Why are Ontario drivers not purchasing additional accident benefits?
In January of 2011, FSCO: Financial Services Commission of Ontario lead a study and surveyed the people of Ontario, in particular, the largest automobile insurance insurers in Ontario. The survey looked at 24 large insurance companies that help close the 3/4 of the Ontario insurance market. Sadly the results from the survey indicated that most people are not purchasing the extra additional accident benefits avail ale to them. In fact, most drivers were unaware of the optional benefits. As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I find this very disturbing. It seems that insurance benefits available to drivers are continuing to be reduced year after year, yet premiums are remaining the same.
As of February 1, 2014, more disturbing reductions in accident benefits came into play. The newest reductions affect attendant care, pre-existing conditions under MIG (the Minor Injury Guideline) and the election of benefits. Unfortunately these changes do not favour Ontario drivers, as they are significant reductions.
Of particular note is the reduction in attendant care. The new attendant care provisions reverse the law as established by the Court of Appeal in Henry v. Gore. What this case established was the amount of “economic loss” is a threshold requirement for payment of an attendant care benefit. Essentially why this case was so important was because it addressed that is an attendant care provider was not acting in the course of his or her ordinary employment, then the amount of benefit payable to them was not to exceed the amount of monies they would have earned in their regular employment. This amendment can leave families in a difficult position as they may not be able to afford to care for their own family members. In other words, if your income is lower than the benefit pay out, you will only get paid what you would have otherwise made at your regular job. So for example, if you are a stay-at-home parent and do not have an income, you will receive nothing for attendant care benefits . This forces many families in a situation of not being able to afford to care for their loved ones with injuries and professional providers will need to be hired.
Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth appeared on CTV news this week and discussed these changes and the implications of the changes for Ontario drivers and their families. In case you missed it, please visit the CTV news at noon website and watch the video.
If you have any questions that relate to the amendments in Ontario insurance, personal injury, or accidents, please fell free to contact us and we would be happy to help.