Ontario Changes Classification of a Catastrophic Injury

Last Updated:
March 22, 2019
Karen Spencer
Time to Read:

It has nearly been a full year since the Ontario government issued a number of automobile insurance reform to Statutory Accident Benefits.

Over the past year, you received a notice with your policy renewal outlining these changes and the optional benefits available.

Along with media announcements, we at Scrivens have been working diligently to ensure you have all the accurate information for you to make informed decisions regarding the optional accident benefits coverage.

Since June 1, 2016, nearly 50 per cent of Automobile policyholders at Scrivens have opted to include additional Optional Benefits they feel applies to their lifestyles. We understand not all benefits are necessary for ALL policyholders and some may require only one addition while other may require more.

We highly recommend, at the very least, ALL POLICYHOLDERS consider increasing coverage under Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care to Non-Catastrophic: $1 million and Catastrophic: $2 million.

Not only have the standard limits been reduced but the provincial government has changed how injuries are classified as "catastrophic".

Injuries deemed catastrophic under prior terms may very well be determined to be non-catastrophic as a result of this change.

This means the same injury would have significantly less benefits now than in the past. The standard benefit limit of $65,000 is often insufficient for the recovery of many serious injuries.

Your change in lifestyle or life events may require you to revisit and amend your previous choices. For example, when you reviewed your Optional Accident Benefits previously you may have been single. Since then you got married and have started a family. Would you consider Caregiver Coverage a valuable option? Or Dependant Care Coverage in the event you or the primary caregiver of your child was injured in a motor vehicle accident?

It is crucial that each and every year your automobile policy is up for renewal, you review the changes in your household and ensure the coverage on your policy provides you and your family with the necessary benefits if you suffer an injury from a motor vehicle accident.

A Catastrophic Injury Occurs If One Of The Following Applies:

  • Para- or Tetraplegia
  • Severe impairment of ambulatory mobility or use of arm, or amputation
  • Loss of vision of both eyes
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Physical impairment of combination of physical impairment which results in 55% or more of whole person
  • Mental/behavioural impairment combined with physical impairment of 55% of body
  • A "Class 4" impairment in 3 or more areas of function of "Class 5" in one area of function.

Additional criteria may apply. Refer to Application for Determination of Catastrophic Impairment (OCF-19) or speak with your broker today.

To ensure you have the appropriate coverage for you and your family, contact your broker at (613) 236-9101.