We all care about being properly protected in the event of a car accident. Sumitra Lagoo of The Morris Law Group joined CH Morning Live with information about changes to Ontario's no-fault automotive insurance coverage.
Changes in automotive insurance in Ontario
Annette Hamm, Host: How well are you covered on the road? Sumitra Lagoo from Morris Law is here to explain how to better protect yourself when it comes to automotive insurance changes in Ontario. Of course, you’re not an insurance broker, you’re a lawyer, and there are lots of changes regarding the law. How much you can sue for, how much you get if you’re in a crash in Ontario.
Sumitra Lagoo, The Morris Law Group: Now there have been a lot of changes, and it’s partly because of the effort to reduce insurance premiums that the government has brought in, so a lot of people, a lot of our clients don’t know that benefits, no-fault benefits have been reduced drastically since the changes.
If you were in an accident before September 2010, automatically you had up to $100,000 coverage for medical rehabilitation and up to ten years. If you’re in an accident today, the automatic policy only covers you for $3,500 and five years of coverage. There are certain rules where you can get up to $65,000 of medical rehabilitation coverage or definition for catastrophic injury but the basic automatic policy is now $35,000.
Changes to no-fault insurance coverage
A.H.: Right, you say that there's changes to the no-fault as well. Like if you're in a no-fault accident and you're the driver. So the person that who was injured isn't going to get as much, so that means you could be sued in court for a much larger amount.
S.L.: Exactly Annette. So, the person who was injured will have access to much less went through their no-fault policy. Which would increase your exposure. So, it's something to look into whether you have enough coverage in those cases.
A.H.: Right, so it's something to look over in your policy. So, these are nothing new they've been in an effect now for seven years. Have you noticed a change in law cases coming out of these changes?
S.L.: Yes, I mean now the injured victim is suing for enhanced things that previously they could get from no-fault benefits. They're all now turning to the at fault motorist for those needs, as a result of the accident. So, it's unfortunate that they don't have the no-fault coverage to fall back on, because if you're not able to sue an at fault motorists you don't have access through the legal system.
Do these changes to no-fault insurance in Ontario affect other provinces?
A.H.: And how is this change like across the country kind of thing? I know that these are only in Ontario, do other provinces have similar things? Have they run into similar problems, where okay yeah, the insurance money isn't there so now, we're turning to court systems.
S.L.: Yeah, it's very it's province specific. So, when the province has a different rule and different rules as to whether you can sue the at-fault motorist. But in Ontario there are even rules for suing at fault motorists. They've been changing to the detriment of the at fault person. There are deductibles in place for pain and suffering awards, and those are increasing now every year with inflation. So, the changes here are noticeable.
A.H.: Right, okay so a good idea then get home today, check your policy see what you're covered for and you know good luck with not having any crashes at all. Sumitra thanks very much for your information.
S.L.: Thanks very much Annette.
Automobile accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in Canada. You may be entitled to compensation.Read More >>