Car Insurance Ontario, Canada

Frequently asked questions about the Auto Insurance Rate Stability Act (Bill 59).
(Supplied by CIBC Insurance®)

Q. Why should I wait until my "natural" policy renewal date before making any changes to Accident benefit coverages?

A. You will be provided with the mandated optional benefits, which excludes indexation, and maintain your deductibles until renewal. The new accident benefits are provided to you automatically, at no cost.

If you choose to cancel and purchase each of the new options, to the maximum, it could result in an increase to your premium. As part of the new Act, indexation is available only upon request.

Q. How do I qualify for the Retiree discount?

A. The new premium discount, which applies to the Accident Benefits portion of your premium, is available to retirees aged 65 or older. If you are younger than 65, but receive a Canada or Quebec pension or a pension registered under the Income Tax Act, you are also eligible to receive this new premium discount.

Ask your insurer or broker for the new Declaration form for the Retiree Discount. It must be signed and returned before the discount can be implemented.

Q. Why is there an optional deductible for Direct Compensation - Property Damage, when there never used to be one?

A. A deductible is part of a claim for damages to your vehicle you must pay for. Higher deductibles usually result in lower premiums, but higher financial risk to you.

As part of the new legislation, under the Direct Compensation-Property Damage section of your policy, if you are not at fault in an accident in Ontario involving another Ontario insured vehicle, there will be no deductible - UNLESS YOU HAVE SELECTED ONE TO LOWER YOUR PREMIUM.

If you have selected a deductible, you will be required to pay to the extent to which you are not at fault for the accident. For example, if you are in an accident and the police report states that you were 50% at fault, you will be required to pay 50% of your selected deductible amount, which will go toward the repairs to the vehicle.

Q. What is the minimum deductible for collision and comprehensive?

A. If you have purchased optional coverage for collision or upset, or all perils - and if you are fully or partially at fault for the damage to your vehicle, a new standard minimum deductible of $300 will apply - UNLESS YOU HAVE SELECTED ANOTHER AMOUNT. As part of the new Act, at renewal, your deductible for these coverages will automatically be changed to the new minimum of $300. If your current deductible is higher than $300, it will remain at the higher amount at renewal.

Q. Why are my deductibles being increased to $300 at renewal?

A. As part of the new legislation, your renewal will include the new minimum allowable deductible of $300 for All Perils, Collision, Comprehensive, and Specified Perils. This will occur only on the current renewal; any subsequent renewals will have the deductible that you have chosen or that you qualify for.

At renewal, you can choose to reduce or increase your deductible to its previous amount or to a new amount, and this will result in a corresponding change to your premium.

Q. What optional coverages are you giving me until renewal?

A. New optional Accident Benefits that will be automatically added to your policy until renewal include:

  • the new plan's standard of up to 80% of net income to a maximum of $400 weekly income replacement will be increased to a maximum of $1, 000.
  • the benefit for injured caregivers will be increased from the plan's maximum of $250 per week to a maximum of $325 per week.
  • the new death benefit for the surviving spouse of the "named insured" will be increased to $50, 000 from the basic plan limit of $25, 000.
  • the new basic plan's funeral limit of $6, 000 will be increased to a maximum of $8, 000.
  • $1, 000, 000 of coverage for medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses will be available, and
  • existing deductible for loss or damage to your car will be retained.

Q. Why were the Accident Benefits part of my policy before, and now they are options that I have to pay for separately?

A. This new Act - Bill 59 - tries to reflect the basic needs of the average driver in Ontario and offers the option to top up to a level that is a reflection of the financial position of the individual. As a result, only those who need the higher coverage limits will buy it. This leads to a plan that is fair to everyone, but also one that is ultimately more expensive for those that require and purchase the top-up.

Q. I heard that, under this new Act, I have the right to sue. Why would I sue - won't my insurance cover me for all my losses?

A. Your auto insurance will cover you only for losses to a maximum limit which is listed on your Certificate of Insurance and in your policy booklet. Under the previous plan, Bill 164, you were allowed to sue for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, if your damages fell within the "verbal threshold" AND if you were an innocent victim (not at fault) in an automobile accident.

Economic or financial loss is not covered under your standard auto policy, so if you were injured and were not ever able to return to work, your contribution to the household income would be eliminated. Under the previous auto plan, there was an additional endorsement, Excess Economic Loss Endorsement, OPCF 45, that you could purchase for this type of situation that also gave you the right to sue for future potential financial losses. With the new Act, Bill 59, this endorsement is no longer available.

Q. What kinds of losses can I sue for?

A. There are two types of situations when a policyholder might seek to recover certain types of damages under a right to sue. These are:

  • Non-economic loss - losses such as pain and suffering, serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of an important physical, mental, or psychological function. These types of losses are called "verbal threshold, " which describes in very broad terms what is within this category for seeking damages.
  • Economic losses - financial loss as a result of an automobile accident.

With the introduction of this new Act, Bill 59, the right to sue is being expanded to once again include the opportunity to recover economic losses. Along with this opportunity to seek recovery of economic losses, the "verbal threshold" is being reconsidered. Consult the chart below to see how the Accident Benefits under the new legislation compare to those under Bill 164.

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I have my g2, i am 19 years old, and i am trying to find a cheap insurance to quote me on a cheap car....its only a 99 cavalier 4 door. I have done a lot of online quotes and i have basically gotten the same quote around $430. I would like a quote more around the $200 range!! Help! Anyone know of any cheap auto insurances??
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