Did you know your auto insurance policy doesn’t just cover damage to your vehicle? It also provides mandatory and optional accident benefits coverage to help you recover if you’re injured in a car accident (regardless of who’s at fault). The following is a list of some of the coverages that are included or available under the accident benefits section of your auto policy.
Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care (catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries)
This covers you for medical expenses related to your injuries that are not covered by OHIP such as physiotherapy or prescriptions. If you don’t have private or group benefits outside of your auto policy for medical expenses, it’s a good idea to consider increasing these benefits since these bills can really add up.
If you were hurt in in accident and don’t have coverage elsewhere your auto insurance policy will replace a percentage of your weekly pay cheque. The standard benefits will pay up to 70% of your gross income to a max of $400/week. If you earn more than $30,000/year you may want to consider increasing this benefit.
Death and Funeral Benefit
If you pass away because of an auto accident, lump sum payments are available to your spouse and dependents in addition to a lump sum to help cover funeral costs.
If you are the primary caregiver for your children and suffer a catastrophic injury in a car accident (in other words, an injury which causes you to lose the use of an arm or leg, vision in both eyes, or a serious brain injury), coverage is available to hire someone to help care for your dependents. This benefit can be upgraded to cover all injuries instead of just catastrophic injuries.
Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Benefit
Housekeeping or regular home maintenance can become impossible if you’re seriously hurt in an accident. The standard benefit provides some coverage for home maintenance if you are catastrophically injured. This benefit can be upgraded to cover all injuries instead of just catastrophic injuries.
Dependent Care Benefit
If you’re employed and typically rely on childcare, you may need extra help caring for your children because you’re seriously hurt in an accident. This optional benefit provides reimbursement for extra expenses to care for your dependents if your employed and injured in a car accident.
This is an optional benefit that you may wish to purchase. In the event of a long-term injury the value of your income replacement and medical care benefits will be adjusted to compensate for inflation.
In June 2016, the Ontario government made changes to the standard auto insurance policy. The following link provides more details on those changes: Ontario Auto Insurance Is Changing.