• Peter Morris

    The potential risks for insurers and consumers who spurn telematics

    December 21, 2017 by

    Not everyone has embraced telematics. It was reported the other day that at least one insurer has been told by its brokerage force that their customers are ‘not fans of telematics’. Carol Jardine, chief strategy office for Wawanesa, is quoted

    Read more →
  • insBlogs Auto

    David Marshall’s report on auto insurance, Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered.

    December 6, 2017 by
    Back in April, David Marshall’s report on auto insurance, Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered was submitted to the Minister of Finance. What followed was a consultation process, in which that I participated. On December 5, 2017, the government announced their plan to address fraud and high premiums. I was relieved to see that Marshall’s recommendation to create an independent evaluation centre network in public hospitals was abandoned. This is an op-ed piece I wrote, which was published in the Toronto Star in October that dealt with this specific issue.

    Ontario’s crowded hospitals don’t need even more exams

    Attempts by the province of Ontario to fix auto insurance could well end up causing more harm than good to the health care system.
    Now, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. And that’s nobody’s intention. But we’d all have to live with the result.
    Here’s how we got here: The provincial government is considering a round of reforms for auto insurance in Ontario, unfortunately without basing those decisions on decent data, evidence or analysis. If adopted, the end result is going to send more people, not fewer, to hospitals, and all at a time when overcrowding is already at crisis levels in the province.
    We didn’t start out with a flawed system. Most people would agree that the introduction of no-fault auto insurance in Ontario was the right thing to do. Ontario drivers deserve an affordable system that provides coverage and protects accident victims and that’s what they got.
    It didn’t last. The insurance industry began to pressure government to make changes. Political pressure then led to successive governments adopting half-baked, knee-jerk solutions to auto-insurance delivery — anti-fraud measures were implemented, a licensing regime was created, a new dispute resolution system was put in place, basic accident benefit coverage was reduced.
    Since 2010, there have been more than 30 changes to auto insurance regulations, most, if not all, with the intention of lowering costs. Few people will suggest the system has actually been improved in that time.
    The government is now considering another round of reforms. This time it’s through David Marshall’s report on auto insurance, Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered.
    But these changes, if adopted, will be no more successful than the previous reforms. One of the most alarming is the suggestion that medical exams, when required after an accident — which are currently done in independent medical centres — should happen in hospitals.

    That is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Actually, it’s worse than that. It’s trying to fix one system while hurting a far more essential one. Current OHIP patients typically wait six to 30 months to see a specialist for an assessment. According to a recent story in the Toronto Star, it now takes 30.4 hours to be placed in an inpatient bed from the emergency department in the province. That’s the longest it’s ever been. There’s no way this helps with that problem.
    I had the lead in developing and introducing the system which saw independent medical assessments being done as part of auto insurance claims, back in 1994. In the beginning, some were conducted in hospitals.
    That didn’t last. While hospitals have different needs and resources, some could make better use of the space required, while others may not have had the patient volume to justify offering the assessments. Still more may have had trouble simply finding assessors. On the whole, hospitals decided on their own their resources were needed elsewhere. There’s no doubt that’s true.
    The other troubling recommendation the province is considering is a proposal to adopt a controversial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board model for auto insurance medical exams. The systems aren’t transferable. For example, the examiners in the WSIB system don’t appear as witnesses in disputes. But disputes are built into auto insurance claims. As a result, the proposed changes have the potential to add another layer of assessments and costs.
    Changes can and should be made to auto insurance in the province. It would be better for the province to focus on standards for those who conduct the independent examinations — something that has been recommended many times in the past. But that’s one change that’s never been made.
    The Marshall report indicates that this is “an opportunity to learn from past experience and fix the problems in the current auto insurance delivery system.”
    I don’t see that happening. Instead, I believe that implementing this report would repeat past errors. We’ve had enough of those already.
    Read more →
  • Andrew Lo

    Optimizing Human-Digital Interaction is Key to InsurTech Success

    November 13, 2017 by

    The insurance industry is pouring billions of dollars into disruptive InsurTech development in the hopes of meeting rapidly changing customer expectations that have been moulded by the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google. And, as these companies continue to change

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger
    insBlogs Auto Legal

    Minnesota is an “Inadequately Insured Motorist”

    September 14, 2017 by

    The Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that a Minnesota tortfeasor with only $500,000 liability limits is an “inadequately insured motorist” under the Family Protection Endorsement (OPCF 44R) in Ontario, where the 44R limits are $1 million. In Hartley v.

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger

    Trip and Fall? Better Land on a Car

    July 24, 2017 by

    The License Appeal Tribunal has held that a person who tripped over stone blocks and fell into a parked Honda vehicle was involved in an “accident”, making him entitled to receive accident benefit under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. In

    Read more →
  • Steve Kee
    insBlogs Auto Fraud

    The cost of automobile insurance fraud

    June 9, 2017 by

    In 2015, auto insurance fraud cost Ontario consumers an estimated $1.3 billion – 13% of total auto insurance premiums. This considerable cost suggests that thousands of people are committing this type of crime. How do the perpetrators commit fraud? Exaggerating

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger

    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.

    Read more →
  • 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

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger

    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

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger

    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.

    Read more →
  • Daniel Strigberger

    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

    Read more →
  • 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…

    Read more →
  • 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

    Read more →
  • 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…

    Read more →