Accident Benefits explained part 4
Welcome back to the fourth and final post about the new accident benefits changes due June 1st 2016.
So far we have looked at the major changes concerning medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits plus other benefits available to consumers. The last topics, all of which have less significant changes due after June 1st, are as follows:
- Death and Funeral Benefit – a lump sum payout to your spouse and dependent(s) and a second lump sum to cover the cost funeral expenses. Current limit is set to $25,000 to spouse, $10,000 to each dependent and up to $6,000 for Funeral. You can choose to increase up to $50,000 for spouse and $20,000 for each dependent and increase funeral to $8,000.
- Indexation Benefit – adjusts benefits to account for changes in inflation. You can change this to adjust annually according to the Consumer Price Index of Canada.
- Tort Deductible – This refers to the amount deducted from a settlement or court award for pain and suffering. Currently set to $36,500 to can be changed to reduce the payment to $20,000 regardless of annual indexation.
Along with Accident Benefits changes there are other key changes to be aware of:
- Insurers can no longer use a minor at-fault accident that occurs on or after June 1, 2016 meeting certain criteria to increase your premiums. These criteria include things such as no payment has been made by any insurer, that there are no injuries, and that damages to each car and property were less than $2,000 per car and were paid by the at-fault driver. This provision is limited to one minor accident every three years.
- The maximum interest rate that insurers can charge if you make monthly premium payments has been lowered from 3% to 1.3% for one year policies, with corresponding reductions for shorter terms.
- For all claimants except children, the amount of time that you can receive this standard benefit is now five years for non-catastrophic injuries, and it will be paid only as long as you remain medically eligible.
- The six-month waiting period for people who are not working to receive benefits has been reduced to four weeks. Conversely, benefits can now only be received for up to two years after the accident.
All this information and more can be found on the FSCO website and through the IBAO You can also call your insurance broker if you have any further questions, comments or concerns about the new auto reform changes happening June 1st 2016.