With the upcoming government mandated Automobile Accident Benefits Reform effective June 1st 2016 we at Pacific Insurance Broker Inc. thought it would be a great time to quickly go over some additional optional accident benefits that you may want to consider adding on to your automobile insurance policy.
A better resource on the changes that are coming with the June 1st 2016 automobile insurance reform can be found in a previous blog post here. This post however will not be going over the changes as a result of the reform but instead will shed some light on some other optional accident benefits.
What Are The Other Optional Accident Benefits?
- Income Replacement Benefit
This benefit pays 70% of your gross income of up to $400 a week if you suffer an injury that prevents you from working as a result of an accident. Although the income replacement benefit is already included as a standard accident benefit, you have the option to buy up to increase this weekly limit to $600, $800, or $1,000.
- Caregiver Benefit
Caregiver benefits are only available for catastrophic injuries and pay up to $250 per week for the first dependant plus $50 for each additional dependant. You may purchase the option to include this coverage for all injuries.
- Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses
Housekeeping and home maintenance expenses benefits are only available for catastrophic injuries and cover up to $100 per week, as the name suggests, for housekeeping and home maintenance expenses. You may purchase the option to also include this coverage for all injuries.
- Death and Funeral Benefit
Pays a lump sum of $25,000 to an eligible spouse; $10,000 lump sum to each dependant; and a maximum of $6,000 for funeral expenses. An option to increase the payments to $50,000 to an eligible spouse and $20,000 to dependants as well as $8,000 for funeral benefits is available.
- Dependent Care benefit
An option to purchase this benefit to cover up to $75 per week for the first dependant and $25 per week for each additional dependant up to a maximum of $150 per week is available for expenses resulting in you unable to provide proper care for your dependants.
- Indexation Benefit
An option is available to purchase this benefit which will cover annual inflation adjustments to many accident benefits.
- Tort Deductible
A tort deductible of ~$40,000 is applied for court awarded compensation for pain and suffering. However an option to reduce this deductible by $10,000 is available.
Why Should I Purchase Optional Benefits?
Optional benefits are great because they give you the choice of receiving more benefits if you need them. Not all people need to purchase additional benefits as the standard benefits are enough, however the opposite is also true. Some people require more coverage. Optional benefits allow for a greater variety of coverages to be available without boxing everyone into paying for additional coverages that they may not need. For example generally, people who make more than $575 a week in gross income should purchase the additional income replacement benefit as you will not be fully compensated in the event of an accident. The reverse is also true, if you don’t make more than that then it is advised that you don’t purchase additional income replacement benefits because you won’t meet the $400 maximum anyway.
We hope this clears up some questions on what other optional benefits are available to you so that you can have a better understanding of the coverages you need. Everyone has a different situation and it is always advised to ensure that you are adequately protected, seek the professional advice of a qualified insurance broker who can advise you on the coverages you need. The best time to do this is before your next renewal.