Your Auto Insurance Explained: Accident Benefits in Ontario
Last week, we took on the challenge of tackling the complex topic of Accident Benefits in Ontario and how your auto insurance may respond should you get hurt in a collision. Because Accident Benefits are actually made up of many components, we’ve broken up the topic into three parts:
- Part One: Income Replacement, Caregiver Benefits, and Housekeeping & Home Maintenance
- Part Two: Dependant Care as well as Medical & Rehabilitation Benefits
- Part Three: Attendant Care, Death and Funeral Benefits, and Indexation
Before we dive back in, first, a refresher: In Ontario, Accident Benefits are carried on any auto insurance policy that also has liability coverage. It is made up of several components that are standardized, but can also be customized giving you higher limits or coverage that are not already part of the standard package.
- Dependant Care
The dependant care benefit is intended to provide funds for proper care of dependants (e.g. childcare expenses). It is not a standard coverage on the Ontario car policy, but rather an enhancement coverage that, if purchased, provides $75 per week for the first dependant and $25 per week for each additional dependant. For some families, the dependant care benefit may make more sense over getting the full caregiver benefit discussed last week. Your insurance broker will be able to help you decide what benefits are best suited to you and your family.
- Medical & Rehabilitation Benefits
These benefits are intended to pay for medical and rehab costs that are in excess of anything covered by your government health insurance plan. Medical and rehab benefits can provide coverage for a large range of expenses such as the cost of special equipment (like a wheelchair) or physiotherapy. There are three separate limits depending on the nature of the injuries:
- Minor injuries such as soft tissue damage injuries or whip lash are limited to $3,500
- Non-catastrophic injuries such as a broken limb are limited to $50,000
- Catastrophic injuries such as paralysis or the loss of limbs is limited to $1,000,000
These are the standard limits for medical and rehabilitation costs included in your Ontario car insurance policy. However, you can increase the non-catastrophic injury limit to $100,000 or even to $1,072,000, and the catastrophic limit can be increased to $2,000,000. Who would want to increase these limits? If you are self-employed or do not have any benefits for accidental injury through an employer or other source, it would be prudent to explore increasing these limits over the standard coverages offered. Again, your broker will be the best person to work with you on your coverage plan.
In the third and final post of our Accident Benefit series, we’ll pin down what is covered under the following areas:
- Attendant Care
- Death and Funeral Benefits
- Indexation Benefit