A provincial election in Ontario is expected to take place within the next six months. In the lead up to that election, it is a safe bet that all three parties will make a number of promises as to how…Read more →
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 →
When it comes to the valuation of insurance brokerages, is the going rate driven up by the presence of insurance companies as potential purchasers? Certainly this is the feeling of many within the brokerage community. Just because many people believe…Read more →
A recent press release from a B.C. brokerage was entitled, Automated online office insurance could make brokers redundant. The press release itself dealt with the introduction of an automated system that allows owners of small businesses to buy and download…Read more →
When is a flood a flood? In Parker Pad & Printing Ltd. v. Gore Mutual Insurance Company, the plaintiff’s premises in Haliburton, Ontario were flooded during a severe rainfall. The rainfall resulted in large pools of water collecting outside of…Read more →
Whenever a new technology emerges, there is always the question as to whether it will assist or threaten existing industries. With the surge in activity from fintechs, the property and casualty insurance industry is facing this question on a number…Read more →
Without a crystal ball it’s hard to know whether any technological innovation will live up to the early hype. Such is the case with blockchain technology. While some insurance industry analysts see great promise in this emerging technology, others have…Read more →
Moral hazard can be found in many places but, ironically, much of it is created by the very existence of insurance. What’s more, outside sources of moral hazard can affect insurance – and insurers – greatly (though usually indirectly). According…Read more →
The so-called “age of the customer” we live in is driven by several factors, especially technologies such as smartphones and mobile apps that put more control and choice into customers’ hands than ever before. Forrester Research has dubbed this phenomenon…Read more →
When the CEO of the largest insurance company in the country warns of a risk that could take down the industry, it’s time to take notice. In an article published in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, Charles Brindamour,…Read more →
This summer, the threat of a labour stoppage at Canada Post has caused many people and institutions to reconsider just how crucial mail delivery is to their business. In the insurance industry, we have already taken great strides to minimize…Read more →
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).Read more →
The Ontario government should establish a new organization that would perform the functions currently performed by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO), an expert advisory panel said in a report released Monday.
The panel recommends that a new Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) be established, and it should exercise both prudential and market conduct functions. The panel – comprised of George Cooke, James Daw and Lawrence Ritchie – made its recommendation to create FSRA in an interim report released in November, 2015. The final report, dated March 31, was made public Monday and contains 44 recommendations.
The mandate review was partly made necessary with the transfer of responsibility for operating an auto insurance dispute resolution system from FSCO to Ministry of the Attorney General’s Licence Appeal Tribunal on April 1, 2016.
The report suggests that FSRA should consolidate functions, but it should have separate divisions for the regulation of market conduct; prudential oversight; and pension administration. These divisions of the regulator should operate in a coordinated manner, but each division should be insulated from the routine regulatory activities, pressures and resource demands of other divisions.
FSRA should be a self-funded corporation without share capital, operationally independent of government, yet accountable to the Legislature through the Minister of Finance. The FSRA should be outside of the Ontario Public Service and be empowered to hire its personnel from outside of the Ontario Public Service’s collective agreements, compensation restraints, and other hiring restraints to support its ability to recruit professionals and industry expertise as it deems necessary.
FSRA should have a skills-based Board of Directors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board would oversee FSRA’s operations and the Board should have the authority to appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board Chair should report directly to the Minister of Finance.
FSRA’s Board should be given authority to make rules that would be enforceable pursuant to the statute, having a similar authority as Cabinet Regulations.
Auto Insurance Rate Regulation
The panel did not make any recommendations with respect to the prior approval of auto insurance. However, it did recommend that FSRA’s Board should be obliged and empowered to decide how auto insurance rates are to be regulated and make use of its rule-making authority to scope out a rate approval process.
The view of the panel is that when it comes to the regulation of automobile insurance rates, FSCO is not ultimately protecting the public interest or enhancing confidence in the sector.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
The panel recommends that responsibility for operating the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) be transferred to the Facility Association (FA), a non-profit organization funded by automobile insurers in the provinces and territories that operate private insurance systems. This responsibility would fit well with the FA’s original purpose, which is to act as the ‘insurer of last resort’ for high-risk drivers. The FA already operates uninsured motorist funds similar to the MVACF in the Atlantic Provinces.
The panel indicated that the new mandate should require FSRA to utilize its statutory authorities to adequately, firmly and consistently discourage fraudulent activities or behaviours that mislead or harm consumers and pension plan beneficiaries.
FSRA should be directed to identify and seek to eliminate gaps in protection for consumers who might be defrauded by licensed sales agents, brokers and corporations. FSRA should also have the authority to establish a fraud compensation fund such as exists in Quebec if or where enhancements to mandatory insurance coverage would not fully close current gaps.
There is no word from the government on implementing the panel’s recommendations.Read more →
In two weeks, I will be at the IASA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. I’ll be on Panel 674, talking about “True Customer Centricity” (and our 2015 study, “Capturing hearts, minds and market share“), but of course will also be discussing our new study, “Cyber and beyond”, which will be published during the conference. […]Read more →