Important Government changes to Automobile Insurance

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Due to recent changes to auto insurance in Ontario, it’s the right time to reassess the policy you haven’t thought about in years. Your insurance company will be sending you an update in the mail, and we’re here to follow up with a conversation about your needs.

Consumers should consider more than what’s offered in a standard insurance policy. There are favourable options depending on your lifestyle. Consider updating your policy if:

* You’re a primary caregiver of young children, elderly parents or disabled family members
* You earn more than $30,000 a year
* You’re a snowbird
* You’re responsible for housekeeping or home maintenance
* You have a pre-existing injury that requires regular treatments like physiotherapy or massage
* Your auto insurance policy is your only form of coverage (i.e. you don’t have a group plan through an employer or spouse)

If you suffer catastrophic injury from a car accident (loss of limb, para/quadriplegic), standard Accident Benefits provide $1,000,000 for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care expenses. If your injury is less severe (broken bones, strains), available coverage is $65,000. These standard benefits were reduced by the Ontario government to help stabilize rates and provide more choice to consumers, but it’s likely people will feel the impact of these reductions. In today’s society, what’s the value of a million dollars when the average price of detached homes in Toronto has risen 16 percent to $1.2 million? How far does a million dollars go, spread over a lifetime?

The good news is there are options. To become more financially prepared you can increase, extend and purchase additional Accident Benefit Coverage from your insurance broker depending on what you need – whether that’s increasing coverage, extending it to cover minor injuries or adding benefits to cover unexpected cost. If you earn more than $30,000 a year, you can increase your income replacement coverage to $600, $800 or $1,000 (depending on your income).

While it’s convenient to obtain a quick quote online, that quote won’t provide the complete picture you need. Talk to your insurance broker about what’s changed in your life this past year. How has your family’s life changed? Instead of focusing on price, start with what your needs are, then weigh them from a price perspective together with other expenses to decide what’s most important.

Know your options! And talk to your insurance broker about customizing your auto insurance. It could be the best decision you’ve ever made.

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Note: this document is provided for informational purposes only. It does not, and is not intended to provide legal, technical or other professional advice. At all times consult the actual insurance policy for any terms or conditions that apply.

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