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By Ron Strike, Personal Injury Lawyer

Everyone knows someone who has been seriously injured in a car accident and had difficulties with the car insurance system. Pay close attention as the complicated Ontario car insurance system is about to change again to your family’s detriment. You will have received or will soon receive a letter from your car insurer or insurance broker advising that effective June 01, 2016 there are significant changes to your car insurance. The letter also tells you that they will be in touch with you about these changes. These changes and many others have drastically changed car insurance over the past 20 years, making it more important than ever that you take the time to understand and respond to these changes. It is quite common for us to ignore our car insurance and obtain the cheapest benefits. However, you may not be acting in the best interests of your family to do so.
The pending and past changes have drastically reduced the benefits available to anyone injured in a car accident allowing the Ontario government to meet its goal of keeping car insurance premiums as low as possible.

Ontario Car Insurance

Ontario has a hybrid type of car insurance in that there are fault and no fault components. In the fault part, that being the claim against the driver that cause the accident, there are two very significant challenges to an injured person. The first the deductible of over $36,000. This means that if your claim for pain and suffering is valued at $50,000 you get $14,000. The second is a threshold where by you do not get any money for your pain and suffering unless you can establish by medical evidence that you have sustained a serious and permanent injury.
In the no fault part you are allowed to claim against your own car insurer for rehabilitation benefits and some income loss. This is the most important part of the pending insurance changes at a cost you can choose optional benefits to lessen the impact. For example, recent changes to the no- fault insurance have reduced the amount of money available for rehabilitation benefits from $100,000 to as little as $3500. A relatively inexpensive option can be purchased to significantly increase the amount of rehabilitation money available. There are many other changes that have reduced the available benefits and there are options available to counter those reductions. You should now contact your car insurance representative and do two things:

1. Obtain information from them and discus with them the changes to car insurance so you can make an informed decision on buying options.
2. Direct them to increase your third party liability insurance limit to at least $2million.
You will be surprised at how little step 2 costs and this $2 million is the amount that is potentially available for you or any dependent family member hurt by an under-insured at fault driver anywhere in Canada or the United States. There are many vehicles being driven with little or no insurance and you owe it to yourself and your family have this protection in place.

Ron Strike is a litigation lawyer with more than 32 years of experience, who recently merged his practice with Will Davidson LLP. This recent merger now allows Will Davidson LLP to provide services to 10 locations in Ontario. If you live in the Clarington area Ron Strike and his team can assist you with your personal injury needs. Call us today!

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