Article by Marc G. Spivak
The Ontario Liberal government, just prior to an election, claims it has again decided to address high automobile insurance premiums (but ignores the negative affect of these changes on victims of car accidents).
In the 2017 Ontario Ministry of Finance Report “Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System of Ontario” the average yearly rates for car insurance by province were:
- Ontario: $1,458
- B.C.: $1,316
- Alberta: $1,179
- Newfoundland & Labrador: $1,090
- Manitoba: $1,001
- Northwest Territories: $974
- Nunavut: $968
- Yukon: $806
- Nova Scotia: $783
- Saskatchewan: $775
- New Brunswick: $763
- E.I.: $755
- Quebec: $724.
The Liberal government, which has historically taken away benefits and protection from victims with empty promises of keeping car insurance rates affordable (I have never seen any reduction in car insurance the last few years, have you?), has created smoke and mirrors and called it The Fair Auto Insurance Plan. This plan is supposed to “improve care, reduce disputes around diagnosis and treatment… promote innovation, competition and other steps to improve consumer protection.”
The plan creates a fancy title for investigation of alleged fraud “The Serious Fraud Office” which is to be operational by the spring of 2018. Call me sceptical but insurers have appropriately and successfully cut out all fraud from car insurance for years, so is this the Premier’s excuse why her promises regarding reducing car insurance premiums never worked out? (although they did cut off perhaps 50% of the benefits desperately needed for victims and greatly increased profits of the auto insurers).
The Fair Auto Insurance Plan will also introduce:
- Standard treatment plans for immediate care on common injuries: sprains, whiplash, etc. (Ask yourself how “common” your injuries are when you are so inflicted).
- Independent examination centres for more serious collision victims aimed to reduce diagnosis disputes, reduce system costs and inefficiencies (Historically “independent” examination centres are insurer biased).
- Insurance Act to be given “greater teeth” to protect consumers (Consumer benefit has never been the intention behind changes since 1990- ask any personal injury lawyer).
These promised changes have elements that have been used in previous car insurance regimes that have all failed, yet before an election promises are being made to protect consumers! The only protection for consumers in the car insurance industry is to acquire optional benefits from your insurance broker to better protect you and your family and to ask a personal injury lawyer whether your coverage is adequate, before it is too late!
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