Vehicle insurance can cover several different components when it comes to a collision. It can cover the cost of the damages to the vehicle. Most importantly it can cover the losses due to pain and suffering. How much depends on a lot of factors.
It is really important that Insured Canadians understand their vehicle insurance coverage. Especially when compared to other countries like the USA.
Also, whether one is settling on an insurance claim needs consideration. Or whether they are going to sue for damages due to pain and suffering.
What Does the Government Say About Pain and Suffering as a Result of a Vehicle Accident?
Insurance companies have specific rules and regulations put in place by the government. These are not optional. One of these rules is the Pain and Suffering Cap. However, this is something that is applicable if there were going to be a lawsuit.
Pain and Suffering Cap
It is the maximum amount set that the Courts in Canada will allow for a pain and suffering claim. It amounts to $100,000. However, it could be higher based on inflation. Some indicate that it can be between $310,000. To $325,000. Keep in mind that each province has their regulations as well. These will vary.
Determining General Damages
There are so many different types of injuries that can take place in an auto collision. It created a need for categorising these various injuries. One classification is minor injuries. The government has regulations in place based on injury criteria. It is very complex, and to many, it seems unfair.
There is a $30,000 deductible that is in place for pain and suffering claims. An insurance company will probably access the general damages. They will determine how much these amount to. If the amount is over the deductible, then they would decide how much they were going to pay for the general damages.
It may be that if the general damages assessment is over $100,000. then the deductible may not be in force.
The Threshold for Pain and Suffering
Many of the accidents that take place in Ontario only create minor injuries. However, there are also a lot where injuries are severe and cause a great deal of pain and suffering. The government has set some guidelines based on this.
Claims for pain and suffering must meet the following criteria…
- The person in the accident has died
- Or, has disfigurement that is serious and permanent as a result of the accident
- Or an impairment that comprised of a psychological, mental, or physical that is permanent and serious.
If any of these conditions aren’t met then usually there is no compensation for pain and suffering.
How are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
It will depend on who is doing the calculating. If it is a lawsuit, the lawyers will try to do the calculations. The insurance companies have their criteria. The injuries have to be severe to justify a pain and suffering claim. Then over and above this would be the $30,000. Deductible which comes into play for Ontario insured drivers.
The legal system relies on charts of information. It is to determine the worth of pain and suffering for an individual. It is possible that insurance companies may refer to these as well. They may do this when deciding to make a settlement claim. However, every Insurance Company has their methods. They will use these to determine the payout of claims.
How Can You Protect Yourself
It is complex to make a claim for pain and suffering. It creates a concern for drivers. There may be other ways that can help to offset the effects of pain and suffering on a monetary level.
Be Aware of Insurance Policy Changes
The regulations for Insurance can change at any given time. Everyone who has vehicle insurance should make themselves aware of these changes. They should immediately determine if and how they are going to affect them. It allows them to take additional steps to help offset the changes if they are negative.
Understanding the Different Categories of Insurance
It is essential a better understanding of the different categories of insurance. It will help you make informed decisions. Keep in mind that essential vehicle insurance is mandatory throughout Canada.
Some of the Insurance categories include…
It can include various types of insurance coverage. Such as medical and funeral expenses, income replacement and care expenses for example.
Becoming insurance savvy will help you know what options are available with vehicle insurance. There are strict limitations on pain and suffering claims. More coverage may be necessary to a driver.
- Increased Liability
- Increased Accident Benefits
There may also be options to enhance your insurance coverage through add-ons. These include insurance for rental vehicles and reduction of vehicle depreciation. These are just a few examples of extra insurance enhancements.
Shopping for Insurance
Shopping the right way for insurance is advantageous. It is in addition to knowing about extra protection. It includes doing comparisons. Getting insurance quotes is a starting point. Then comparing these quotes is another. These combined with being knowledgeable and asking the right questions is good insurance shopping.
The restrictions placed on pain and suffering claims is distressing. However, offsetting it may be possible with all of the available options. What many find is that taking on some of the extra options doesn’t increase the premiums all that much. If one compares to how these can compensate for pain and suffering it makes the extra cost well worth it.
Planning for the right insurance before having to use it can be extremely beneficial. Especially, if the time comes that a claim is made. Knowing it is going to meet the needs is a big stress reducer. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to shop the right way for insurance. Those that have done so can testify to how advantageous this has been for them. Especially when they needed to rely on coverage.