Auto Insurance Changes Effective September 1, 2010: Justice Restored in Fatality Claims

This is the second of a series where Patrick Brown discusses the upcoming changes to auto insurance.

The Ontario Government has now stepped up and restored both dignity and respect to the senior community and those families that have lost a loved one at the hands of a bad driver.

The Minister of Finance announced that effective September 1, 20010, the deductible in auto related wrongful death cases will be eliminated.  The right to a grandparent to receive compensation when they lose a grandchild will be restored.  As well, grandchildren will also be able to advance meaningful claims for compensation when they lose a grandparent to a negligent driver.

The present law provides insurance companies the legal entitlement to reduce wrongful death awards by $15,000 per claimant where the claims are less than $50,000.  In many cases, this can be big money flowing back to the insurance company.

Take for example, Glenna Nelson.  Glenna was a dynamic and giving person who was killed when her car was run off the road by a transport truck.  Glenna’s family, including her grandchildren, had $185,000 in deductibles taken away from them and given back to the insurance company under this unjust law.

As well, the same deductible was used to reduce the entitlement of the Carriere family after Ryan Carriere was killed by a truck while riding his bike home.

The new change was a result of strong lobbying efforts by individuals such as Stephen Nelson [son of Glenna Nelson], victim groups, the United Senior Citizens of Ontario, cycling advocates (ARC) and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.

Thanks to these organizations, the injustice that fell upon the Nelson and Carriere families and many others will hopefully never happen again.

Patrick Brown


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