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Insurance Bureau of Canada
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With the changes that came into effect September 1st, 2010, are you adequately protected?

You may be wondering why we are letting you know about changes to your car insurance!

In 2010, the Ontario government announced sweeping changes to the auto insurance system. Our government responded to the insurance industry claims that premiums would have to rise due to escalating claims costs, and therefore they dramatically cut benefits paid to rehabilitate people who are seriously injured in car accidents. These cuts took effect on September 1, 2010.

For injuries prior to September 1st, 2010, your auto insurance policy covered assessments and diagnostics plus up to $100,000 in therapy/rehabilitation funding over 10 years. This coverage was important because there are next to no rehabilitation services available through hospitals and home care anymore.

Under the new policy, individuals’ assessment and treatment costs together cannot exceed $50,000 over 10 years. This represents a 70% cut to your benefits.

While $50,000 may sound like a lot of money, if you sustain a serious injury, your funds will run out in only a matter of months, far before you have a chance to recover.

As of September 1st, if you want to maintain the level of coverage that you now have, you will have to exercise your option to “buy up” – that is, to purchase a higher level of coverage. You can choose to purchase $100,000 or $1,000,000 in rehabilitation benefits. It is our strong recommendation that you purchase $1,000,000 in coverage. Relatively speaking, this add-on costs a pittance above your premium but gives you crucial rehabilitation services should you ever be injured in an accident.

Right now, when you buy your policy, there is a premium for “liability” and a premium for “accident benefits”:

Most insurance brokers make sure you purchase at least $1,000,000 in liability to cover someone else’s rehabilitation. However, many accidents do not meet the criteria for a lawsuit, so you cannot count on being able to sue someone for your rehabilitation funds. And even if you can sue, you will have to wait years to get that funding, all the while being unable to perform your usual activities of daily living.

If you are willing to pay higher premiums to cover someone else’s rehabilitation, shouldn’t you also be willing to pay more to cover your own?

Please feel free to contact us via email at if you have any questions, or visit the ACMRP* website for ongoing updates.

*Ref: The Alliance of Community Medical & Rehabilitation Providers (ACMRP) – a coalition of over 70 organizations in Ontario providing direct clinical services to victims of motor vehicle accidents and employing physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, chiropractors, social workers, psychologists, case managers and family physicians.

Here’s a quick recap of the adopted regulations:

Innocent accident victims will have only basic coverage even if person who struck them has upgraded options