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After a car crash, your Ontario auto insurance should pay for medical care expenses, rehabilitation, attendant care, and lost wages, amongst other things. These benefits are available regardless of who caused the crash, and are available to you if your accident happened anywhere in Canada or the United States of America. 

The analysis should not stop there, however. Even though your Ontario benefits are available to you, you should ask whether there are better benefits available in the jurisdiction where your car crash happened.

If you are involved in a car crash in Michigan for example, you should ask:

    1. Are Michigan benefits a better option for me than Ontario benefits? and, if so,
    2. Can I claim benefits under the Michigan system rather than the Ontario system?

A quick comparison of certain Ontario and Michigan benefits shows that Michigan benefits are in some ways the better option than Ontario benefits:

Benefit

Ontario
(Statutory Accident Benefits)

Michigan
(Personal Injury Protection)

Income Protection

Up to 70% of lost wages, to a maximum of $400 per week.

Benefit available to retirement age, and for life with a ramp down.

Up to 85% of the income you would have earned if you had not been hurt, to a maximum of $5,700 per month.

Benefit available for up to three years.

Medical, Rehabilitation, and Attendant Care expenses

Coverage for reasonable necessary rehabilitation and medical expenses, subject to three tiers:

    $3,500, for 5 years;

    $65,000, for 5 years; or,

    $1,000,000.00 for life, for the catastrophically injured

Coverage for all reasonably necessary medical expenses, services, and accommodations for an injured person’s care, recovery, or rehabilitation:

    no maximum limit; and,

    for life.


As illustrated above, there is a difference between Ontario and Michigan for income protection for lost wages as a result of a car crash. Income Replacement Benefits in Ontario are potentially available for life, which may be a better option for a young worker disabled from their job and missing out on years of future earnings. Michigan’s income benefit, although more generous in the short term, is time limited to three years.

On the other hand, the Michigan benefits system has no monetary or time limit on medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care expenses. Compared to the Ontario system, which limits coverage based on definitions of injury, and sets a 5 year time limit on all but the most catastrophic cases, the Michigan system provides better coverage in the event of injury.

Ontario and Michigan benefits differ, and it is possible to claim benefits under the Michigan system if injured in a Michigan car crash.[3] Discussing your legal options with legal counsel will help in deciding which system best fits your case, and will best protect your rights over the long term.


[1] O. Reg. 34/10: Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, ss. 7, 15, 16, 19, and 23

[2] Mich. Comp. Laws § 500.3107

[3] O. Reg. 34/10: Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, s. 59(2)1.

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