High insurance auto rates were a sparked issue in the provincial election of 2011. NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh has been highlighting the issue at the Ontario legislature. Legislators point out that the high auto insurance rates are also because of high auto insurance fraud.
“Auto insurance fraud is a serious issue that affects all of Ontario’s nine million drivers, so I thank the task force for its continued hard work and I look forward to receiving final recommendations in the fall. Our government continues to monitor and make changes to the system so that auto insurance remains affordable while providing people with optimal protection,” stated Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan.
Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force identifies a number of potential recommendations:
- Oversight of health clinics’ auto insurance business practices
- Regulating the towing industry
- Expanding investigative authority for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)
- Mandatory disclosure by insurance companies about how they select and supervise their preferred service providers – including independent medical examinations; and
- Developing a consumer engagement and education strategy.
The task force’s work builds on a series of recent changes the government has made to help address auto insurance fraud, including:
- Implementing a package of auto insurance reforms in September 2010
- Starting a pilot project using the Health Claims for Auto Insurance database to detect potential fraudulent activity
- Introducing new rules to ensure that health care treatments are provided as invoiced
- Issuing a guideline to prevent insurers from being invoiced for medical devices at a significantly higher than market rate; and
- Requiring CEOs of auto insurers in Ontario to annually attest that their accident benefit cost controls are effective and that claimants are being treated fairly.
Under the McGuinty government, auto insurance rates have risen at a slower pace than inflation, and Ontario’s accident benefits remain the most generous in Canada when compared to other provinces with similar auto insurance marketplaces.
In the wake of flooding in Scarborough homes, the similar concern was raised by home owners who were reluctant to call up the home insurance companies as their annual premiums will go up.