This June changes to Ontario Insurance rules will affect the type of treatment that you will receive following a motor vehicle accident unless you take a closer look at the coverage limits that you will be offered at the time of your annual policy renewal.
In the past, if you were injured in a car accident and required Physiotherapy or other rehabilitation services to get you back on your feet, all you had to do was attend the rehabilitation clinic of your choice and be assessed by a Physiotherapist. The Physiotherapist would be able to examine you and make recommendations for treatment, and the insurance company would agree (in most cases) to automatically fund a basic amount of treatment. If you then used up this approved amount of physiotherapy, and you were still in need of more treatment, your physiotherapist could request more treatment on your behalf and if the insurance company again was in agreement, you would then get more treatment.
As of June 1st 2016, this process will change. In response to consumer concern over ever increasing insurance premiums, the Provincial government mandated that the insurer do whatever it took to decrease premiums. In return for a rate discount of usually less than 15%, car insurance policies will now provide you with about half of whatever benefits they would have provided you prior to June 1st. What is not widely known is that if you are willing to pay a bit more for your insurance policy, you can continue to receive double the benefits.
The insurance company is counting on most folks taking the discount and not asking about what it will cost to upgrade the rehabilitation benefits. Do yourself a favour and CALL your insurance broker and ask what the upgrade will cost. Most people will be very surprised to discover that the upgrade is shockingly marginal.
My own car insurance renewal notice arrived in the mail last week. To be sure, the renewal showed a very modest decrease in my premium, but not the anticipated 15%!! The renewal documents could have easily also shown the upgrade fees in case I wanted to compare rates between basic and upgraded insurance, but it directed me to contact the broker for rate information if I wanted an upgrade from the basic plan. This took 15 minutes out of my busy day, but I was very happy that I did, because I discovered that for only $150 more a year, my family of 5 drivers, which includes 3 children under the age of 25, would have double the rehabilitation benefits available to them. What most folks don’t realize is that while a premium savings of up to 15% caused a benefit reduction 50% in rehabilitation benefits; restoring those benefits did not cost 50% more! It cost less than 15%, which leads one to wonder what the reduction was intended to accomplish. I know that nothing in the renewal documents led me to believe that the upgrade was going to be affordable. The truth is that most people hate to do the extra checking when it comes to insurance, and who doesn’t want to pay the minimum possible? But be forewarned, today, the less you pay, the less you get. You don’t want to find yourself injured with no access to rehabilitation benefits.
Our advice to all people receiving their renewal notices this year is to call your insurance company or your broker and ASK THEM HOW MUCH THE UPGRADE WILL COST. You will be surprised to learn that the upgrade is much more affordable than what you may have been led to believe by all the hype surrounding insurance premiums and the litany of reasons provided for why these measures are necessary.
Nobody wants to pay more for insurance, but there is truth to the old saying that you get what you pay for! Someone who has been injured in a car accident does not want to find out that their policy has SIGNIFICANT limitations to what Physiotherapy and other benefits they will be able to receive. Nobody wants to find out afterwards that they could have had access to DOUBLE the coverage limits if they had just spent a few more minutes inquiring as to what the additional costs would have been. Asking what the premium upgrade will cost is free and should only take a few minutes.
Your Physiotherapist and Rehabilitation Clinic wants you to have access to as much treatment as you will need to restore you to your maximum state of well being following a car accident. Don’t be intimidated to ask about policy upgrades. You may well wish that you had.
CanadaPhysio is here to help. With many locations to serve your needs across Ontario, in Toronto, Scarborough, Whitby, Mississauga and London, our trained professionals can help you get back on track.