Nov 2, 2020
Learn About Accident Benefits And Car Insurance
Accident benefits are an important part of Ontario car insurance. No driver wants to get injured in an accident. But you can keep peace of mind knowing it will help pay for healthcare and other expenses while you recover.
In this blog, we will look at what accident benefits are offered in Ontario.
What Are Accident Benefits?
Accident benefits provide compensation if you or others are hurt or killed in an automobile accident. They cover passengers and pedestrians included involved in the incident.
The FSRA provides a definition :
"This section of your automobile insurance policy provides you with benefits if you are injured in an automobile accident, regardless of who caused the accident, including supplementary medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, caregiver, non-earner and income replacement benefits. Options exist to increase most of these coverages."
What Is Covered By Accident Benefits?
The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) is an important document that outlines what is covered under your policy.
It applies to all basic automobile policies. It outlines the mandatory and optional limits for medical care, income replacement, death, funeral expenses and loss of income from disability.
What Are Standard Accident Benefits In Ontario?
Accident benefits are mandatory in Ontario. All policies will include include it. There are standard and optional additions that you can add to your plan.
Here is what the benefits will cover across the province :
Income Replacement, Non-Earner and Caregiver Benefits
- Income replacement benefits : If you are unable to work, you may qualify for benefits of 70% of your gross income, capped at $400 per week. You have the option to increase of up to $1,000 per week.
- Caregiver benefits : If you cannot provide care to a dependent, you could receive compensation to hire someone to help you care for them. This applies to specific injuries. You can add optional endorsements to include all injuries.
- Non-earner benefits : If you don’t qualify for income replacement, are a student, and cannot continue on daily life as previous to the incident, you may qualify to receive $185 per week.
Medical, Rehabilitation And Attendant Care Benefits
This will help with medical and rehab expenses that are not covered by a private health plan or the government.
Mandatory coverage includes up to $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries or up to $1 million for catastrophic injuries. You can increase the amount for non-catastrophic injuries to $130,000 and catastrophic injuries to $2 million.
- Medical and rehabilitation benefits : This covers the cost of health care and rehabilitation. This includes physiotherapy, prescriptions, chiropractic, counseling, and other services not covered by OHIP or through your group plan (if applicable). Medical care and costs that qualify are listed in the statutory accident benefits schedule.
- Attendant care benefits : If you are unable to continue as a primary caregiver, you will be provided with assistance at your home or healthcare facility to help you recover from a serious injury. This helps single-parent families, families with one stay at home parent, and households with other dependents. It includes up to $250 per week and an additional $50 per week for each subsequent dependent living in the house.
Death And Funeral Benefits
In the event that you pass away as a result of an accident, the following will be paid out :
- $25,000 to your spouse
- $10,000 to each of your dependents
- A maximum of $6,000 for funeral expenses
- $10,000 to former spouses if the person had financial obligations to them
You have the option to increase limits up to $50,000 for your spouse, $20,000 to dependents, and $8,000 for funeral expenses.
Additional expenses can be covered, including :
- Lost educational expenses : Compensation for lost tuition, books and other education related expenses up to $15,000.
- Expenses of visitors : Reasonable expenses incurred by family and friends to visit you during recovery and treatments. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, certain other dependents, and guardians qualify.
- Housekeeping and home maintenance : Receive up to $100 per week for reasonable expenses to help with housekeeping and maintaining your home while you recover.
- Damage to clothing, glasses, and other belongings : Receive compensation for damaged clothing, glasses and other personal medical devices damaged during the accident.
- Cost of examinations : Compensation for the cost of examinations related to treatments as part of your recovery.
What Are Optional Accident Benefits In Ontario?
You have the option to increase limits for income replacement, medical care, caregiver benefits, death and funeral benefits, and more. Here is what you can add :
- Dependent care benefits : This will cover up to $75 per week for your first dependent and $25 for each additional dependent. This can only be claimed if you were employed at the time of the accident and have to pay for additional childcare expenses due to injuries sustained.
- Indexation : This gives you an annual adjustment for yearly inflation rates. Adjustments are done in accordance with the Consumer Price Index of Canada.
More options include :
- Up to $130,000 in additional medical expenses
- Additional death and funeral expenses up to $50,000, raises dependents to $20,000
- Catastrophic impairment up to $1 million
- Extra income replacement
Keep in mind increasing your limits will increase your premiums. Contact us to see how much they will increase.
What Are Accident Benefits For A Passenger?
All passengers involved in an auto accident are eligible for it. Regardless of the type of accident or who was at fault, you will almost always be covered by insurance. You will need to file a car insurance claim against the other driver.
How Do You Settle Your Accident Benefits?
There will come a time after an accident where your insurer will approach you to settle your claim. In Ontario, you must wait one year before settling it.
Your insurer will propose a fixed amount to settle and close your claim. Once you agree to a settlement, you cannot request additional compensation from your insurer.
How much you settle for can affect litigation for tort claims against an at-fault driver if you are pursuing legal action. Always assess your situation before settling. Speak with a lawyer or your insurance broker about your options. It’s important for you to understand your options and how much you are entitled to before making any settlement decision.
Accident Benefits Regulations In Other Provinces
Accident benefits are included in minimum requirements in all provinces except for Newfoundland. The limits for medical payments, replacement income, death benefits, funeral costs, and the ability to sue varies from province to province.
Accident Benefits FAQs
The License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) is an independent agency that oversees statutory accident benefits disputes under SABS. If you have a dispute over a settlement with your insurer, it will be resolved by LAT.
Yes, income replacement is included in basic policies, but you can learn more about endorsements. You can increase your limits to qualify for up to $1,000 per week in compensation.
Yes. They are part of mandatory automobile coverage.
Yes. Most of these types of claims eventually get settled. You must wait one year to settle it.
Yes. You will need to fill out a form (OCF-1) for these benefits, which is part of the application. You must submit this paperwork as part of the process with your insurer.
All Insured Drivers Are Entitled To Accident Benefits
Knowing your limits and understanding your needs is important. Check your agreement or speak to your insurer to know how much protection you have and if you should add any additional coverage to your car insurance quote.