While insurance premiums seem to go up every year, the amount of basic coverage afforded drivers in Ontario continues to erode. This has left already vulnerable accident victims with hard choices when faced, for example, with a lack of ongoing income because of an accident. Luckily, Section 28 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) states that every auto insurer in Ontario is required to carry specific optional benefits which can reduce the immediate hardships faced with serious injury and/or a loss of income. These optional benefits tend to be inexpensive and give you more options if involved in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario.
For example, while everyone with auto insurance has access to a maximum of $400 a week in income replacements if they are found to be substantially unable to perform the essential tasks of their employment, most families cannot survive on this amount. An injured person with a family to support may find themselves in a very difficult situation if they can only receive a small fraction of their salary while they recover. It is important to know that every insurer in Ontario is required to offer optional income replacement benefits in increments of $600, $800 and $1,000 a week. Having access to these greater benefits can make all the difference when faced with substantial injuries.
Other examples of mandatory optional benefits include:
- Caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance benefits
- An increase in the medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits limit from $65,000 to $130,000 or $1,000,000 for significant but not non-catastrophic injuries
- An increase in the medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits limit from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 for catastrophic injuries
- An increase in death benefits
- Dependant benefits and indexation benefits
Insurance companies may also provide optional benefits that exceed the above. Of course, having access to these higher maximum benefits does not necessarily affect the possibility of having trouble getting an insurance company to pay out benefits. The process can be confusing. We are here to help. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, please contact our experienced team at Reybroek Law for a free consultation.