I recently got a call last October from a client who I was representing re a 2009 car accident claim. She had been injured in yet another car accident. Could I represent her? I asked her if she had reviewed the changes to auto insurance that came into place on September 1, 2010 and tailored her policy to meet her needs. Like most motorists, she replied that she had done nothing. I informed her I could not represent her since she was no longer entitled to enough benefits to justify a claim. She was shocked.
I cannot stress enough the importance of treating auto insurance like any other good or service you buy. Do you not consider both the price AND quality of your purchase? Surely you know roughly how much you pay each month for car insurance. But do you know what you are entitled to if you get in a car accident?
Take a look at your insurance policy. You may have noticed that you saved a few dollars after September 1. What is less obvious is that what you get for your money has been greatly reduced: Should you get in a car accident, unless you are that 1% who is "catastrophically impaired", you will no longer get housekeeping or home maintenance benefits. Your medical or rehabilitation benefits will be half of what they were before.
Income replacement benefits will be reduced from 80% of your gross income to 70%. And this is just a start.
The solution is to review your policy carefully. Call your insurance broker and ask some questions. You now have the opportunity to better tailor your policy to your needs. If you want exactly what you had before September 1, 2010, be prepared to pay a bit more money. If you want more, be prepared to pay a lot more. If you want to save money, you can do nothing and receive the default amounts mandated by the Ontario government. Whatever your choice, educate yourself! Know BOTH what you are paying and what you are entitled to receive for your auto insurance dollar.