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 →
As technology evolves quickly, the terminology to describe it – and the ways in which we implement it – evolves even faster. Remember when the insurance industry first discussed “digital strategies,” only to be told shortly thereafter that because all…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 →
“Get a horse!” people would yell in the early 1900’s as motorized vehicles were starting to gain in popularity. The majority of the population would not believe or could not understand that the trusted horse used for over 1,000 years…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 →
ICLR has just released its latest five-year plan, which sets out the Institute’s research and engagement strategy for the period 2017 through 2021. Over the plan period, ICLR will continue to focus on providing research that supports action by public…Read more →
Since launching this blog in 2014, I’ve written a great deal about statistics and market research, particularly related to evolving insurance consumers, especially those of the millennial generation (those born between 1977 and 2004) and how our industry can leverage…Read more →
As the marketplace becomes ever more digital, it becomes increasingly easy for consumers to engage in comparison-shopping. This is true for a wide range of products and services. It is certainly true when it comes to many types of insurance.…Read more →
InsurTech (Insurance Technology) is a hot topic in the insurance community these days. But how significant is the digital trend and how urgently do we have to respond? The recent Insurance-Canada.ca Executive Forum (ICEF2016) provided insight. What do we do…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 →
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 →
We often marvel at the speed of technological advancement, but every so often one development stands out. Consider that just eight years after Steve Jobs introduced the App Store, mobile apps may become much less prevalent than today. Their replacement:…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 →
“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” – Oscar Wilde Clearly, Mr. Wilde – expert as he was at crafting witticisms – never spent any time in an insurance office. Our industry has a longstanding history…Read more →