April 24, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has ‘welcomed’ the auto insurance changes Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa proposed Thursday in his budget document for 2015-16, while Unica Insurance Inc. is pleased the ruling Liberals plan to require insurers to give discounts to policyholders with winter tires.
The ruling Liberals said Thursday they plan to reduce the mandatory coverage that vehicle owners must purchase, to a combined total of $65,000 for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care expenses. Currently the mandatory coverage is $50,000 for medical and rehab and $36,000 for attendant care.
They also plan to change the mandatory coverage for catastrophic impairment, so that $1 million in coverage will include medical, rehab and attendant care. Currently, the mandatory coverage is $1 million for attendant care and $1 million for medical and rehab.
The changes proposed in the 2015-16 budget document “will remove excessive costs and this will result ultimately in lower premiums for Ontario’s 9.4 million drivers,” IBC suggested in a press release.
“Ontario is the most generous in Canada when it comes to providing coverage for auto insurance and we do want to continue to provide for consumer protection measures,” Sousa told reporters Thursday. “Winter tires is a prime example of how we can provide even greater discounts.”
The government now plans to mandate discounts for winter tires, but Sousa did not say what that discount would be.
“We strongly believe in providing Canadians with products that will not only provide them with the protection they require, but at a price that delivers good value,” stated Martin Delage, president and chief operating officer of Unica Insurance, in a press release reacting to the budget. “The Government of Ontario’s budget announcement related to an insurance discount on winter tires directly aligns with this.”
Unica said it already offers customers a 10% discount on their total premiums when they install four winter tires on their vehicles.
The Liberals also promised Thursday to “amend Insurance Act regulations to update the catastrophic impairment definition consistent with more up to date medical information and knowledge.” They have not decided what the new definition will be, but they promise to “continue to ensure, where possible, that insurance coverages reflect the most relevant scientific and medical knowledge on identifying and treating injuries from automobile accidents.”
Other measures announced in the budget include a plan to establish mandatory qualifications for condominium managers.
“The province will also be creating two administrative authorities to licence condominium managers and improve education and dispute resolution for condominium corporation boards and owners,” the government stated in the budget document.