Changes To The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule Another Victory For Insurance Companies

By Albert Conforzi | August 31, 2015

Toronto personal injury lawyer Albert Coforzi: The current government of Ontario, following in a long tradition of governments of every political stripe bending over backwards for the benefit of the insurance company lobby, has signalled changes to what constitutes a “catastrophic impairment.” The changes come into effect on June 1, 2016.

Among the more egregious changes: the amputation of an arm as a result of a motor vehicle accident will be considered catastrophic while the amputation of a leg will not.

MISSING LEG? NOT “CATASTROPHIC” ENOUGH

Under the current Statutory Accident Benefits regime, a person who has lost an arm or a leg has a million insurance dollars available for medical and rehabilitation benefits. This helps for such things as stump care and prosthetic limbs. The coming regime change will reduce that money available for a leg amputee as described in the regulation to $65,000 of combined coverage: medical/rehab plus attendant care.

If you’ve ever had $2000 worth of dental work for a root canal and crown, ask yourself how quickly 65 grand will go when you are recovering from a leg amputation and you need to learn how to use a prosthetic device.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY WINS ANOTHER ROUND

But hey, there’s always someone available to pick up the short fall. Guess who that will be? Yes, the Ontario taxpayer. A careless motorist causes a victim to lose a leg and it’s our healthcare system that will take on the financial burden of care and recovery, rather than an insurance company that actually plans for this type of event. Makes a lot of sense….to insurers, I bet.

I’ll be posting more information on the insurance regime changes in the months ahead. Stay tuned.