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In May, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) released the results of its consumer survey on home and auto insurance. The results showed that 58% of consumers were unaware of the changes to Auto Insurance in Ontario, which took effect June 1st, 2016. Below is a summary of a few of the auto insurance changes. If you’re not sure how these changes affect you, contact your insurance broker to ensure you have the proper coverage for your needs.
Effective June 1, 2016, important changes for auto insurance policyholders in Ontario are in effect. The purpose of the changes is to make insurance premiums more affordable, but in order to do that, quite a few benefits and coverages were altered. Some items were reduced, but there were more than a few that were completely eliminated. What should you know?
While a wide range of changes were introduced, some were more drastic than others. For instance, previously, coverage for medical and rehabilitation for non-catastrophic injuries and coverage for attendant care for non-catastrophic injuries had separate limits. They have now been combined, with a reduced total coverage of $65,000. The coverage options for both types of coverage for catastrophic injuries have also been combined, with a reduced total limit of $1,000,000.
These limits have also changed. Medical and rehabilitation coverage for non-catastrophic injuries has now been combined with attendant care and you can buy up to either $130,000 or $1,000,000.
A new catastrophic injury buy-up has also been offered for combined medical, rehabilitation and attendant care with $1,000,000 in coverage (only available for catastrophic injuries). This buy-up combined with the basic limit provided would give you a total of $2,000,000 in coverage for a catastrophic injury. If you purchase both the additional coverage for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care catastrophic and all injuries (non-catastrophic) you will have a total eligible benefit amount of $3,000,000 for a catastrophic injury.
If your policy previously reflected higher coverage amounts, make sure to check your policy for changes. Medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits for minor injuries are still fixed at $3,500 maximum, with no option of enhancing coverage (this remains unchanged from the auto reform in September 2010).
There are many other changes to auto insurance in Ontario. For example, insurance companies are no longer allowed to use a minor at-fault accident to increase your premium if the loss occurs on or after June 1, 2016; the damage to both vehicles and any third party damage is under $2,000 (and is paid by the at fault party and not an insurer); and there are no injuries. Additionally, insurers are now limited to 1.3% interest for one-year policies if you pay monthly. Six month (and shorter term) policies have even lower interest rates.
Comprehensive coverage deductibles have been increased to a minimum $500 and all carriers now offer a mandatory discount for the installation of winter tires (the discount varies from carrier to another).
Your auto insurance company will send you a notice by mail entitled Important Changes to Your Policy. Make sure you read this notice very carefully, as it will detail the changes pertinent to your policy. It will also explain how you can take action to deal with coverages that were reduced or eliminated.
Concerned that you’re not getting the coverage that you and your family need? Best Buy Insurance can help. Contact us today for more information about insurance that fits your world. We can help you find the best auto insurance policy, but we also help with home insurance, personal insurance and even business insurance. Get in touch today.