Accident Benefits Explained – Part 2.

Welcome back to our series, Accident Benefits Explained, part 2.

 

In this week’s post, we will go a little more in depth as to the changes happening within the accident benefits schedule and how those changes could affect you. Firstly let’s ask the question: What are Accident Benefits? To put it bluntly, they fix you not your car.

 

If you are seriously injured in a car accident, certain limits for certain benefits apply. What many people don’t know is that those limits are fairly low and as of June 1st 2016, they change altogether.

 

The biggest changes affect the Medical & Rehabilitation and Attendant Care section of the benefits. Medical & Rehabilitation apply to the “reimbursement for reasonable necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses like physiotherapy not covered by OHIP or Group Insurance Plans. Attendant Care is “reimbursement for an attendant to look after you either at home or within a healthcare facility.” These two areas are currently  categorized between ‘Catastrophic’ (i.e: loss of limb, para/quadriplegic injuries) and ‘Non-Catastrophic’ (i.e: minor injuries which could include whiplash, sprains and serious injuries which could include broken bones.)

 

Prior to June 1st 2016, the above sections had the following coverages:

  • Medical rehabilitation – $1 million (catastrophic injuries) & $50,000 (non-catastrophic injuries)
  • Attendant care – $1 million (catastrophic) & $36,000 (non-catastrophic)

As of June 1st these limits are changing as follows:

  • Medical rehabilitation & Attendant care – $1 million total (catastrophic)
  • Medical rehabilitation & Attendant care – $65,000 total (non-catastrophic)

Not only have the two sections been combined, their limits have been significantly lowered.  There is the option to bump these limits up and it is up to the consumer to decide whether they want to do that or not and a licensed insurance broker can help you make an informed decision as to the benefits of doing so. The new options are as follows:

  • Medical rehabilitation & Attendant care – increase to $2 million (catastrophic) & $130,000 (non-catastrophic)

or

  • Medical rehabilitation & Attendant care – increase to $2 million (catastrophic) & $1 million (non-catastrophic) to total $3 million

When considering these options you, as the insured, have to ask yourself some important questions; are you the primary caregiver in your household? Who would look after you or your family if you were seriously injured? Do you have a group plan that would cover you if you were in a serious accident? Some plans have very limited coverage so if you do have a plan through your workplace it is worth reading through the small print to see if the coverages offered are adequate in the event of an accident.

 

If you are in charge of obtaining insurance for you and your family then you also need to make decisions based on your entire family, not just what you think is good enough. Think about the bigger picture – you want to make sure you and your family are looked after and making the best insurance decisions help give you that pieces of mind. Talking with a licensed insurance broker can also help you make an informed decision as they will take the time to explain coverages and options available to you. Getting a quote online won’t give you that!

 

Next week we will delve further into the world of Accident Benefits and other options available to you. If you want a simple view of the coming changes, click here to see a diagram provided by the IBAO of the changes coming into effect June 1st 2016.

 

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