Accident Benefits in Ontario: Important Insurance Policy Changes to Be Aware of

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Accident Benefits in Ontario: Important Insurance Policy Changes to Be Aware of

You’re out with your friend Anne, and she asks to borrow your vehicle for the weekend. You don’t foresee any problems and give her the keys without asking any questions. Without your knowledge, Anne gets into a car accident on the way to her cottage, and your premiums go up as a result of the crash. You just don’t understand why you should have to pay for Anne’s mistakes and why you’re even involved in the mix! Heck—you didn’t even understand your insurance policy to begin with!


Before you begin driving or lending out your vehicle to close friends, family, or relatives, it’s important that you’re aware of the rules, regulations, insurance policies, and accident benefits in Ontario before you venture into a catastrophic situation blindly.


Lending Your Vehicle to a Friend


Sometimes it can be difficult to say “no” to a friend, especially someone who has helped you out in the past. But, before offering a favour as big as a vehicle, know what’s involved before you make a grave mistake. Here’s what you need to know before throwing your car keys over to a pal:


  • Agree in writing or verbally that the driver is going to use your vehicle.
  • Never let someone use your vehicle regularly before contacting your insurance company and updating your policy to include your friend or acquaintance as an occasional driver.
  • Ensure that the person driving the vehicle is licensed and is allowed to drive in the province, legally.
  • Make sure everything is in working order before lending your friend your vehicle.
  • Ensure that you keep your proof of insurance in the vehicle and a copy of your vehicle’s registration, letting your friend know where it is located.
  • When lending your vehicle, you are also lending that person your insurance record, so lend wisely!


These are a few tips that will be useful to you before lending your vehicle out to a friend. Remember that ultimately, your insurance policy will pay for your friend’s mistakes, so know just how big of a favour you are really doing by lending out your vehicle to a friend.


Auto Insurance: What You Need to Know



Being a new driver, or an experienced driver, auto insurance can get complicated, especially when changes are made to the insurance policy. Recently, important changes were made to the auto insurance policy to help make insurance premiums affordable for everyone. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) recommends that you look at four key points to ensure that you are getting what you need out of your insurance policy:


  1. Read the document: “Important Changes to your Policy!” in the renewal package to ensure that you are not missing something in your package that you need to replace.
  2. Compare your policy: By comparing the new policy to your old package, you can see exactly what changes were made.
  3. Ask questions: Ask your insurance representative or a personal injury lawyer in Toronto questions about your policy, knowing the benefits that are available to you and if you should purchase any other benefits on-top of what’s included.
  4. Compare prices: Shop around for different insurance packages, and see which policy suits your needs best.


These are a few points to help you find an insurance policy that will suit your needs, while informing you of the changes your new policy entails.


Changes to Accident Benefits in Ontario


Accident benefits in Ontario have changed! The most significant changes have been made to the statutory accident benefits, and, if you’re not aware of these changes, you might be confused about what your insurance policy will offer you in the case of a serious motor vehicle accident. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Statutory accident benefits used to categorize Medical and Rehabilitation for non-catastrophic injuries ($50,000 in the past) and Attendant Care for non-catastrophic injuries ($36,000 in the past) as separate benefits, but now they have been combined to total $65,000.
  • Medical and Rehabilitation for catastrophic injuries ($1,000,000 in the past) and Attendant Care for catastrophic injuries ($1,000,000 in the past) were also separate benefits, which have been combined to total $1,000,000.


It’s also important to note that in the case of minor injuries, Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care benefits now have a limit of $3,500. 


Optional Benefits


In regards to the changes to accident benefits in Ontario, optional benefits have also been affected:


  • For non-catastrophic injuries, the $72,000 and $100,000 options have been taken out altogether.
  • Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care have all been combined to total $130,000.
  • The $1,000,000 Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care optional benefit has not changed for non-catastrophic or catastrophic injuries.


These are a few changes that were made to optional benefits that you should take note of, and review in your new policy.


Key Changes to Your Insurance Policy


After June 1, 2016, these insurance policy changes will become a reality for vehicle-owners in Ontario. Here are a few key changes to watch out for, so that you are well-informed and know your insurance policy inside-and-out:


  • Non-Earner Benefits: People who were not working as the result of a crash no longer have to wait six months to receive their benefits. Benefits can be received within four weeks, but they can only be received for up to two years after the accident takes place.
  • Comprehensive Deductible: For Comprehensive coverage, the deductible has been increased from $300 to $500.
  • Interest Rate for Monthly Payment Plans: If you make monthly payments to your premium, then you will be happy to hear that the interest rates have been lowered from 3% to 1.3% for one-year policies.


These are only a few of the key changes that have taken place to insurance policies following July 1, 2016, but you can contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer for more information concerning your accident benefits in Ontario.


At Sokoloff Lawyers, we will help you understand your insurance policy, and, if there are any discrepancies after an accident, we will help you to receive the benefits that you deserve for your injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer at Sokoloff Lawyers today for more information, and ask us any questions you might have concerning your case.