783.

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