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Understanding Optional Benefits
What are Optional Benefits?
Ontario’s no-fault Statutory Accident Benefits provides individuals who are injured in motor vehicle accidents medical and other benefits to assist them while recovering from their injuries. See my article on “What are Statutory Accident Benefits?” Every automobile insurance plan in Ontario includes the Statutory Accident Benefits, however, there are limits on the amounts of these benefits that can make it insufficient for those who are seriously injured. Under the Insurance Act, Ontarians are able to purchase Optional Benefits that augment the Statutory Accident Benefits.
Every insurer is required to offer the following optional benefits:
- Increase Income Replacement Benefits from the maximum weekly amount of $400 under the Statutory Accident Benefits to $600, $800 or $1000 weekly;
- Extend the caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance benefits to people who suffer non-catastrophic impairment due to a motor vehicle accident;
- Increase the amount of medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits for those who suffer non-catastrophic impairment from a maximum of $65,000 to a maximum of $130,000;
- Increase the amount of medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits to up to $1,000,000 for those who sustain non-catastrophic impairment and up to $2,000,000 for those who sustain catastrophic impairment;
- Increase the amount of medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits to up to $1,000,000 for individuals who sustain catastrophic impairment as a result of a motor vehicle accident;
- Increase the amounts of the death benefit to $50,000 for spouses and $20,000 for dependants and increase the amount of the funeral benefit to $8,000;
- An additional benefit that pays for reasonable and necessary additional expenses incurred by the injured person as a result of the accident for caring for the injured person’s dependants;
- An additional benefit that adjusts the amount of income replacement benefits, non-earner benefits, and medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits to be indexed to inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index for Canada.
The Optional Benefits can provide significant increases to the Statutory Accident Benefits you may be entitled to following a motor vehicle accident. If you are seriously injured as a result of an accident you will most likely need the increased benefits as there have been significant cuts the benefits over the years. I encourage you all to increase your benefits. Most people are unaware of these available optional benefits as insurance companies do not seem to want people to know!
Contact Louis DelSignore to find out more.
This article was written by Personal Injury Lawyer Louis DelSignore and Articling Student Jonathan Bradford.