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May 03, 2017 in News Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: Ontario quietly releases critical report on auto insurance system

Last month, the Government of Ontario quietly released a report on the state of the province's auto insurance system which was assigned Ontario former Workplace Safety Insurance Board head David Marshall in 2015. As expected by auto insurance lawyers, his findings were unflattering. "Overall, Ontario has one of the lowest levels of auto accidents and fatalities in Canada and the most expensive auto insurance premiums," Marshall wrote in the report, titled "Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario. Historically, periods of cost reduction have inevitably been followed by cost increases." These regular cost increases have coincided with a steady decline of auto accidents in Ontario, including major collisions. In 2015, insurance premiums on Ontario vehicles cost an average of $1,458, twice what Quebec automobile owners pay and 24 per cent higher than in Alberta. Excluding Ontario, the average cost of auto insurance in Canada is nearly 55 per cent lower. Auto insurance lawyers know that there are numerous reasons for Ontario's high premiums, including prioritizing members of the insurance industry over accident victims. "(The system) is filled with disputes and inefficiencies, and a very high percentage of premiums are being used to pay experts and lawyers and not going directly to injured persons," Marshall wrote. The report recommends a number of significant changes, including restricting cash settlements; launching programs of care to address common injuries; instituting independent examination centres at hospitals to ensure bias-free medical assessments; and giving more power to regulators and initiating investigations into questionable tactics in the insurance industry. Marshall's findings have been met with interest and agreement from auto insurance lawyers and members of both the provincial Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties. "We have insurance rates that don't line up to anybody else in Canada," said PC finance critic Vic Fedeli. "The problem is that it doesn't put the victim at the centre. It really tries to fit into a mold that takes care of the people who do the handling of the victim. Every change (to the system) has systematically cut the coverage that Ontarians receive and benefits not the people but insurance companies," added NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh. Though the report is heavily critical of Ontario's auto insurance system, it did not recommend a shift away from the "hybrid auto insurance system, which sees mandated insurance for the province's nearly 10 million drivers provided by the private sector," the Toronto Star reports. "The report argues that a shift to a government-run system would be too disruptive at a time when the auto industry is undergoing major technological change." It's impossible to say whether Queen's Park will act on Marshall's recommendations, but the report's quiet release doesn't inspire confidence. Until the auto insurance industry evolves to better meet injury victims' needs, auto insurance lawyers will continue to play a prominent role in ensuring access to the benefits needed for a full recovery. If you've been injured in a car accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. Image Courtesy: cheapfullcoverageautoinsurance.com

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Jeffrey Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Insurance dispute

 

When an insurance company refuses to provide the resources you need during your recovery, our insurance dispute lawyers can help. We are knowledgeable in interpreting the guidelines set out by insurance providers and we will not charge you unless your claim is successful.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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