Auto

  • Agreement, not Form, decides Coverage

    May 11, 2017 by

    The Ontario Court of Appeal has released an interesting (from an insurance perspective) decision on whether an insurer’s failure to use a prescribed form invalidates an otherwise proper agreement between an insurer and insured. In Royal & Sun Alliance v.

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  • Peter Morris

    When is a road-building machine not a road-building machine? Ontario brokers need to know.

    May 2, 2017 by

    For Ontario brokers who thought they could rest easy after a year of dealing with the changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, I’m afraid your prayers have not entirely been answered. Effective July 1st, the Highway Traffic Act in

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  • Coffee Cup Coverage Case Causes Concern

    March 23, 2017 by

    I recently read a Superior Court decision about a woman who burned herself with hot coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through. Sound familiar? This case has nothing to do with the notorious hot coffee tort case in the U.S. that made

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  • ATVs, Automobiles, and Jurisdictions (Oh My!)

    March 6, 2017 by

    Does an ATV become an “automobile” under Ontario insurance law if it is involved in an accident outside Ontario? In Benson v. Belair, an Ontario resident fell off the back of an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in Fort Nelson, British Columbia.

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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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