May 3, 2016 – Why June 1 Matters: The New Car Insurance Legislation and What It Means to You

Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP – Personal Injury Law – Motor Vehicle Accidents
Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP – Personal Injury Law – Adam Wagman

Adam Wagman

HSH Senior Partner and Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) President-Elect, Adam Wagman recently spoke to Scott Thompson of AM 900 CHML on upcoming changes to car insurance coverage.

Did you know that on June 1, 2016 accident benefit coverage for someone catastrophically injured in a car accident will be reduced by $1 million dollars?

For your information, here are some frequently asked questions:

  • Q: What does this legislation mean for drivers in Ontario?
  • A: The government has taken $1 million of needed treatment and care away from those who suffer catastrophic injuries, including people with spinal cord injuries and severe brain injuries. If someone who you know ends up in a wheelchair as a result of a car accident, they will not have the care and treatment that they need.
  • Q: What has changed?
  • A: In order to reduce insurance premiums by about 10%, the government has cut medical and care benefits for people in wheelchairs and those with severe brain injuries by $1million. So, in exchange for about $150 per insurance policy, you and your family will now not have the protection that you need to recover and have the quality of life you deserve.
  • Q: A million dollars is a lot of money. What does it really mean?
  • A: Right now, you have $1million in coverage for rehabilitation and another $1million for your necessary care. But, with this cut, if you still get all of the treatment and rehabilitation you need, you will have almost nothing left for your care. Or, you will have to choose not to get your physiotherapy, or your wheelchair, or the accommodations to your home to live more independently, in order to save a bit of money to help with your care for a few years. Once the money is gone, there is nothing left for the rest of your life. And, that money will go quickly. You and your family will not have the quality of care, recovery and support that you need, and have the quality of life you deserve.
  • Q: What does this really mean for insured drivers?
  • A: Drivers in Ontario do not have a choice. We must have auto insurance. But you do have the choice to pay a small additional insurance premium to get some of this important coverage back. Isn’t your family worth it? The average driver has had their insurance reduced by an average of $150 a year, but make no mistake that you are trading that reduction in cost for the reduced quality of care and life of your loved ones. So, spend part of that cut in premiums to purchase “optional benefits” for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care. Don’t let your family go without this necessary coverage!
  • Q: What Can We Do?
  • A: Call your broker or insurance company today and get this optional coverage added back into your policy. Use your premium cost savings to buy back peace of mind. Isn’t your family worth it?

Click to view the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule [PDF], which includes these recent changes.

Listen to this segment:

About Adam Wagman

Adam Wagman is Senior Partner and the former Managing Partner at HSH. Adam is recognized as a leader in the legal community. He is currently President-Elect of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA), and will become President in May 2016.  He is a member of and has held leadership roles in a number of professional associations and organizations.

About OTLA

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) was formed in 1991 by lawyers acting for plaintiffs. Our purpose is to promote access to justice for all Ontarians, preserve and improve the civil justice system, and advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury and losses as the result of wrongdoing by others, while at the same time advocating strongly for safety initiatives.

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