Proposed Benefit Reduction

No one expects to be injured in an accident. But if an accident resulting in injury occurs, your insurance benefits will be decreased under the new proposal.

Proposed changes

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, compensation for certain types of injuries is already capped under NS’s Minor Injury Regulation. What that means is if your injury is defined by the regulation as “minor” – no matter how you actually experience it – you are only entitled to a maximum of $9200 in compensation for your pain and suffering. The definition of “minor injury” includes many injuries that neither you nor your doctors would consider to be minor, but they are still capped. You can’t even go to the Courts to have your situation independently reviewed – the Courts are bound to uphold the law, and the minor injury regulation is the law. Only government has the power to change the system as it currently exists.

The system we have already greatly benefits insurers at the expense of auto accident victims. Now, they want more.

Proposed Reduction of the Minor Injury Cap Amount

The proposed change to the minor injury cap amount is an attack on victims’ rights and their dignity. The current minor injury cap is $9,300 and reflects the annual changes made to be in step with the Consumer Price index. Any reduction is outrageous.

Each year, your groceries cost more, your rent costs more, your car insurance cost more – why should your injury be worth less?

Proposed New Minor Injury Cap Definition

The proposed expanded definition of minor injury will capture far more significant injuries than the current definition. It will allow for mental health injuries to be captured by the minor injury definition. The expanded definition could also capture head injuries, concussion, and mild traumatic brain injuries which are clearly not minor injuries.

Proposed Changes to the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols

The proposal expands the definition Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols (“Protocols”) is a positive step for accident victims. However, the $1,000.00 maximum limit for dentist, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, counsellor services run contrary to the purpose of the Protocols.

Proposed Changes to the Mandatory Accident Benefits

Maximum coverage for specific treatment:

  • Chiropractic services: $1000
  • Massage therapy services: $350
  • Acupuncture services: $350

These therapies are often essential to the rehabilitation of accident victims. They are prescribed by family doctors and specialists throughout the province. It won’t matter under the change if your doctor says that you need these treatments to recover from your accident. You still won’t have the insurance coverage to fund them.

The proposed limit on certain therapies is an attack on the purpose of the Accident Benefits regime – to provide immediate recommended medical treatment to ensure victims can return to their activities of daily life and/or their work.

Putting a monetary limit on these treatments takes the treatment decisions away from your doctor and puts it in the hands of the insurance company. It reduces your access to the insurance coverage you are paying for without any consultation with your treatment team or recognition of the length of treatments you may need.