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Insurers improperly including HST in victim's benefit limits.

October 10, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

HST and Accident Benefits

The Ontario government has reduced accident benefits significantly over the past 6 years.  Starting in 2010, the amount of accident benefits available to victims of motor vehicle accidents has been reduced from up to $100,000.00 for each accident victim to as little as $3,500.00 for almost 80% of accident victims.  The remaining 20% are entitled to up to $65,000.00 for medical and rehabilitation benefits, which now also includes attendant care benefits.  Accident victims used to be entitled to up to $72,000.00 in attendant care benefits alone over the first two years post-accident.  For a small percentage of those accident victims considered to be Catastrophically Impaired, the policy limits were up to $1million in medical and rehabilitation benefits and up to $1milliion in attendant care.  This has now been reduced to just $1million for medical and rehabilitation benefits and attendant care benefits.  So while benefits for accident victims has seen a significant erosion over the past 6 years, we now have accident benefit insurers that are including HST payments as part of the benefits payable.  In a June 17, 2015 bulletin issued by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), the superintendent clearly and in very plain language stated:

“FSCO expects that insurers will apply the HST legislation correctly in accordance with any direction from CRA. The HST is a tax and is not part of the benefit limits set out in the SABS.”

Despite this clear direction, adjusters at some auto insurers have recently stated that the HST is counted as part of the benefit limit, which is contrary to the FSCO bulletin and the direction provided by the Canada Revenue Agency.  As a result, accident victims are being told that their benefit limits are maxed before they actually are.  The insurer is now required to provide medical benefits for a 5 year period following the car accident. This was previously a 10 year period.  In any event, for those that are told that they have reached their benefit limit period the expiry of the time limitation, it is important to determine whether the accident benefit insurer has included HST or not in that calculation. The difference could be worth thousands of dollars that could be applied to additional therapy to help an accident victim recover.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Minor Injury Guidelines, Physical Therapy

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

Practice Areas

  1. Car accidents
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  6. Pedestrian accidents
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  8. Truck accidents
  9. Amputation and disfigurement
  10. Fibromyalgia
  11. Nursing Home Fatality Claims

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