Upcoming Amendments to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits

January 26, 2016

Prepared by Bryce Dillon, Article Student

On June 1, 2016, important amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule will take effect.[1]

Statutory Accident Benefits (“SABs”) are provided for in every motor vehicle insurance policy in Ontario. A person injured in a collision may claim them to compensate for a range of expenses (e.g. medical, rehabilitative, or attendant care needs) or a loss of income resulting from an injury.  Depending on the type of benefit claimed, a person can receive a limited amount of money over a specified period of time.

Currently, a person can claim $50,000 for medical and rehabilitation benefits over 10 years, and $32,000 for attendant care benefits over 2 years. However, in June 2016, these benefits will be reduced to a combined maximum of $65,000.[2] For those with the most serious types of injuries —called “catastrophic impairments”— the maximum amount will be reduced from $2 million ($1 million in medical rehabilitation benefits and $1 million in attendant care benefits) over a lifetime, to a combined $1 million for both .[3]

The amount of time during which one can claim these benefits will also change. Currently, medical and rehabilitation benefits can be paid out over 10 years, and attendant care benefits over 2 years. Following the amendments, medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits will both expire after 5 years. This time limit does not apply to those who have suffered catastrophic impairments.[4]

A person may elect to purchase optional coverage to increase their SABs, although the optional benefit amounts will also be changing.

When the changes take effect, those injured in motor vehicle accidents will be entitled to less compensation under their insurance policies if they are injured in a motor vehicle accident. Given these changes, drivers and vehicle owners should consider the optional benefits available to them to ensure they have adequate coverage.

For more information, contact Caroline Failes at 613.566.2849 or cfailes@perlaw.ca. 

[1] O. Reg. 251/15 [SAB Schedule].

[2] Ibid, ss. 18(3)(a), 19(3).

[3] Ibid, ss. 18(3)(b), 19(3).

[4] Ibid, s. 20,

Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall