What are Section B Benefits?
Section B benefits are the section of your insurance policy dealing with accident benefits. In Alberta, you are entitled, by law, to certain basic accident benefits through your insurer regardless of the level of insurance coverage you purchased and regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
If you have private medical benefits, such as extended health care coverage through your employer, you are required to exhaust those benefits before utilizing your Section B benefits through your automobile insurer.
To be eligible for Section B benefits, you must notify your insurance company of the accident within 30 days of the accident and return the forms requested by your insurance company within 90 days. Even if you missed these deadlines, contact your insurance company as you may still be able to receive benefits.
What do Section B Benefits Cover?
Section B or accident benefits are broken into two parts: medical benefits and disability benefits.
Section B Medical Benefits
Medical benefits include:
- Cost of chiropractic treatments, up to $1000.00;
- Cost of massage therapy treatments, up to $350.00;
- Cost of acupuncture treatments, up to $350.00; and
- All reasonable expenses incurred within two (2) years from the date of the accident as a result of your injuries, up to $50,000.00. These expenses may include necessary medical, surgical, dental, hospital, psychological, occupational therapy, professional nursing, and ambulance services.
For an expense to be considered “reasonable” by your insurer it must be approved by your treatment provider(s) and, in the opinion of your treatment provider(s), essential for the treatment or rehabilitation of your injuries. Your insurer is entitled to send you to a physician of their choosing for an independent medical examination to determine whether a particular treatment is essential.
Section B Disability Benefits
If you are unable to work as a result of an accident, for a period longer than seven (7) days, you are entitled to a weekly benefit. The weekly benefit is the lesser of $600 per week or 80% of your average weekly earnings.
To be eligible for this benefit, you must have worked a minimum of six (6) months in the year preceding the accident.
If you were not employed at the time of the accident and are unable to perform any of your household duties as a result of the accident, for a period longer than seven (7) days, you may be entitled to a weekly benefit of $200.00 per week up to a maximum of 104 weeks.
Do I have Section B benefits if I wasn’t the driver?
If you were a passenger in a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are covered through the driver’s insurance policy.
If you were a pedestrian hit by a vehicle, you are covered through the insurance policy of the driver who hit you.
If you were hit by an uninsured or unknown driver, you are covered through your own insurance policy. If you don’t have insurance, you may be entitled to apply for benefits through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC).