December 10, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
The results of my 2019 Deutschmann Law Auto Survey show that things have not changed much for Ontario Drivers.
The Kitchener Record reported in 2017 that although changes to allow for drivers to buy additional auto insurance were meant to:
‘boost consumer choice and restrain rates: let drivers buy extra auto insurance to cover medical bills, lost income and liability.
But only one out of 10 drivers has bought extended coverage, new research out of Kitchener reveals. This highlights problems that are now leading the Liberal government to consider overhauling the auto insurance system it regulates.
Ontario drivers pay Canada's highest insurance rates, burdened by an average premium of $1,458, despite collisions and traffic deaths that are among the nation's lowest, government adviser David Marshall recently reported. That's $530 above the average for the rest of the country. ‘
Our third annual study reports that although 70% of the people surveyed were aware of the option to purchase additional coverages only 8% of people have purchased the additional coverages. At Deutschmann Law we see this as a serious concern.
We deal with people daily who have been injured in car accidents who find that their insurance benefits do not cover their expenses for treatment or recovery from their injuries. They find out too late that barring a very serious injury benefits are capped at $3500 for treatment, rehab, or medical devices.
Almost half of people don’t realize that there is a deductible on pain and suffering awards of $38,818.97. What this translates to is that if you got an award of $40,000.00 you would end up with just over $1000 of it. The rest goes to the insurance companies. Many people are also not aware of the fact that maximum income replacement benefit is only $400 a week, an amount that hasn’t changed in decades. If you are catastrophically injured the maximum coverage that you will get for lifetime care is $1 million which for such terrible injuries will be exhausted in between 10-15 years.
The cost of doubling most of your benefits is approximately $100 for the majority of our respondents who asked for an amount from their insurer. Putting that into perspective, an initial consult at the physiotherapist of chiropractor exceeds that amount.
The most common reasons that people gave for not purchasing the coverage were:
- Don’t need it (37%)
- Too expensive (25%)
- Can’t afford to pay more (10%)
The unfortunate truth is that the basic level of coverage provided by car insurers will not be enough to care for yourself or your family in the event of a car accident. OHIP will not pay for much of the care or medications that you may need. Counselling for PTSD, medications, medical devices and rehabilitation are all paid privately in Ontario. The costs add up very quickly.
If you are in the market for insurance, if you are renewing your insurance or if you aren’t sure whether you have purchased extended insurance then please call your agent, broker or insurance company today and ask for a quote. Consider the amount seriously in light of what the cost of treatment or unemployment are in the event of injury in a car accident.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, particularly when the fault isn’t your own, you deserve to be cared for and the chance for a full recovery.