Changes in Ontario Insurance Legislation Limiting Medical Rehabilitation Claims
Rein Lomax, personal injury lawyer with Lomax Law Firm of London, Ontario, describes changes in Ontario insurance legislation that limit the medical rehabilitation claim.
A key change to legislation, effective September 1st, 2010, dramatically impacts consumers. The new legislation makes it much harder for individuals to have appropriate medical rehabilitation coverage if they are injured in a motor vehicle collision. The cap or the limit for medical rehab services in a normal case has been dropped from $100,000 to $50, 000. It’s a dramatic decrease that affects every single person who has an insurance policy in the province of Ontario. The legislation has also eliminated entirely some of the other benefits that used to be included, for example, housekeeping and attendant care.
The changes apply to the accident benefit claim or the no fault benefit claim. This is the benefit that every person who’s involved in a car accident in the province of Ontario has to assist them in their recovery from those injuries. If you have a lawsuit against the other party, then you are entitled to claim, among other things, medical rehab expenses in excess of what you’re able to access through your own accident and benefits claim. Having said that, not everybody will have that type of a lawsuit or be able to sue because of the restrictive nature of those lawsuits in Ontario.
This change was automatic for every single insurance policy in Ontario upon renewal. So, as of last September 1st when your policy got renewed, it actually didn’t get renewed for the same coverages that you had before. You used to have $100,000 in coverage for medical rehab services. When the policy renewed, it automatically renewed at the lower level of $50,000, along with other changes that make it much more difficult for you to claim benefits.
Insurers were supposed to let people know about those changes, and all they did, in some cases, was send very convoluted letters, trying to explain those changes and show how they were beneficial to their clients. It’s not beneficial in any way to have less coverage. What they do provide is the option for you to buy more insurance to return your coverage to what you used to have before the automatic reduction. But again, unless you exercise that option, you will be left with this automatic renewal which puts you at the lower level of coverage. In very many cases, this is not going to be sufficient medical rehabilitation coverage to treat your injuries properly. Buying the optional insurance is actually quite inexpensive and people should do that, even just to keep their coverage the same as it was before September 2010.
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the London, Ontario Region, contact Lomax Law Firm.