Are Optional Benefits Really Optional?

Protect Your Self! Don’t end up injured, without help and broke!

Like most people, I am cost-sensitive and like reading up on who offers the cheapest car insurance. I always like to find the best bang for my buck, and insurance is often a difficult space to navigate. This is because ‘cheap insurance’ is often just that—you are getting what you pay for.

Because I work in the industry, I know what to look for in order to get the best coverage at the best price; And I am here to share some tips and tricks that you can use to save some money!

The question I get asked the most is ‘Are optional benefits in car insurance really optional?’. For starters, I would say no! Optional benefits are often what protects you in the event of an accident and if you don’t have them you could be in serious trouble.

Most standard insurance policies carry coverage for income replacement, liability coverage and medical/rehabilitation/attendant care benefits, etc. Most people who have a standard insurance policy that includes these think that standard coverages is more than enough—and unfortunately, they are often seriously wrong.

The worst part is, most people won’t know how misleading these statements are until they are injured and are faced with a harsh reality.

Here are some examples of how most standard policies will payout based on their generalized claims:

Income Replacement Benefits:

If you were in an accident and were unable to work the standard insurance payout is 70% of your weekly income to a maximum of $400/per week. If I was in an accident and my income decreased to $400 a week, I would be in a very challenging financial position, especially if it was for a significant period of time.

Liability Coverage

In the event that you cause an accident, your insurance would pay out a maximum of $1 million to all impacted. You would be responsible for anything over and above.

Sounds like plenty, right? Wrong.

Not only is it not enough when someone is catastrophically injured, but in the event that there are multiple people injured, that $1 million is the total maximum for all parties injured. If it is a 3-4 person accident that $1 million definitely won’t go far which leaves you on the hook for the balance.

Medical/Rehabilitation/ Attendant Care

The standard coverage is a maximum of $35,000 for a minor injury, $65,000 for a non-catastrophic injury, and $1 million for a catastrophic injury. This may also sound like a lot until you understand how expensive a non-catastrophic injury can be. Some services you made need are home attendant care, massage, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medications, and medical equipment such as braces, crutches, etc. It is also not uncommon for a significant injury to take years to fully heal. $65,000 spread over 3-4 years no longer sounds like a lot of money– especially if you don’t have a job with benefits.

It’s important for you to know that you have the option to increase the standard benefits before it is too late. As a clerk in a personal injury department, optional benefits are not optional for me!

Call your insurance company and protect yourself! Contact Millars Lawyers today when you Can’t Afford to Lose (519) 657-1LAW or

By: Shari Lamore

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