It’s not easy to find enthusiastic supporters of Ontario’s auto insurance industry: from policyholders who believe their premiums are too high to car accident lawyers worried about drastic cuts to accident benefits, the system has room for improvement in numerous areas.
In 2015, the provincial government sought to identify solutions for some of these issues by enlisting David Marshall, the former CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, as a special advisor to Finance Minister Charles Souza. Marshall observed and analyzed the industry over the next two years, and in April 2017 published his report titled Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered. We discussed this report and its impact on car accident lawyers and their clients in May.
Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered described an industry “filled with disputes and inefficiencies” and that struggled to reduce costs to consumers.
“Overall,” Marshall wrote, “Ontario has one of the lowest levels of auto accidents and fatalities in Canada and the most expensive auto insurance premiums.”
On October 25, Marshall renewed his criticism of the auto insurance system during a session at the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario annual convention. Speaking with Don Forgeron, president and chief executive officer of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Marshall called on insurers to do more for catastrophically injured claimants. He also took aim at the June 2016 changes to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule that drastically reduced coverage for basic policyholders and revised criteria for catastrophic injuries like amputations, loss of vision, mental and behavioural impairments, and brain injuries.
Under the existing system, Marshall said, claimants may spend “thousands and thousands [of dollars] on assessments and doctors and lawyers fees and so on,” only to receive a one-time payout that must last “for their lifetime.”
This line of criticism echoes a complaint that car accident lawyers have been making for years: that the auto insurance industry isn’t focused on patient outcomes.
“Not a single insurance company that I spoke to in Ontario – and I spoke to all the big ones – has anything in their records about when a person got well,” Marshall told the audience, according to Canadian Underwriter. “They know when the claim was resolved and how much they got paid.”
If you or a member of your family has been injured in an automotive accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today. Over our many decades in practice, our team has developed a sophisticated understanding of Ontario’s auto insurance industry and of the numerous challenges facing injury victims. We are here to fight for your right to compensation.
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