Ontario car insurance injury benefits poised to change

If you get injured in a car accident in Ontario after June 1, the amount of medical costs that your insurance company will cover may be a lot lower than before.

Coverage limits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care will be reduced starting June 1

The Ontario government is mandating changes to standard auto insurance policies that will reduce the coverage limits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for people injured in car crashes. (Associated Press)

If you get injured in a car accident in Ontario after June 1, the amount of medical costs that your insurance company will cover may be a lot lower than before. 

The provincial government is mandating changes to the standard auto insurance policies that will drive down the limits on medical, rehabilitation and attendant care coverage.

"Starting June 1, 2016, to help make insurance premiums more affordable, the benefits and coverages you receive in a standard auto insurance policy are changing," says the provincial insurance regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) on its website. 

Insurance companies are now informing policy holders of the upcoming changes through the mail 

For most injuries, the combined limit of $86,000 for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care is dropping to $65,000. For injuries defined as "catastrophic," the $2 million combined limit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care is dropping to $1 million. 

For new policies purchased after June 1, the coverage changes will kick in right away. For existing policies, the new limits will apply once the policy renews following June 1. 

Drivers can purchase additional coverage for higher premiums.   

Other measures that take effect June 1 include: 

  • Insurers can no longer use a minor at-fault accident as a reason to increase a driver's premiums.
  • The standard deductible for comprehensive coverage increases to $500 (from $300).
  • The maximum interest rate that insurers can charge for making monthly payments on a one-year policy drops to 1.3% (from 3%).

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