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In 2014, Ontario lawmakers took a step toward combating fraud and abuse in the system by passing the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act. In 2015, the Ontario budget featured changes to the standard Ontario Auto Insurance product. This and other actions were taken to fight fraud and to give car insurance clients more choice while reaching the Ontario government’s target of a 15% auto insurance rate reduction.
Overall, these new regulations which are effective June 1, 2016, will lower accident benefits in your standard auto insurance policy, but they will also include options to increase coverage in the areas it is specifically needed, allowing you as an auto insurance client to customize your coverage.
Policy holders will also see lower interest rates for payment plans in addition to the mandatory Winter Tire Discount of up to 5% that came into effect this past winter.
You could probably list a hundred other things you’d rather be doing with your money instead of paying for insurance, but we hope that at least at renewal time, you consider the bigger picture. The government has made auto insurance mandatory because it plays a vital role in securing your financial future, providing you with a safety net and protecting you from risk. It also plays a large role in personal and collective welfare.
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident, you would then see how important proper insurance is. Where would you be if you hadn’t had that coverage?
With these new options available, there’s now an opportunity to re-evaluate your needs. Are you part of a group insurance plan through your employer or your spouse? If so, what are the limits on your benefits package? Many plans are capped at $500 annually for paramedical expenses such as massage therapy and chiropractors. This can run out quickly if you were to need these services after an accident.
If you are the primary caretaker for children or a disabled adult, or perform housework or maintenance, do you have someone in place that could perform these duties until you are well?
Standard policies are the bare minimum that is required by the government of Ontario, which means that gaps might still exist depending on your lifestyle. If you have someone depending on you, make sure you have enough dependent care coverage. This coverage will pay for someone to look after them in case you are injured in a car accident and can’t be there to do it yourself. The good news is that you have options to customize your coverage, buying more of what you need and leaving what you don’t.
Buying the right coverage for you is an investment in your family and your future, what could be more important?
Watch for awareness mailers from your insurance company and from Josslin Insurance, or refer to our Auto Reform 2016 page for a full list of these changes. Be sure to talk to your broker to make sure you have the best possible coverage based on your lifestyle.