Ontario auto insurance reforms
At Desjardins Insurance, we can help you understand the auto insurance reforms in Ontario. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us and one of our licensed insurance advisor will be happy to help you.
The reforms are effective as of June 1, 2016. Your current coverage choices and premiums will not be impacted until your policy renewal on or after June 1, 2016.
The major change is related to Standard and Optional Accident Benefits coverage, which will provide consumers with more choice and the ability to customize their coverage to suit their needs and budgets. See comparison tables for details.
There are other smaller changes that will be introduced as well. Also note that detailed information on these changes will be included in your renewal package, which will be sent approximately 2 months before your renewal date.
The changes will affect each person differently depending on their circumstances and the levels of coverage chosen. There will be no change to your coverage until renewal. It is not necessary to do anything at this time, and you will receive more information with your renewal package.
Starting June 1, 2016, your premium may not be affected if:
- the damage to each vehicle in the accident does not exceed $2,000 (including any property damage) and the cost of all such damage is paid by the at-fault party
- no personal injuries are sustained
- no payments are made by any insurer for any damage to the vehicles or property resulting from the accident
However, your premium may be affected if your vehicle was involved in more than one minor accident in the previous three years (on or after June 1, 2016), and if you were at-fault in each accident.
The percentage of fault in Ontario is determined by Fault Determination Rules that are regulated and consistently applied to all automobile accident claims in Ontario. Your claims adjuster would advise you of the percentage of fault at the time of a claim.
The limits that you require are dependent on your individual circumstances. You may want to consider things such as whether or not you have collateral benefits through a private plan or employer, or whether you have any dependants to determine your needs for higher limits. For more information, please see Assessing your Needs for Optional Accident Benefit Coverages.
It’s also possible to switch to the new standard accident benefits now. However, because so many factors impact your premium, it does not necessarily mean that your premium will decrease.
Your premium is based on many different factors. The intent of these reforms is to provide overall rate stability. Without these new reforms, the price of automobile insurance would continue to rise considerably to cover the rising costs of accident benefit claims. Rather than providing an immediate decrease, these reforms will help stabilize your rates over the long term.
To determine if you have a need for Optional Accident Benefits, some of the elements that you may want to consider are:
- Are you, your spouse and dependants eligible for OHIP?
If so, remember that OHIP will continue to cover some of the medical expenses incurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
- Do you have collateral benefits through your employer or a private plan?
If so, and the coverage is sufficient, you may not need to buy optional accident benefits. Collateral benefits are primary coverage and the coverages on your automobile policy are considered secondary to those.
- Does 70% of your gross weekly income exceed $400/week?
If not, or if you have short-term / long-term disability coverage, then you may not need to purchase the optional Income Replacement coverage.
- Do you have someone who could assist you with housekeeping and home maintenance duties if you were injured in an automobile accident, or would you have to pay someone?
If you have a friend or family member who could assist with housekeeping and home maintenance duties, then you may not need to purchase this optional benefit.
- Do you provide full-time care to a dependant? If so, and you were unable to do so as a result of an automobile accident, do you have someone who could assist you or would you have to pay someone?
If you have a friend or family member who could assist with providing care to a dependant, then you may not need to purchase this optional benefit.
- Do you, your spouse and dependants have life insurance?
If so, then it may not be necessary to increase the standard death and funeral benefit.