Have Ontario Auto Insurance Rates Really Dropped? And at what expense?
Ontario's plan to save consumers’ money on auto insurance premiums but really at a high cost to persons injured in car accidents.
Hello Consumers of Automobile Insurance: There was an article that appeared in the Waterloo Region Record on Saturday October 14, 2017 which had the headline “Auto Insurance Rates in Ontario drop slightly”.
Chances are many readers skimmed the headline which was innocuous and misleading. The article was really about the spin Kathleen Wynne and her government are going to put on big changes they plan to make to accident benefit regime supposedly to save consumers’ money on auto insurance premiums but really at a high cost to persons injured in car accidents.
Of course that is not how what is coming was described in the article. It sounds much nicer: ...adopting what is called a “care not cash approach”. This means that instead of giving injured persons cash settlements the insurance companies are going to care about people hurt in accidents and instead of giving them cash settlements that they can use to pay for the treatment that they want and need to get better from accident injuries they are going to be your care partners. More accurately this could be described as insurance companies caring about their cash i.e. keeping it.
Based on previous dealings with insurers some people may find it difficult to believe that they will actually be trying to help them get better. The article talks about one of the things they have already done, which is to create a new dispute resolution system to help Ontario claimants get faster access to the benefits they need. That being said, The Marshall Report which is recommending systemic changes to further reduce costs actually recommends limiting the access of claimants to the Licencing Appeal Tribunal. This in addition to taking lawyers and doctors except for hospital based Independent Medical Evaluation Centres out of the Equation.
The government is putting discounts for consumers with snow tires into the same category as taking away their legal rights to dispute their entitlement to benefits with their insurer - pretty slick if you ask me. Based on the recommendations from The Marshall Report automobile insurance will be turned into a system that operates like WSIB in the blink of an eye.
Lisa Morell Kelly - Lisa@morellkelly.com
Morell Kelly Professional Corporation