Optional Accident Benefits Coverage in Ontario

car accident

In Ontario, automobile insurance is mandatory for all drivers. However, the basic policy may not provide adequate coverage in the event of a car accident. This is why there are a variety of optional accident benefits coverage available to drivers, however, asking for these from your insurance broker will result in higher premiums being paid. The higher price is worth the cost in this case.

Medical and Rehabilitation/Attendant Care Benefits:

Medical and rehabilitation benefits are the most important category of benefits available in the event of a motor vehicle accident. These benefits provide funding for treatment such as physiotherapy, psychological counseling, massage therapy, and exercise rehabilitation. Similarly, attendant care benefits provide compensation for any professional services you may require to care for you, such as a Personal Support Worker.

Under the standard automobile policy, up to $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits are provided for minor injuries (available for a maximum of 5 years); up to $65,000 for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for injuries deemed “non-catastrophic” (available for a maximum of 5 years); and up to $1,000,000 for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits for catastrophic injuries (available for life).

However, drivers can increase their coverage for non-catastrophic injuries to $130,000 in coverage available for 5 years.

You can also increase your coverage from the standards $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 available for life for catastrophic injuries.

Moreover, there is also the option to purchase a benefit that increases the benefit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, including assessment costs for minor and non-catastrophic injuries, to $1,000,000.

If you purchase both the optional benefit for catastrophic and all injuries, your benefit for catastrophic injuries will increase to $3,000,000.

Income Replacement Benefit:

If as a result of the collision you suffer from injuries that preclude you from being able to work, the standard policy states that the Income Replacement Benefit will provide up to $400 per week (or up to 70% of your gross income- whichever is less) to the age of 65, subject to you meeting the eligibility test.

However, drivers can increase their Income Replacement Benefit limit coverage to the optional benefits which have either a $600, $800, or $1000 per week payment.

Caregiver Benefit:

Under the standard Ontario accident benefits insurance policy, the Caregiver Benefit is only available for those suffering from catastrophic injuries. If as a result of the accident you become injured and cannot care for your children or dependents, it can provide $250 per week for the first dependent and $50 for each additional dependent, for 2 years.

However, drivers can increase their coverage by signing up for the optional benefit available which would make this caregiving benefit apply to all injuries, not just catastrophic injuries.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses:

The standard Ontario accident benefits policy provides for the Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses benefit only for applicants who suffer from catastrophic injuries. It provides compensation of up to $100 per week, for life, to pay for housekeeping services and home maintenance services.

Drivers have the option to have this benefit apply not just to catastrophic injuries, but to all levels of injuries including Minor Injuries and Non-Catastrophic Injuries.

Death and Funeral Benefits:

This benefit offers a $25,000 lump sum payout to your spouse, a $10,000 lump sum payment to each of your dependents, and up to $6,000 for burial costs in the event that a motor vehicle collision results in your death.

You have the choice to enhance the lump sum payments to your husband and dependents to $50,000 and $20,000, respectively, and to $8,000 for funeral costs.

Dependent Care Benefit:

Since it is entirely optional, the standard policy does not cover this benefit. It offers compensation for any additional costs you might spend taking care of your dependents as a result of your injuries (such as paying for child care, babysitters, etc.). You can get both this benefit and an income replacement benefit at the same time. It offers up to $75 per week for the first dependent and up to $25 per week for each additional dependent.

Indexation Benefit:

This benefit is also not included in the basic coverage. If purchased, it guarantees that your other benefits will be automatically adjusted each year in accordance with the Canadian Consumer Price Index.

For instance, the maximum weekly amount will increase if your weekly income replacement benefit of $400 is adjusted for inflation.

If you have been injured and are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide guidance and advice on your case. Please contact our team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP for a free initial consultation at (800) 715-1082.

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