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  • Say “Happy Valentine’s Day”​ the Smart Way!

    February 2, 2017 by

    I don’t think there’s a better way to say “I love you” than to give that special someone their very own copy of Auto Insurance Coverage Law in Ontario. For those dark and lonely nights when your loved one wants

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    Ontario Auto Rates Steady In 2016 But Only After Benefit Cuts

    January 24, 2017 by

    FSCO’s latest quarterly rate approval numbers have been released and at least rates are holding steady for now. However, considering the statutory accident benefit cuts that became effective on June 1, 2016, consumers are getting less coverage but payi…

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  • Andrew Lo
    insBlogs Auto Technology

    Autonomous Vehicles: Will they arrive by 2020?

    January 20, 2017 by

    I just got back from CES 2017 and everyone was talking about autonomous vehicles. Regardless of whether you were a traditional technology maker or automaker, if you attended CES, you had autonomous vehicle tech to announce. Twelve months ago at

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    It’s Time For The Insurance Industry To Be Serious About Optional SABS

    December 10, 2016 by

    This week I was speaking to my insurance agent who preparing my renewals. I was asking her about how the optional benefits have been impacted by the regulatory changes that became effective on June 1st. During the conversation it came out that she only…

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  • insBlogs Auto Legal

    Another Ridesharing Policy, Another Underlying Risk

    December 9, 2016 by

    Another insurer has entered into Ontario’s ridesharing insurance market. Effective December 1, 2016, Northbridge Insurance provides ridesharing coverage for users of RideCo., a Waterloo Region-based ridesharing company. The new product seeks to fill existing coverage gaps under Ontario’s standard Ontario

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  • Off-Coverage Still Means On-Claims

    November 1, 2016 by

    A FSCO arbitrator has confirmed that the first insurer that receives a completed application for accident benefits is required to adjust and pay the claim, even if the insurer is taking an off-coverage position. Overview In Cankaya v. Intact /

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  • Peter Morris

    When do the changes to SABS take effect? It depends who you ask.

    October 19, 2016 by

    The changes to the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule introduced on June 1st, 2016, were complicated enough. Now, to make matters worse, there are mixed messages coming from the industry as to when policyholders are affected by these changes. For

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    Ontario Auto Insurance Rates Are Heading Back Up

    October 18, 2016 by

    FSCO’s latest quarterly rate approval numbers have been released and the news is not good for consumers. Half the savings as a result of statutory accident benefit cuts that became effective on June 1 are already gone. FSCO approved 25 private pa…

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    Early LAT Decisions Suggest Reforms May Be Working

    October 18, 2016 by

    Effective April 1, 2016, the Licence Appeal Tribunal began accepting applications to the new Automobile Accident Benefits Service (AABS) system with an aim to quickly resolve disagreements between individuals and insurance companies about statutory acc…

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    Will The New Ontario Fleet Definition Work?

    August 21, 2016 by

    As I reported previously, the Ontario government amended the fleet definition in Regulation 664 in early July.  The amended definition reads as follows:

    “fleet” means a group of not fewer than five automobiles that meets the following requirements:
    1. At least five of the automobiles in the group are commercial vehicles, public vehicles or vehicles used for business purposes.
    2. The automobiles in the group are,
    i. under common ownership or management, and any automobiles in the group that are subject to a lease agreement for a period in excess of 30 days are leased to the same insured person, or
    ii. available for hire through a common online-enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation, and insured under a contract of automobile insurance in which the automobile owner or lessee, as the case may be, has coverage as an insured named in the contract

    From my perspective, this is not an ideal resolution. However, it does fill in the insurance gap that has existed since Uber began providing its services in Toronto in 2012. One of the most important elements in the fleet definition has always been the requirement that there be common management. Common management is an element that is required in order for a group of vehicles to be considered a fleet, if they are not commonly owned or where they are owned by a leasing company. It refers to the fact that the owner or manager has a measure of control over the vehicles. A fleet is typically a discrete risk exposure whose experience and characteristics can be monitored and rated, and is affected by the actions of the owner or manager. The vehicles in a fleet are not individually rated as this is inconsistent with a key principle in fleet rating to establish a rate specific to the experience of the fleet. Usually, the manager of a fleet will implement rigorous risk management programs to monitor and improve experience and rating.

    None of these circumstance remotely exist when it comes to Uber drivers and their vehicles. They are network of drivers connected to customers through an app provided by Uber. Their is no common ownership or management. It suggest that once an Uber driver turns on the app on his phone, he or she becomes part of a fleet. That decision isn’t even made by Uber.

    Is this such a bad thing? It could be if it leads to further erosion of the fleet definition. The regulator has for years denied fleet policies because they failed to meet the test of common ownership or management. Will they be able to continue to push back against synthetic fleets? It would have been better, if the government had created a provision in the Insurance Act to deal specifically with transportation network companies. I expect it will take some time to determine whether the government and the insurance industry will regret the newly amended fleet definition.

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  • Willie Handler
    insBlogs Auto

    Ontario Auto Insurance Rates Remain Chronically High

    July 19, 2016 by

    FSCO’s latest quarterly rate approval numbers have been released and suggest that consumers will see very few savings the statutory accident benefit cuts that became effective on June 1.FSCO approved 14 private passenger automobile insurance rate filin…

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  • insBlogs Auto Legal Technology

    UberX Coverage Appears to be Intact

    July 11, 2016 by

    After months of uber anticipation, FSCO has approved a new fleet auto policy, from Intact, for private passenger vehicles engaged in UberX activities. The announcement comes days after Intact launched a similar product in Alberta. Background UberX is a Web-based

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  • Willie Handler

    New Ontario Towing and Storage Regulations Are Now In Effect

    July 8, 2016 by

    New regulations are now in effect if you repair, tow or store vehicles in Ontario. The new regulations under the Repair and Storage Liens Act took effect on July 1, 2016. Further regulations will come into force starting January 1, 2017. The follo…

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  • Willie Handler

    Ontario Changes Fleet Definition To Accommodate Ride Sharing

    July 7, 2016 by

    This week, the Ontario amended Regulation 664 to expand the definition of a fleet to accommodate ride-sharing services like Uber. The change opens the door for insurers to offer policies to drivers of vehicles for hire using an online app.

    The regulation amendment expands the fleet definition to include vehicles available for hire through a common online-enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation. The vehicle owner or lessee is to be named  insured under an auto insurance contract. The regulation change will make it easier for Ontario businesses to insure a group of privately owned vehicles under one insurance policy as a “fleet” when they are available for hire using an online app.

    FSCO has already approved a fleet policy proposed by Intact Insurance Company. The Intact policy provides blanket fleet coverage under a standard automobile owner’s policy (OAP 1) for private passenger automobiles used in the transportation of paying passengers who utilize Uber.
    The Intact fleet policy does not provide coverage when the driver is not logged onto the Uber online app. Coverage under the personal owner’s policy for the automobile is applicable.

    FSCO also approved the use of an electronic insurance card for use in connection with ride sharing. The electronic insurance card will permit ride share drivers who are covered under the Intact policy the option to provide evidence of insurance electronically using an online-enabled app (e.g., to law enforcement officials).

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