When you think about car insurance, it probably makes you gag or fall asleep Seriously! Who wants to hear about things like deductibles, benefits, premiums or the Insurance Act. It’s all a bore.
Our government has made Ontario’s Car Insurance so dense, so thick, and so complicated that changes to the Insurance Act aren’t even made within the Insurance Act anymore. Instead, they’re made into separate “Schedules” which are completely different Acts in and of themselves Genious!
These “Schedules” are called the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule or SABS for short. There are SABS for accidents on or after January 1, 1994. There are separate SABS for accidents on or after November 1996. There are separate SABS for accidents on or after December 2002. There are separate SABS for accidents on or after September 2010. Get the picture? Now who on earth has the time or the patience to go over this, know where to find the updated SABS or even understands what the SABS are trying to talk about. I can tell you this. They aren’t in plain to understand English that’s for sure. Try taking them to your local MPP and ask for their help in interpreting them. They’ll be as dumbfounded as you. But it’s the MPPs and our government who are the architects of the SABS…go figure…
What you should know is that effective September 1, 2010 your car insurance is CHANGING. Whether you asked for it or not from your car insurer, your policy has changed! But how do the changes impact you and why should you care. Well, if you care about money and bang for your buck you will care.
To be blunt, for the same money you used to pay for car insurance, you are now getting HALF of the benefits after the changes. Yes, you heard me right. For the same amount of money you are getting HALF the benefits! Think I’m lying? I’m not.
Example: Under the old standard Ontario Car Insurance policy, you were entitled to up to $100,000 in medical/rehabilitative benefits for your treatment after your run of the mill car accident. These med/rehab benefits are for things like physio, massage, chiropractic care, psych counselling etc. after your car accident. Now under the new regime, for the exact same premium you were paying for the exact same accident, you’re only entitled to $50,000 in medical/rehabilitative benefits for a run of the mill car accident. You pay the SAME PREMIUM, but you get HALF the BENEFIT. Does anyone else but me see the problem with this?
Example #2: Under the old car insurance regime, you were entitled to $3,000/month and up to $72,000 over 2 years in attendant care benefits following your run of the mill car accident. Attendant care benefits are paid to those people who take care of an accident victim if they can’t take care of themselves because they’re too injured following their car accident. Attendant care benefits cover things like cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene etc. on behalf of the accident victim. This is supposed to be paid for by your insurance company. Now under the new insurance regime, Ontario’s accident victims are only entitled to $1,500/month and up to $36,000 over 2 years in attendant care benefits following your run of the mill car accident. Again, you’re paying the same premium but getting HALF the benefit.
I have a few more examples of how you’re paying the same amount in premiums, but getting HALF the benefit for your car insurance, but I don’t want to bore you with any more because Ontario’s population has shown they are apathetic towards car insurance. It’s only when you or a loved one are involved in a car accident that people really take notice of how the system works. Unfortunately, by that time it’s generally too late to do anything about it to make sure that you and your loved ones get the benefits which they deserve. These benefits have already been slashed significantly.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you can opt in to get more in car insurance benefits to bring your benefits up to the old benefits rates. But with that comes with a price; which likely only the wealthy will be able pay; and which only the well informed will consider purchasing. And what that price is will be set by the car insurance company itself, so we all know what that will mean. You will pay MORE in premiums to get the same benefits you used to.