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Ontario Changes Basic Auto Insurance Coverage and Mandates Savings For Winter Tires

April 24, 2015

Ontario drivers will soon see changes to their auto insurance coverage. In a budget announcement on Thursday, the Ontario Liberals introduced reduced coverage for basic auto insurance benefits and catastrophic accidents coverage, while also announcing measures to help some drivers save on their premiums.

Here’s how the proposed changes will affect your coverage.

Basic Auto Insurance Benefits

Proposed: Medical and rehabilitation benefits combined as a single benefit with attendant care for a total of $65,000
Previous: $50,000 for medical and rehabilitation, and $36,000 for attendant care

Catastrophic Accidents Coverage

Proposed: Catastrophic accidents coverage for medical and rehabilitation now combined with attendant care to a limit of $1 million
Previous: $1 million for medical and rehabilitation, and $1 million for attendant care

Drivers can still purchase additional coverage up to $1 million for basic auto insurance benefits, and $2 million for catastrophic.

The definition of catastrophic impairment will also be updated to include contemporary medical and scientific information and knowledge. Specifics for this change are not yet available.

Some Drivers To See Savings

The budget breakdown also includes a few measures to reduce auto insurance premiums in Ontario for certain drivers. Again, specific details and criteria for the below measures are not yet available.

  • Insurance providers will be required to give a discount of at least 15 per cent to drivers with winter tires (check out our top 10 winter tires)
  • Insurance providers will no longer be permitted to automatically increase premiums for drivers involved in certain types of minor, at-fault accidents
  • Insurance providers must limit the maximum interest rate that some drivers pay on insurance premiums to 1.3 per cent, down from 3 per cent

What about that 15 per cent rate reduction plan?

There’s only four months until the Liberals hit their August 15 deadline, of which they promised to reduce auto insurance premiums in Ontario by a total of 15 per cent.

Right now the difference is sitting at seven per cent. Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the Liberals are “halfway there,” but admitted there’s more work to be done.

Opposition parties are not confident the Liberals will deliver. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Ontario has the lowest rate of accidents in the country, but pays the highest insurance premiums. She says savings “never trickles down to the drivers.”

In the meantime, Sousa recommended drivers looking to supplement the rate reduction take advantage of telematics programs, which provide drivers with significant discounts (five per cent immediately, and up to 25 per cent overall) if they agree to install a device in their car that monitors their driving habits.

Additionally, drivers can typically see immediate savings by switching providers. Compare auto insurance quotes on InsuranceHotline.com today to see if you could be getting a better rate.

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  • mrBean

    That would be close to the time the liberals need your vote in the next provincial election in 2018 – if Ontario still exists as we now know it then.

  • Dave Porter

    Where is the Nokian Nordman WR “All Weather ” tire highly recommended by Consumers Reports? Not to be confused with the All Season or (no season) tire. I have them and they are the best I have ever had for both Summer & Winter, and there is no expensive change over twice a year.

  • Dukeofargy

    WHERE is the discussion about the new car. Press the link, and come here, but no reference to new car …. that I can see.

  • Christopher R

    If I buy Winter Tires, tomorrow, call up my Insurance, they should give me 15% back, for me that is roughly $200, which I can use towards buying the winter tires, correct ?

  • James Wilkins

    I know, nothing about a new car, what a scam to get people to come here.

  • Tracker748

    I found it below buried in the link for

    Five Changes That Can Lower Car Insurance Rates

  • Tracker748

    It seems to be down the page, buried in the link for
    Five Changes That Can Lower Car Insurance Rates

  • Philip Hui

    I just receive my auto renewal notice from BelairDirect, without any claims and ticket last year, my premium increase by 12% comparing with last year, where should I supposed to complain :=(

  • eirescott@gmail.com

    More junk about auto insurance premiums. The FACT is; it should be a system of ZERO-profit to the insurer as it is mandatory and a necessary service. The LIES that are spun to appease us are astounding. That part about saving with a telematics device takes the cake. It is NOT to help the driver save; but to allow the Insurance company to spy on you – no matter what lies they tell you otherwise.

  • Kevin Smythe

    You complain by shopping around and looking for a better rate. You can probably find one pretty easily – companies often give better rates to new customers to increase their market share.

  • Kevin Smythe

    You’re more likely to see the difference at renewal, not right away. After all, you signed a contract to pay a certain rate for the full term. Of course, the contact has a way for the insurer to cancel your policy or increase premiums in case of accident during the life of the policy.

  • Kevin Smythe

    Wile I’m not an expert, I think “all-weather” and “winter” tires are different things. If the ratings are for winter tires only, then all-weather ones won’t be there.

  • Christopher R

    What I suspected !


    I’m a broker in Ontario so some advice…. check your coverages. Anything other than Liability, comp and collision can sometimes spike each year. Those three hold pretty solid, it’s the extra coverages that can increase each year by 10%-15% each. If you have rental car coverage, guaranteed replacement cost coverage, sometimes accident forgiveness gets more expensive too. Take a good look at everything you’ve got.


    No, they’ll give you a pro-rated amount back. If you end up saving $200, they’ll divide that by your remaining payments you owe to make all of those less expensive. So, if you’re paying $1200 a year and you have 10 payments left on your term, instead of paying $100 a month it’ll drop to $80 a month instead. They spread the saving over the remaining months you have left instead of just cutting you a cheque. You don’t have to wait until renewal. Trust me, i’m a broker.