Understanding No-Fault Insurance Benefits in Ontario
The no-fault insurance benefits available to Ontario motorists changed in September of last year. What this means is that for any auto policies renewed after September 1, 2010, there are significant changes to the standard policy. Going forward, these new provisions apply to all car, truck, motorcycle and SUV accidents occurring after September 1, 2010.
This is the first in a series of discussions on what no-fault benefits are and what the recent changes mean to you if you are involved in a car crash or motorcycle accident in Ontario.
What are no fault benefits?
First, the jargon. In Ontario, no-fault benefits are set out in a Regulation under the Insurance Act. The current Regulation is called “Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – Accidents on or after September 2, 2010”. The prior Regulation applied to accidents on or after November 1, 1996. Lawyers and insurance professionals routinely refer to these Regulations as the SABs and to the benefits available as Accident Benefits.
In general, no fault benefits are available to Ontario motorists and passengers involved in car accidents in Canada and the United States. These benefits are available to all personal injury victims in Ontario whether they are at fault for the accident or not. For example, a driver who runs a red light and is involved in a serious car crash or accident, is entitled to make a claim for Accident Benefits.
When should I apply for Ontario Accident Benefits?
The short answer is as soon as possible. The sooner you apply and get your paperwork in order, the sooner you will begin receiving any benefits you are entitled to receive. The Regulation itself mandates that:
- You must notify your insurance company that you intend to apply for Accident Benefits within 7 days of the accident
- The completed application form must be submitted within 30 days after receiving the forms from your insurance company.
What no-fault benefits are available to me if I am injured in a car accident in Ontario?
The primary types of benefits available are as follows:
- Income Replacement, Non-earner and Caregiver Benefits
- Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
- Attendant Care Benefits
- Other Expenses
- Death and Funeral Benefits.
Whether you are entitled to any of these benefits and the amount of the benefit available will depend on a number of factors, including whether your injury is classified as a “Minor Injury” and whether you have purchased optional insurance.
Log on next week for our discussion on Standard vs. Optional Insurance. In the meantime, if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident it is important to speak with a lawyer knowledgeable in the area of Accident Benefits.
Our team of experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers have the expertise to ensure you are accessing all the benefits available to you and would be pleased to sit down with you for a free initial consultation.