Effective this June 1, 2016, the Ontario government cut the no-fault accident benefits coverage in half for people with a catastrophic injury as the result of a car accident. Accident benefits provide an injured person with the medical, rehabilitation, and personal attendant care required for recovery. The coverage for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits has been cut from 2 million to a limit of 1 million. This would affect 8.5 million drivers, families, as well as the health care and insurance sectors. The new limit may not be sufficient to cover the necessary cost of care in some cases. People who suffer catastrophic injuries may require institutional care such as a nursing home, or specialty medical equipment such as prosthetics, wheelchairs, custom beds, and more which can be quite costly. Although there is a possibility of claiming the remainder of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses from the driver at fault, this is limited depending on the amount of their liability insurance.
Ontario drivers can protect themselves from this new change by purchasing an increased amount of accident benefits coverage from their auto insurers. The cost is not too high and should be considered when your insurance is renewed. Also, the third-party policy limits on your own insurance policy should be considered since increasing your own liability would protect you and your family in the case of an injury caused by someone with an insufficient policy limit. It is important to consider these options before an accident occurs, because after, it’s too late to make changes to your coverage.
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