By: Luke Jones, Published on May 25, 2016 08:31 PM, Last Update on May 31, 2016 02:04 PM
There are significant reforms to the auto insurance industry coming to Ontario on June 1, but consumers remain largely unaware of the changes. That’s according to a survey from the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) which commissioned a survey By Bond Brand Loyalty.
1,000 Ontarian participated in the survey and the results found that around four in 10 respondents are unaware of the changes, with 42% unclear on the upcoming reforms. The changes aim to make the accident claims benefits rules clearer while providing more choice for consumers, while also helping the province reach its rate reduction targets.
Some have criticized the reforms, especially claims benefits changes that could leave consumers under-covered in the event of a collision. A lot of consumers remain unaware of the changes, even though they will be put into action in one week, while others know about the reforms but not the specific details.
“Less than one in five can cite specific changes within the legislation. Not surprisingly, virtually all respondents are in favor of insurers not being able to increase rates for minor accidents,” states the survey report, IBAO 2016 Consumer Survey.
“Given these changes to the auto insurance product, its crucial consumers understand the significance and the cost to buy-back enhanced Accident Benefit limits,” Doug Heaman, IBAO president, emphasizes in the statement.
The IBAO urges customers to become more aware and to seek professional advice from brokers and insurance providers, especially to find out about changes to accident benefits. Consumers now need to pay to increase benefit level, but the cost is not expensive, according to Heaman.
“Once an accident occurs, it is too late to make changes to your insurance coverage to increase the benefits payable to the injured party,” Leonard Kunka, partner at Thomson, Rogers, notes in a separate statement. “People need to seriously consider buying optional accident benefits coverage, which provides additional levels of protection for people injured in a motor vehicle accident,” Kunka recommends.