In the Consumer section of the website www.fsco.gov.on.ca, important aspects on the topic of Auto Insurance are explained in easy terms. This resource provided by the insurance industry regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), clarifies the components that make up standard and optional coverage, and helps you to purchase the insurance that best meets your needs.
For example, in addition to the mandatory minimum coverage required by law, here are a few of the lesser-known options to be explored with your insurance representative:
• Increased Third-Party Liability Coverage:
While you are legally required to carry a minimum of $200,000 to cover third-party injuries, you may want to increase it to $1 million or more. The additional cost to your premium would be small.
• Optional Accident Benefits: Increased Coverage Includes:
– Income Replacement:
If you cannot work following an accident, you may be eligible for basic weekly income replacement benefits. If the standard coverage is not enough, you can buy optional income replacement benefits to increase your maximum weekly protection to $600, $800 or $1,000.
– Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care:
Since many health care expenses are not covered by OHIP (and others, partially covered) you can increase the standard coverage to $100,000 or 1,100,000 in medical and rehabilitation expenses and to $72,000 or 1,072,000 for attendant care expenses. Increased coverage for catastrophic injuries is also provided with these options.
– Caregiver Benefits:
If you have full-time dependants (like children or aging parents) and can no longer provide them with care following an accident, you may be eligible for caregiver benefits if you need to hire someone to replace you. Standard insurance provides these benefits for catastrophic injuries only, so adding this option will extend your eligibility to all auto accidents.
– Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses:
If you are catastrophically injured in an auto accident, standard insurance pays a maximum benefit of $100 per week to cover household maintenance. This option gives you an opportunity to extend the coverage to lesser injuries as well.
– Death and Funeral Benefits:
Consider increasing the amount paid to your spouse and dependents in the event of your death. Optional benefits can double the benefits and increase the coverage of funeral expenses.
FSCO reminds Ontario residents to be aware of auto insurance fraud. To curtail this criminal and opportunistic activity, the recently formed Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force is building on current government initiatives with an ambitious agenda of anti-fraud strategies.