Accident Benefits Explained – Part 3.
Welcome back to our blog series, Accident Benefits Explained part 3.
Last week we covered the most significant changes that are occurring to Standard Accident Benefits as of June 1st 2016, in particular the changes to Medical Rehabilitation and Attendant care. Many of our clients are beginning to receive letters from insurance companies advising them of the changes so we endeavour to add more information the the basic advice being given in the letters. If you have also received a letter informing you of the changes but are unsure exactly what those changes are, call your insurance broker and they will be able to tell you in detail how the new legislation affects you and your coverage.
This week we will give mention to the other coverages available within the Accident Benefits Schedule. These option limits have not been changed and will remain as they are even after June 1st 2016, however they are worth considering as they can be helpful. As previously mentioned these options help you if your lifestyle is changed after an accident. Along with Medical Rehabilitation and Attendant Care there are seven other benefits available. We will look and the first 4 today, their standard limits and the options available to you for increasing these limits (for additional premium per year):
- Caregiver benefit – Reimbursement if you need to hire someone to care for your dependants. Limits are currently set to$250 per week for first dependant, $50 per week for additional dependants (Catastrophic Injuries Only). You have the option to increase these to extend benefit to cover serious and minor injuries, not just catastrophic.
- Housekeeping and Home Maintenance expenses – Reimbursement for someone to carry out housekeeping and household responsibilities. Limits up to $100 per week (Catastrophic Injuries Only) You have the option to increase these to extend benefit to cover serious and minor injuries, not just catastrophic.
- Income Replacement – A weekly income of 70% of gross income up to $400 – begins one week after the accident occurs. You have the option to increase these limits to $600, $800 or $1000 per week.
- Dependant Care – Reimbursement for additional expenses to care for your dependants if you’re employed and injured in a car accident. Although this is not provided as standard you have the option to purchase coverage to give you up to $75 per week for the first dependant and $25 per week for additional dependants up to a maximum coverage of $150 per week.
If you are wondering whether you should consider increasing your benefits, ask yourself these important questions: Do you make more than $30,000 a year? Are there people in your life who depend on you financially for care? (e.g children, elderly/disabled parents) Does your employer provide a Group Insurance Plan? (Some plans are very limited and may not offer the best coverage.) If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then think seriously about increasing your limits – talk to your insurance broker to find out the best options available for you and the cost offered to add these extra coverages to your policy.
Next week we will look at the last three options available in the Standard Accident benefits, Death and Funeral Benefit, Indexation Benefit and Tort Deductible.