Many Ontario drivers want more information on extra auto coverage: survey

Deutschmann Law’s report gauges drivers’ knowledge of changes to the province’s auto insurance laws

One-quarter of Ontario drivers do not recall changes being made to the province’s auto insurance regulations that cap claims for medical and rehabilitation coverage related to motor vehicle accidents. However, 67% of those drivers say they would be interested in learning more about the changes and the costs to purchase additional coverage, finds a survey from Deutschmann Law, which specializes in personal injury cases.

“Most drivers have no idea how drastically the coverage has been reduced. Many saw their premiums go down and were happy to finally have some relief from the high premiums Ontarians pay, not realizing it should have been a red flag to increased risk,” says Rob Deutschmann, a personal injury lawyer, in a statement.

From the archives: IBC Pushes for More Auto Insurance Reform in Ontario

Prior to the legislation changes that occurred in 2010, a person with non-catastrophic injuries was entitled to receive up to $100,000 of medical and rehabilitation benefits for expenses incurred up to 10 years after the accident, according to the report.

After 2010, people suffering from “minor injuries” as a result of a car accident are entitled to $3,500 in medical and rehabilitation benefits and persons with injuries deemed non-catastrophic are entitled to receive up to $50,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits for expenses incurred up to 10 years after the accident. For coverage expenses ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000, an individual must purchase optional coverage.

Of the individuals who say they would be interested in learning more about additional coverage, 59% would be somewhat or very interested in extending their coverage if no more than $50 were added to the annual premium. The interest declines to 31% if $50 to $100 were added to the annual premium.

Related: What your clients need to know about the new Ontario auto insurance

“This suggests that while people are typically looking for the most cost-effective policy, there is some appetite to understand what the options are,” the report states.

Less than one-third (29%) of total respondents say they had a conversation with their insurance provider about purchasing extra coverage and about four-fifths of those respondents say they were provided with a quote. Of the latter group, 21% say they were told they would pay less than an additional $50 per year while 27% say their additional expense would be between $50 and $100. About one-third (35%) of this group say they expected to pay $100 or higher in additional premiums for the extra coverage.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.