Auto insurance is a regulated product in Ontario. Every few years the Ontario government reviews auto insurance and mandates changes to the product and product offerings available to Ontario drivers. Recent changes made by the government, effective June 1, 2016, are intended to help keep insurance premiums affordable and to provide you with more choice and flexibility to purchase the coverage that meets your needs.
Do I need to do anything right now?
No. The changes being implemented by the 2016 Ontario Auto Reform, which have been mandated by the Ontario government, will impact policies with an effective date on and after June 1st 2016. You do not need to do anything immediately. When your auto insurance comes up for renewal, you will be provided with more information about the changes and what coverage options are available.
Why does any of this matter?
Waiting until something happens to evaluate whether or not you have the right coverage on your auto insurance, may be too late. So when you renew your policy this year after the 2016 Auto Insurance Reforms come into effect on June 1, take the opportunity to step back and reflect on the coverage that you and your family may need.
If you have children / elderly parents that depend on you,
who would care for them if you were seriously injured?
If you had to hire someone to carry out household responsibilities,
how would you pay for these additional expenses?
Standard policies are just that: standard. While auto insurance products are starting to become more affordable for consumers, gaps might exist depending on your lifestyle and needs. There are opportunities to fill those gaps by purchasing increased coverage or adding options to cover specific areas of your life in the event the unexpected happens.
What are the main changes in these reforms?
The main changes to the auto insurance product with the new 2016 Ontario Auto Reforms are:
1. Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits limits and benefit period are being changed.
2. The maximum interest rate that can be charged for monthly premium payment fees has been lowered from 3 per cent to 1.3 per cent for one year policies, with a corresponding reduction for policies with a shorter term.
3. The standard deductible for Comprehensive coverage has been increased from $300 to $500.
4. Insurers can no longer use a minor at-fault accident meeting certain criteria for underwriting or rating purposes
5. The six month waiting period for people who are not working and apply for non-earner benefits has been reduced to four weeks. Non-earner benefits can only be received for up to two years after the accident.
6. For all claimants, except children, the duration of medical/rehabilitation and attendant care benefits is now five years for non-catastrophic injuries . As always, these benefits will be paid only as long as you remain eligible to receive.
Understanding the 2016 Ontario Auto Reform changes and how they impact you
Getting a better understanding how insurance works is the first step. Your auto insurance may provide a range of benefits not covered by OHIP or any personal and/or group health coverage you may already have in place. Some examples are:
• medical, rehabilitation and attendant care expenses
• income replacement
• caregiver benefits
• dependant care benefits
• housekeeping/home maintenance assistance
The changes to your auto insurance policy being made with the 2016 Ontario Reform give you flexibility to choose the coverage that fits your lifestyle and needs. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only, but offers a bit of a primer on how auto insurance works, and will help you in determining the coverage you may need.
When you receive your automobile renewal from us, effective June 1st 2016 or later, review your coverage and contact your insurance broker to discuss changes you may need to make, to ensure you are fully protected.