Spotlight on SABS: The Basics of Ontario Auto Insurance Benefits 

This post kicks off a series on what you need to know about Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, with today’s post focusing on the basics of SABS.

What are the SABS?

Under Ontario’s no-fault auto insurance system, anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle collision is eligible for accident benefits under a piece of legislation called the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, more commonly known as SABS.

Who Can Receive Benefits Under the SABS?

SABS benefits are paid out to people hurt or killed in motor vehicle crashes in Ontario, regardless of whether you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, etc. and regardless of who was at fault for the collision.

What happens if you do not have any auto insurance yourself? The claim goes through the insurer of the vehicle that was involved.

What is the Purpose of the SABS?

The SABS are there to help you cope with the physical and financial consequences of your injury, and are designed to step in where coverage through OHIP ends. They are paid for by the auto insurer.

Benefits cover a wide range of expenses, from medical and rehabilitation expenses, income replacement, housekeeping costs, and many others. We’ll be covering specific types of benefits in upcoming posts.

Does Everyone Qualify for the Same Benefits Under SABS?

Although the SABS apply to anyone injured in a car accident in Ontario, the type and amount of benefits available are not universal. Two factors complicate things.

  1. How serious your injury is: Injuries can be categorized as minor, non-catastrophic, or catastrophic. Because they are the most serious, life-altering injuries, catastrophic injuries are eligible for the greatest number of benefits with the greatest amount of coverage.
  2. Whether optional accident benefits were purchased: Everyone who purchases an auto insurance policy in Ontario has at minimum, a Standard Auto Insurance Policy, which includes Statutory Accident Benefits coverage. But, you can purchase optional coverage that increases the eligibility and dollar amount of coverage for different types of benefits.

In our next post, we will begin looking at the different types of benefits under the SABS.