Nothing generous about Ontario insurance benefits.

I noticed a letter to the editor in the Peterborough Examiner from Don Forgeron, Ontario Vice President for the Insurance Bureau of Canada. He makes this comment:

Alan Shanoff’s column on Ontario auto insurance does not tell the whole story. He wants accident victims to have unfettered access to the courts so they can sue at-fault drivers for pain and suffering.

But this would create a highly litigious and expensive auto insurance system that would force claims costs even higher.

He ignores the fact that Ontario drivers have fast access to an extremely generous set of accident benefits, paid by their own insurer, to cover medical rehab, lost income and other benefits.

My wife was in a rollover accident last July 16, when she was hit by a driver who went through a red light while on his cell phone. He walked away while she was taken to the hospital. She has been in constant pain, and unable to work ever since.

Let’s talk about Mr. Forgeron’s "generous benefits". Before my wife got a dime she had to use up all of her sick days and all of her extended health benefits. After she used up all of her benefits, they would only pay up to a maximum of $1800. At $91 per physical therapy visit and $60 per therapeutic massage, you do the math. If she was still in pain after that, too bad.

Her income replacement was capped at $400 per week, regardless of her salary. Not enough? Too bad. And that was only until her long term disability kicked in. After that she would get nothing. And I’m not sure what "other benefits" he was referring to.

And the whole time, the insurance company just kept telling us that "we needed to understand how the insurance industry worked". There was barely a hint of concern for what my wife was going through.

Of course the constant comment that "this is all legislation; there’s nothing we can do".And if my wife can never work again, not only will she have lost the only career she ever loved, but we won’t have her salary and the insurance company won’t care.

I’m not sure how Mr. Forgeron can possibly consider those benefits generous. Yes Ontarians pay some of the highest rates I’ve ever seen. And get virtually nothing in return.


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