From NOW Journal’s Reasonable Doubt column: Car insurance has been a tough puzzle for Ontario governments. 1000’s of individuals are severely injured every year in car accidents and lots of are killed. The majority of those accident are preventable and brought on by driver negligence or recklessness, significantly distracted driving.
In 2013, a minority Liberal authorities wanted the assist of the NDP to move their funds. The NDP compelled the Liberals to vow a 15 per cent discount to auto insurance premiums. The proposed reduce would have saved the typical Ontario family $225 per yr.
The NDP and Liberals have been proper to be involved about car insurance premiums. Ontario has the best charges in the complete nation regardless of having eliminated practically all of car accident victims’ rights to compensation.
An auto insurance system must be arduous on reckless drivers and supply full assist and compensation for accident victims whereas rooting out and punishing fraud. That isn’t the strategy taken in Ontario.
Ontario has a largely “no-fault” auto insurance scheme, which means the federal government has eliminated the best to compensation for the overwhelming majority of victims injured in car accidents.
Earlier than somebody injured in a car accident can obtain compensation for his or her ache and struggling or future medical bills they need to first have suffered a damage that causes a “severe and everlasting” impairment – a excessive threshold to satisfy. This threshold removes the best to sue for the overwhelming majority of individuals injured in a car accident. There’s additionally a deductible for ache and struggling damages in all however probably the most severe accidents.
For the reason that Liberals’ 2013 promise to scale back charges, accident sufferer rights have been eroded a number of occasions.
In 2015, the Liberal authorities elevated the deductible from $30,000 to be listed with inflation, making it now $37,983 on ache and struggling awards. Because of this in case you are awarded $40,000 in ache and struggling damages, you then solely obtain $2,017. In case you are awarded $30,000 in ache and struggling damages, you then obtain nothing regardless of having suffered a severe and everlasting damage.
In 2016, the Liberals reduce advantages once more, with remedy funds for catastrophically injured individuals – akin to individuals with extreme mind accidents or quadriplegia – being reduce in half. Liberals additionally restricted remedy funding for individuals with whiplash – even individuals who have developed lifelong and disabling neck and again accidents – to $3,500.