Car owners in Ontario take note: as of June 1, 2016, changes to your auto insurance are now in effect. The majority of changes are taking place within the Accident Benefits portion of your policy, but there are a few other items to keep in mind.
New or renewed policies from this date forward will reflect the changes. For those who purchased or renewed a policy prior to this date, the changes will come into effect the next time you switch insurers or renew.
The following is a list of all the changes:
The maximum interest rate that can be charged to a policyholder paying monthly premiums has been lowered from three per cent to 1.3 per cent for a one-year policy. Similar reductions are in place for shorter term policies.
Collisions that are minor in nature may no longer alter your rates under the following conditions:
• The collision occurred on or after June 1, 2016.
• There are no injuries.
• The damage comes in at less than $2,000 per vehicle.
• The parties involved in the collision do not submit an insurance claim for payment and the at-fault driver pays all damages out-of-pocket.
There are also some changes to the total coverage amount for medical and rehabilitation “standard” accident benefit costs, especially when it comes to enhanced optional benefits.
• Benefits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for non-catastrophic injuries are combined and reduced to a total of $65,000 but can be increased to $130,000.
• Benefits for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care for catastrophic injuries are combined and reduced to a total of $1,000,000 but can be increased to $2,000,000.
• There are no changes to caregiver benefits or housekeeping and home maintenance expenses for catastrophic injuries, but you can now choose to extend these benefits to all injuries.
• There is no change to income replacement benefits but you now have the option to increase the amount to $600, $800 or $1,000 per week.
• There is no change to dependant care benefits, but you now have the option to add up to $75 per week for the first dependant and $25 per week for each additional dependant, up to a limit of $150 per week.
• There are no changes to death and funeral benefits, but you now have the option to increase the benefit so that spouses receive $50,000, and each dependant can receive $20,000 and up to $8,000 for funeral expenses.
The standard deductible for comprehensive coverage – an add-on to your policy – has been increased from $300 to $500. Some policy holders can choose to keep their deductible set at $300, so check with your provider to confirm.
With all these changes in the air, this is also a good time to reassess your coverage and make sure you aren’t overpaying for your insurance policy. Why not check Rates.ca to help find you the best coverage for the lowest rate? It’s easy, secure and free and can save you hundreds of dollars.
• Related Read: Cheap(er) Car Insurance: How to Save Money