Insurance Rate Reductions? Don’t Forget About Benefits

By Pace Law | June 14, 2013

Al Pace – Pace Law Firm: If you are ever injured in a motor vehicle accident, there’s a chance you’ll have occasion to re-assess the wisdom of the suggested mandatory auto insurance rate reduction being discussed for Ontario.

Of course, we would all prefer to save money on something that is a virtual necessity in this day and age, but the benefits might well turn out to be illusory in light of the current climate for insurance law in the province.

There has been a steady trend of erosion of the no-fault benefits available to persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. Many benefits that were previously mandatory in the Standard Automobile Insurance Policy are gone. For example, housekeeping, home maintenance, and caregiver benefits have become optional extensions to coverage, and are only available at extra cost.

If changes in the auto insurance market are to be made, it would be a
far more beneficial to restore some or all of the benefits which have
been removed from the Standard Automobile Insurance Policy.

Unfortunately, many people take the short view when purchasing coverage. After an injury, they realize too late that their circumstances require certain benefits.

I can only urge you to give careful thought to your particular circumstances when making coverage decisions. Declining the available optional coverage in the interest of rock bottom premiums can become a truly false economy.

The broader issue is this: If changes in the auto insurance market are to be made, it would be a far more beneficial to restore some or all of the benefits which have been removed from the Standard Automobile Insurance Policy. A saving of, say, $150 in annual premiums would pale in comparison to the benefit to an injured party of getting an ongoing stream of payments for housekeeping, caregiver, or increased income replacement benefits.

I suggest you make known to your MPP that you would strongly prefer to have any changes to auto insurance focus on restoring benefits, rather than effecting modest premium reductions.

Al Pace is the founder of Pace Law Firm, personal injury lawyers in Toronto.