Effective June 1, 2016, the Ontario government has introduced changes to the automobile insurance system to help make insurance premiums more affordable.

These changes only apply to auto insurance policies issued or renewed on or after June 1, 2016. The changes will give you more choice over the coverages you select and the price you pay for auto insurance. Many of the changes affect the Statutory Accident Benefits you receive if you are injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Some of these benefits have been reduced and some options for increased coverage have been eliminated or changed. At your renewal date your auto policy automatically has the new lower standard benefits.

The most significant changes to your policy are:

Unless you act quickly and contact your insurance representative to increase your benefits or make changes, your coverage will default to the new lower standard benefits.

Auto insurance coverage can be confusing. Our job as a licensed insurance broker is to help you understand the important details, review costs of increasing coverage and help you make informed decisions.

Some of the factors you need to take into consideration would be:

Do you make more than $30,000/year?
Then you need to consider increasing your Income Replacement Benefit to $600, $800 or $1,000.

Are there people in your life who depend on you financially or for care (children, elderly or disabled)? Who would care for them if you were injured in a car accident?
If yes, you need to consider extending your Caregiver Benefit and/or adding a Dependant Care Benefit.

Does your employer provide a Group Insurance Plan?
You may need to talk to your administrator to find out what you’re covered for and consider increasing your Medical Rehabilitation Benefit. Most benefit packages are limited to $500 a year per practitioner, and OHIP doesn’t cover things like occupational therapy, private nursing and psychology.

If you had to hire someone to help you care for your home, like cutting the grass, how would you pay for these expenses? Then you need to consider purchasing House Keeping and Home Maintenance Expenses Benefit.

We want to remind you that standard policies are just that – STANDARD.

They don’t include benefits like dependent care, and that gaps might exist depending on your lifestyle. The good news is there’s opportunity to fill those gaps by increasing coverage or adding options to cover specific areas.

For additional information please click here.