Auto reform in Ontario
In 2016, the Ontario government introduced two separate phases of significant changes to auto insurance to give you more choice over the coverage you want and the price you pay. Whether you’re buying a new insurance policy or renewing an existing one, you can purchase the coverage best suited to your needs and lifestyle.
What are the changes?
Effective June 1, 2016, the Ontario government introduced changes to the automobile insurance system to help make insurance premiums more affordable. These changes apply only to auto insurance policies issued or renewed on or after June 1, 2016.
The changes give you more choice over the coverage you select and the price you pay for auto insurance. Many of the changes affect the Statutory Accident Benefits you receive if you’re injured in a car accident, no matter who is at fault. With these changes, some benefits have been reduced and some options for increased coverage have been eliminated or changed:
A new Winter/Snow Tire Discount
Lower limits for standard accident benefits
The standard coverage automatically included in all policies is reduced. Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Services are combined and subject to new, lower coverage limits. New levels of Optional Increased Accident Benefits coverage are available, so you can purchase the coverage best suited to your needs and budget.
New options for increased Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care coverage limits
New standard limits apply for the benefits that you’re entitled to if you’re injured in a car accident for both catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries.
Other minor changes to Accident Benefits coverage
The six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits is now four weeks. For all claimants except children, Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits for non-catastrophic claims is now limited to a maximum of five years.
A higher standard minimum deductible for Comprehensive coverage
The standard comprehensive deductible is increased from $300 to $500. All vehicles with a lower comprehensive deductible will be renewed with the new standard $500 deductible.
Changes to the treatment of minor at-fault, client paid claims
New regulations limit an insurer’s ability to raise premiums when a client chooses to pay for damages following a minor at-fault accident where the total damages are $2,000 or less. Our Claims Guarantee already provides this peace of mind for most Auto clients without the restriction of a $2,000 limit.
How does Ontario Auto Reform affect my current insurance policy?
Your policy remains unchanged until your next renewal. Along with your renewal notice, we’ll send the information you need to make an informed decision on the type of coverage that best suits your needs. The choice will be yours.
Is it possible to take advantage of the changes before my insurance policy comes up for renewal?
Yes. If you would like to make changes to your policy before you need to renew it, contact your Financial Advisor.
How can I customize my Accident Benefits?
You’ll have access to new optional benefits coverage to customize your policy to suit your individual needs. Read more about your choices for Accident Benefits
Who pays when I am injured?
If you’re injured in an automobile accident, we want to make sure that you get the best care possible. As your insurer, we’ll pay for the health care services necessary to effectively manage your Accident Benefit claim. If your Accident Benefits coverage runs out, or the level of care you need costs more than the maximum amount stated on your policy, the Ministry of Health may consider paying for the following services:
- Medical costs (all physician services)
- Hospital services
- Mental health facilities
- Air Ambulance
- Several professional in-home health services in a range of settings including the home, school or community
- Any other ministry-funded services not covered under the Long-Term Care Act, 1994
Who pays first?
OHIP and extended health care plans pay for your care first. However, your auto insurance may cover expenses over and above those plans. The order of payment is as follows:
- Ministry Programs:
- Professional services arranged or provided through Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
Private supplementary health and disability insurers and private employer plans.
Your auto insurer under Statutory Accident Benefits.
Money awarded in a lawsuit.
Non-professional services arranged or provided through CCACs
- Non-professional services arranged or provided through CCACs
- All services and benefits such as vocational rehabilitation and welfare payments administered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Where can I get more information about the auto reform?
Your Financial Advisor can answer your questions. Or for more information, visit:
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Financial Services Commission of Ontario