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The term ‘no-fault’ in no-fault insurance does not mean no one is at fault in a motor vehicle accident. Rather, it means that regardless of fault, you are entitled to certain accident benefits through your insurance. The driver of a vehicle, a passenger, and even a pedestrian injured in the course of a motor vehicle accident can apply to their own auto-insurance for benefits.
The standard benefits available after a car accident include medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses, income replacement, caregiver benefits, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, and death and funeral benefits. The amount you may be entitled to depends on how your injury is classified and what is deemed a necessary and reasonable expense. Maximum benefit amounts are not applied automatically. They are applied with regard to the type of treatment that a specific insured requires.
Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care Expenses
Medical and rehabilitation expenses cover treatment expenses such as physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic treatments. Attendant care expenses allow insureds who have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident to be reimbursed for the expense of hiring an attendant to help with day-to-day functions. The maximum amount available for the attendant care benefit is combined with the maximum amount available for medical and rehabilitation expenses. For minor injuries, the maximum benefit is $3,500; for non-catastrophic injuries, the maximum benefit is $65,000; and for catastrophic injuries, the maximum benefit is $1,000,000.
Income Replacement Benefit
If you cannot work as the result of a motor vehicle accident, the income replacement benefit provides that you are entitled to 70% of your gross income, to a maximum of $400/week.
Caregiver benefits may apply if you have a dependent and can no longer provide care for them as a result of your injury. This benefit is designed to allow you to hire someone to care for your dependent. The benefit is $250 per week for the first dependent, plus $50 per week for additional dependents. This benefit is only available for catastrophic injuries.
Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses
Similarly, housekeeping and home maintenance benefits are only available to those who have been catastrophically injured. These benefits are intended to allow you to hire someone to perform housekeeping duties. The maximum benefit is $100 per week.
Death and Funeral Benefits
Lastly, if the insured dies as a result of the motor vehicle accident, standard accident benefits provide for a maximum of $6,000 for funeral costs, as well as a lump sum of $25,000 to an eligible spouse, and a lump sum of $10,000 to each dependent.
In addition to each of these standard benefits, an insured can purchase optional insurance benefits that go above and beyond the standard amounts. When you are considering renewing your insurance policy, make sure to check out the different options available and see what works best for you.
Shernaz Patel is a recent graduate of Western Law with a Certificate in Global Sustainability. Prior to law school, Shernaz was a student-athlete, earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies while competing at the national level in the sport of competitive swimming. Connect with Shernaz on Linkedin.