Your Auto Insurance Explained: Accident Benefits in Ontario
In the first two posts of this series, we explored a number of Accident Benefits available in Ontario such as Income Replacement and Medical Benefits. Be sure to check out those earlier posts to get a complete view of the benefits available to you.
- Part 1: Income Replacement, Caregiver Benefits, and Housekeeping & Home Maintenance
- Part 2: Dependant Care as well as Medical & Rehabilitation Benefits
Here, we’ll finish tackling the topic of Accident Benefits by reviewing Attendant Care, Death and Funeral Benefits, and Indexation Benefits.
- Attendant Care
If you or an insured under your car insurance policy have an injury that is more serious, there may be a need for nursing care or a personal support worker (PSW) at home. Under your standard benefits, there is no coverage for an Attendant if you have a minor tissue injury. This makes sense; if you, for example, had a sprained ankle, you would not require a PSW to assist you at home. However, if you have an injury that is serious but not deemed catastrophic, there is a coverage limit of $36,000 (with a sublimit of $3000/month). If the injury is deemed catastrophic, such as paralysis or loss of limb, and long term care is needed, the limit is $1 million. If this type of care is an important consideration for you, talk to your broker about increasing limits and enhancing this coverage up to $2 million.
- Death and Funeral Benefits
Death benefits are basically a mini life insurance policy on your auto insurance. Should you die in a car accident, your spouse would be eligible for a $25,000 benefit and each dependant eligible for an additional $10,000 each. You can increase these benefits, but it will increase your premiums. The death benefits can be doubled to $50,000 for a spouse, and $20,000 for each dependent. If you carry no other life insurance and spend a lot of time on the road, you may want to inquire with your broker about purchasing this coverage enhancement.
As for funerals, the standard coverage is $6000. This can be enhanced to $8000 by paying additional premium. With both death benefits and funeral benefits, you should consider the needs of your loved ones should you pass away from an auto accident.
It is worth noting that these benefits apply to all insureds under a policy. However, if there is no spouse or dependants, no death benefit would be issued.
- Indexation Benefit
This benefit is not covered under your standard Ontario auto insurance policy. It can only be had as an additional purchase that is often quite costly. The purpose of this benefit is to increase your benefits payable with the rate of inflation over time.
For example, should you need Attendant Care for decades, the $1 million limit you may have would likely run out as the cost of care would increase over time. With the indexation benefit, the benefit limit that is not used increases with the rate of inflation each year.
In 3 short posts, we looked at the numerous Accident Benefits coverages on your auto policy that protect you in case of injury. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of your coverages and will give some thought to upgrading your coverages where needed. As always, a licensed broker will be your best resource to talk through your options and help you select the best coverage for you and your families’ needs.