Accident Benefits coverage in Ontario can be complicated and difficult to understand, but it’s important that you familiarize yourself with these benefits so that you know what your standard policy contains and what options there are to add to or increase these benefits.

And there are changes coming June 1st, 2016 affecting the Accident Benefits coverage in Ontario.

To try to make it easier to understand, we’ll do a series called Accident Benefits 101  to  explain what your basic policy covers and what you options you have.

Let’s get started!

In Ontario, you are required to purchase the  following in order to legally drive:

1. Third Party Liability

2. Accident Benefits

3. Direct Compensation Property Damage

4. Uninsured Automobile

And then there are the options to add Comprehensive, Collision or All Perils coverage and other optional coverage offered by an insurance company, such as rental vehicle coverage.

You have the option to increase limits and purchase additional Accident Benefit coverage to protect your lifestyle.

First, ask yourself these questions, reflecting on your lifestyle:

Are you the primary caregiver of young children, elderly parents or disabled family member? Who would take care of them if you were hurt in a car accident?

Do you earn more than $30,000 a year?  How will you supplement your income if you cannot work from an injury due to an automobile accident?

Are you responsible for the housekeeping or home maintenance? If you had to hire someone to carry out these responsibilities, how would you subsidize the expense?

Do you have a group plan through an employer or spouse?  What kind of coverage is it?

Be aware our OHIP plan does not cover everything, such as doctor’s fees for completing paperwork related to an injury, physiotherapy, multiple medical assessments, mobility devices, medications and income replacement.

To begin understanding Accident Benefits, it’s important to understand that in  the event you are injured in a car accident, your injuries will be placed in one of three categories:

Minor Injuries:  Sprains and whiplash.

Serious Injuries: Broken bones, severe strains, injuries that disrupt quality of life for a prolonged period of time.

Catastrophic: Loss of limb, para/quadriplegia.  Injuries that are long term and permanent.

The Accident Benefits Coverage offered here in Ontario is as follows:

1. Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care Benefit.

2. Caregiver Benefit

3. Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses

4. Income Replacement Benefit

5. Dependant Care Benefit

6. Death & Funeral Benefit

7. Indexation Benefit

8. Tort Deductible

Our series will continue with a brief explanation of each benefit so you can understand how it relates to you.

Although we can offer information on-line concerning auto insurance in Ontario, it is only a summary and nothing can replace the valuable advice from your insurance broker.

Contact us to review your policy to ensure that your coverage is tailored to fit your needs, your lifestyle.