Liberals Propose More Automobile Insurance Changes
On April 23, 2015 the Ontario government proposed changes to Ontario’s auto insurance system aimed at addressing high premium rates for consumers and reducing the overall cost of insurance.
The goal of these proposed changes is to make insurance more affordable and offer more options. Consumers more than ever will need trusted advisors to assist them in making decisions on their coverage choices.
These proposed changes to the Ontario Auto Insurance product fall under two categories: Protecting Ontario’s Consumers and Ensuring Affordable Premiums and Providing More Consumer Choice.
Under Protecting Ontario’s Consumers the proposed changes are:
- Lowering the maximum interest rate charged on monthly auto insurance premium payments to 1.3% from 3%;
- Prohibiting premium increases for minor at-fault accidents that meet certain criteria (e.g., no reported injuries); and
- Requiring that all insurers offer a discount for the use of winter tires.
Under Ensuring Affordable Premiums and Providing More Consumer Choice the proposed changes are:
- Change the standard benefit level for medical and rehabilitation benefits to $65,000 (from $50,000) and include attendant care services under this benefit limit. Consumers will also have an option to increase that coverage up to $1 million;
- Include attendant care services with the $1 million medical and rehabilitation benefit for catastrophic impairments, and provide the option for additional coverage of $1 million, for $2 million in total coverage;
- Reduce the standard duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to five years for all claimants except children;
- Eliminate the six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits and limit the duration of non-earner benefits to two years after the accident;
- Require goods and services not explicitly listed in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) to be “essential” and agreed on by the insurer; and
- Change the standard deductible for comprehensive coverage to $500 from $300.
What Does This Mean to You?
The legislation is currently in draft form only, so at this time no action is required by you. We will provide an update to you when further information is available.
As always, Cowan Insurance Group is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-91COWAN (1-866-912-6926).