You may have heard that many auto insurance changes came into effect on June 1st, and these changes affect all Ontarians. The changes were said to make auto insurance premiums more affordable, but unfortunately they represent another slash to the already eroded benefits available to accident victims.
The changes mean that:
- For catastrophic injuries (broadly defined as brain trauma, amputation, loss of vision, and mental impairments), the previous $1 million for medical/rehabilitation benefits and $1 million for attendant care benefits have been reduced to a combined limit of $1 million (effectively slashing in half from $2 million previously).
- For non-catastrophic injuries, the previous $50,000 for medical/rehabilitation benefits and $36,000 for attendant care benefits has been reduced to a combined limit of $65,000 for both categories. (This is a $21,000 cut from the previous combined total of $86,000).
In addition, there are changes to the specific definition of what it means to be catastrophically impaired, which will dramatically reduce the number of injured people whose injuries will qualify as being a catastrophic impairment (and therefore reducing the amount of coverage from insurance companies).
There is also a reduction to the duration of the Medical/Rehabitation/Attendant Care coverage which was 10 years under the old legislation and has been slashed to 5 years under the new rules.
There are also reductions in the duration of benefits to non-working individuals. Non-earner benefits were previously available only after 6 month of the accident and were later available for life. Unfortunately under the new changes this benefit will be available only if the victim is completely unable to carry on a normal life, in which case it will pay $185 per week for a maximum of two years.
As always, if you are in an accident, call a lawyer as soon as you can and we will help to get the benefits ball rolling for you.