Can insurance brokers help drivers cope with Ontario’s reduced accident benefits coverage?

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For years, the Government of Ontario has promised to lower auto insurance rates, a goal that consumers – and car accident lawyersbroadly supported. In September 2010, the province introduced sweeping changes to the auto insurance system that significantly reduced basic coverage. According to a Toronto Star article from August of that year, the insurance industry insisted that “the changes are needed to root fraud and waste out of the system, and that, if successful, premiums will eventually come down.”

In 2013, following the failure of that scheme, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a plan to reduce premiums by an average of 15 per cent by August 2015, a “stretch goal” that was never accomplished. Last summer, the government again slashed basic accident benefits coverage in the name of insurance affordability. We discussed those changes – and how car accident lawyers in Ontario reacted to them – on the WillDavidson.ca blog.

Today, despite drastic benefits cuts and a modest premium reduction from 2013 levels, Ontario maintains the highest average insurance rates in Canada. To make matters worse, a large number of drivers don’t understand the risks posed by the province’s shifting insurance regulations.

According to a recent study, almost a quarter of Ontario drivers remain unaware of the changes that came about in 2010, and the study’s authors believe insurance brokers are ideally suited to educate the public.

“Insurance brokers need to make drivers more aware that optional coverage is available and that it’s relatively inexpensive,” Kitchener lawyer Robert Deutschmann told Insurance Business Canada. “It’s like a public service that the brokers need to be on top of.”

Deutschmann is referring to the fact that though mandatory accident benefits have been cut under recent provincial regulations, affordable additional insurance is available that would largely replace the lost benefits. Though car accident lawyers can help injury victims access compensation, insurance brokers are better positioned to encourage preventative coverage.

“Based on our survey findings, at least 70% of drivers have not had a conversation with their insurance provider about the additional coverage options available to them,” Deutschmann said.

Serious injuries can have life-changing impacts – if you or a member of your family has suffered an injury in an automobile accident, consider contacting the experienced car accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP today to set up a consultation. Our knowledgeable team can help you better understand your legal position and advise you on your best path to recovery and compensation.

 

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