The Ontario government plans to make further changes to help reduce auto insurance rates in Ontario.
The following changes have been included within the new 2015 budget.
1. Requiring insurance companies to offer a winter tire discounts.
2. Reducing monthly payment plan fees charged by insurance companies from 3% to 1.3%.
3. Changing the standard deductible for comprehensive claims from $300 to $500.
4. Prohibiting premium increases for certain minor at fault accidents.
The province of Ontario is also considering to increase the mandatory reporting limit from $1000 to $2000 (accidents that must be reported to police or a collision reporting center).
Changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS)
1. Standard Medical / Rehabilitation benefits will be combined with Attended Care to form of single limit of $65,000 (reduced from a combined limit of $85,000). An optional increase will be available, up to 1 million.
2. Changes to the wording and standard benefits for Catastrophic Injuries. A single limit up to 1 million will be available for Medical / Rehabilitation and Attendant Care (down from a combined limit of 2 million). An optional increase will be available, up to 2 million.
3. The standard duration for Accident Benefits will be reduced from 10 years to 5 years (with the exception of children).
4. The 6 months waiting period for Non-Earner Benefits will be eliminated and the benefit duration will be limited to 2 years.
5. Goods and services not explicitly listed in the schedule will need to be viewed as “essential” and agreed upon by the insurer.
The Ontario government will propose amendments to the Insurance Act (deductibles & thresholds for pain and suffering), to ensure auto insurance rates keep pace with inflation. They will also continue to work towards reducing fraud and abuse in the auto insurance industry.
“Auto insurance fraud is a serious issue that’s estimated to cost as much as $1.6 billion a year in Ontario alone,” said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, IBC. “It’s a big business that siphons resources away from our health care system, ties up our emergency services and courts, and drives up insurance costs.” IBC