What Are Standard Accident Benefits in Ontario?
Standard auto insurance policies in Ontario include several types of mandated automobile insurance coverage that work together to compensate drivers following an accident. This includes Statutory Accident Benefits as defined in O. Reg. 34/10.
Included in the mandatory insurance coverage in Ontario is also fault-based property damage coverage, a third-party liability policy, and an uninsured automobile policy. If your injuries meet certain criteria, you may also be eligible to file a lawsuit to hold the driver determined to be at fault liable.
Ontario Mandates Automobiles Have Several Types of Insurance Coverage Including Statutory Accident Benefits
According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), Statutory Accident Benefits in Ontario includes a type of no-fault policy that pays out based on the severity of your injuries. It may cover the costs related to your medical care and rehabilitation, income loss, and other damages if you qualify. This policy should pay out as instructed in the Insurance Act, up to the limits of your policy.
All Ontario Standard Auto Insurance Policies include the following types of coverage:
- Statutory Accident Benefits
- Third-party liability
- Uninsured automobile
- Direct compensation-property damage (DC-PD)
Ontario motorists can also invest in many other benefit options or increased benefits. Optional coverage could include:
- Increased income replacement benefits
- Caregiver benefit
- Housekeeping and home maintenance expenses
- Additional third-party liability coverage
- Tort deductible reduction
Changes to the Coverage Required by Statutory Accident Benefits
In 2016, the coverages available through Statutory Accident Benefits changed. As of June 1, 2016, coverage must include:
- Up to $65,000 in combined coverage for Medical and Rehabilitation and Attendant Care for non-catastrophic injuries
- Up to $1 million in combined coverage for Medical and Rehabilitation and Attendant Care for catastrophic injuries
- Up to $400 per week for Income Replacement
- Up to $185 per week for Non-Earner Benefit
For minor injuries, the benefits for Medical and Rehabilitation benefits have a maximum limit of $3,500 in coverage under an Accident Benefits policy.
Additional Benefits Are Available to Increase Your Coverage Amounts
Some people opt to purchase additional benefits that increase their coverage. The availability of some of these policies also changed in 2016, according to the FSCO.
For non-catastrophic injuries, the payout options were previously a maximum of $100,000 and $72,000, but those are now unavailable. Instead, you can receive a combined maximum of $130,000 for Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care coverage.
For catastrophic injuries, an increase of $1 million is available, including combined Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care. There is also an optional benefit that includes $1 million in Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care for any non-catastrophic or catastrophic injury.
Despite No-Fault Accident Benefits, Fault Plays a Key Role in Some Ontario Car Accident Claims
After you notify your insurance carrier about your accident, they may determine who is liable based on the situations outlined in R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 668. Even though injured parties may qualify for some benefits regardless of fault, including Statutory Accident Benefits, fault may play a role in some Ontario car accident insurance claims.
Through your insurance carrier, you may be able to receive compensation for the repairs needed to your vehicle through your DC-PD coverage.
If you meet the strict criteria to pursue a claim or lawsuit based on fault, it may provide a higher payout than your no-fault coverage, allowing you to receive additional compensation.
Qualifying to Pursue Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim
Ontario only allows car accident victims who meet certain strict criteria to file claims for non-pecuniary damages such as pain and suffering and future medical expenses.
According to the R.S.O. 1990, C. I.8, the severity test for non-pecuniary damages include situations where:
- The victim passes away as a result of the accident
- The victim sustains “permanent serious disfigurement”
- The victim sustains “permanent serious impairment” of an important bodily function, including physical, mental, or psychological functions
Meeting these criteria may allow you to file a claim or lawsuit for several additional non-pecuniary damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future medical treatment
- And more
To find out if you meet these criteria based on the severity of your injuries, reach out to an Ontario-area traffic accident law firm in the days or weeks after your accident. A car accident legal team may be able to assess your options and outline whether you may be able to file a liability-based claim for non-pecuniary damages.
Discuss Your Accident with a Team Member from Preszler Injury Lawyers Today
The Preszler Injury Lawyers team may be able to represent you in your pursuit of Standard Accident Benefits and other coverages in Ontario. Our car accident lawyers may be able to take your case on a contingency-fee-basis with no advanced payment required.
Call 1-800-JUSTICE now for a free initial consultation on your case with a member of our team.