Exploring Optional Accident Benefits Coverage | MG Law Blog

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Boost Your Protection: Exploring Optional Accident Benefits Coverage

It’s a common misconception that insurance policies are always “one size fits all”. In fact, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to car insurance. Depending on your needs and situation, you may be able to increase optional accident benefits coverages.

Right now, in Ontario, the standard non-catastrophic injury benefit amount for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits is CAD$65,000 [1]. For catastrophic injuries, it’s CAD$1 million [1]. However, these amounts are often not enough. That said, individuals do have the option to increase these benefits, including assessment costs for non-catastrophic injuries, to $130,000, and to $2 million for catastrophic injuries.

Are you interested in increasing your protections and coverage but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this MG Law blog post, we’ll discuss how increased accident benefits coverages can help you.

What Are Optional Accident Benefits Coverages?

Firstly, accident benefits coverage provides mandatory benefits to persons injured or killed in a car accident, no matter who is at fault. If you’re seriously injured, you receive these benefits. If you die because of a car accident, your dependants receive the benefits.

As discussed at the outset, the limits outlined in the Statutory Accident Benefits schedule are rather low, placing a financial burden on many individuals. For Ontario residents however, they can fortunately obtain so-called “optional accident benefits” in their home province. In other words, increasing the maximum limits in their policy.

What Optional Accident Benefits Coverages Exist?

Before you start, you should be aware that you may already have some level of accident benefits coverage from your employer or within another policy. To help you understand what is currently possible in Ontario, here are what optional accident benefits coverages exist right now.

Medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits – for non‐catastrophic injuries

Sometimes, you’ll be unable to care for yourself without assistance because of your car accident. This includes daily tasks like bathing, eating, and getting dressed for the day ahead. Attendant care benefits reimburse you for the costs of hiring others to help, either at home or in a long-term care facility.

As for medical and rehabilitation benefits, these pay for such expenses that aren’t covered by a government or private health plan.

Right now, the standard benefit amount in Ontario is $65,000. Fortunately, you can increase the benefit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, including assessment costs for non-catastrophic injuries, to $130,000.

Medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits – for catastrophic injuries

Right now, the standard benefit amount in Ontario is $1 million. Fortunately, you can increase the benefit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, including assessment costs for catastrophic injuries, to $2 million.

Medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits – for all injuries

Fortunately, you can increase the benefit for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, including assessment costs for non-catastrophic injuries, to $1 million, and to $2 million for catastrophic injuries.

Did you know, you can receive both the increased coverage for catastrophic injuries, plus the increased coverage for all injuries? If successful, you’ll increase the benefit for non-catastrophic injuries, including assessment costs, to $1,000,000 and the benefit for catastrophic injuries, including assessment costs, to $3,000,000.

Caregiver benefit

A serious car accident can sometimes mean you are unable to continue your role of being the primary caregiver in your family. In such instances, this benefit reimburses you for the costs of hiring others to help.

The standard benefit amount in Ontario is currently up to $250 per week for the first dependant. Then, there is $50 for each additional dependant. You should note that the caregiver benefit is only available for catastrophic injuries.

Fortunately, you can make the amounts available in your standard policy for catastrophic injuries available for all injuries.

Housekeeping and home maintenance expenses

The standard benefit amount in Ontario is currently up to $100 per week. You should note that this benefit is only available for catastrophic injuries.

Fortunately, you can make the amounts available in your standard policy for catastrophic injuries available for all injuries.

Income replacement benefit

Rather self-explanatory, this benefit compensates you for a personal loss of income.

The standard benefit amount in Ontario is currently 70% of an individual’s gross income, up to $400 per week. Fortunately, you can increase the weekly limit to $600, $800 or $1,000.

Death and funeral benefits

The standard benefit amount in Ontario is currently a $25,000 lump sum to an eligible spouse, a $10,000 lump sum to each dependant, and a maximum of $6,000 for funeral benefits. 

Fortunately, you can increase your standard policy amounts to a $50,000 lump sum to an eligible spouse, a $20,000 lump sum to each dependant, and a maximum of $8,000 for funeral benefits.

Dependant care benefits

Right now, a standard benefit amount is not provided in Ontario.

In this scenario, you can make the amounts available in your standard policy (up to $75 per week for the first dependant and $25 for each additional dependant), assuming you were employed at the time of your accident. Additionally, you must not be receiving a caregiver benefit and should be paying for additional childcare expenses because of your accident.

Indexation benefit

This benefit allows individuals to adjust the amounts received for certain kinds of accident benefits. This is according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada.

The indexation benefit is applicable to the income replacement benefit, the non‐earner benefit, the caregiver benefit, and the medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefit

Right now, a standard benefit amount is not provided in Ontario.

In this scenario, there is an annual adjustment for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, increasing your optional accident benefits coverage is an important part of any car insurance policy. It can provide you with the proper protection you need if you’re seriously injured in an Ontario car accident.

To get your optional benefits, consult with your insurance broker as soon as possible. Simply ask them to add the maximum optional medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits available to your policy. This way, you can do your bit to protect you and your family from any possible injuries, reducing the impact they may have on your life.

References

  1. Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA)

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