P.E.I. should have coverage for catastrophic injuries added to auto insurance plans, says a personal injury lawyer.

The province is in the midst of considering changes to auto insurance coverage, in particular, doubling maximum accident benefits to $50,000.

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$50,000 won't go far if a person is serverely injured in a highway crash, says lawyer Pamela Large Morin. (Conflict Resolution Services Atlantic)

But Pamela Large Moran doesn't believe that goes far enough. She would like P.E.I. to adopt Ontario's model which offers people with paralysis, lost limbs, or serious brain injury up to $1 million to help pay medical and rehab costs not covered by Medicare or private insurance.

"At a personal level, I'm the mother of a teenager who's just starting to drive," said Moran.

"If he has an accident and if he, you know, is seriously injured, I know that $50,000 won't do very much for his care and his quality of life."

Insurance broker Fred Hyndman thinks catastrophic coverage would be too costly for P.E.I.

Hyndman said catastrophic coverage is one of the reasons Ontario has the highest cost auto insurance in the country, almost double the cost on the Island.

Average annual insurance costs

  • Ontario:  $1,300
  • P.E.I.:  $700

Source: Fraser Institute

"I think it's a terrible idea. And I think many people in Ontario think it's a terrible idea," he said.

"The limits are so very high, and at least half the population don't need it, because they have other insurance."

The P.E.I. government is not considering catastrophic coverage in its potential changes to auto insurance benefits.

For mobile device users: Does P.E.I. need to expand auto insurance coverage to include benefits for catastrophic injuries?