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Amendments to the Insurance Act

September 1st, 2015

The amendments to the Insurance Act and its regulations, increasing the amount of the statutory deductibles in motor vehicle accident cases, took effect as of August 1, 2015.

The legislative amendments made are as follows:

•Deductible for non-pecuniary damages:$36,540 (increased from $30,000)

•Deductible for Family Law Act damages:$18,270 (increased from $15,000)

•Deductible threshold for non-pecuniary damages: $121,799 (increased from $100,000)

•Deductible threshold for Family Law Act damages: $60,899 (increased from $50,000)

The deductibles will be indexed for inflation annually on January 1st, commencing in 2016.

Section 267.5(9) of the Insurance Act has been amended to provide that costs are to be determined “with regard” to the effect of the deductible (i.e. costs will now be awarded having regard to damages net of the deductible).

It is not yet clear whether the amendments will apply retroactively to existing actions.  Counsel engaged in settlement discussions will have to ensure that their clients are fully advised of this ambiguity in the law until further direction is received from the Court.