The Insurance Bureau of Canada said November 20 it welcomed the news that the Ontario legislature has passed Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act.
“It’s a great step and strikes a blow at those in the car accident business who have wrongly profited from the current auto insurance product,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice president for Ontario at IBC said in a statement issued shortly after the bill passed.
IBC says that Bill 15 provides the basis for:
• Continuing the right of claimants and insurers to appeal decisions to the courts;
• Establishing a more effective dispute-resolution system;
• Continuing the right of claimants to pursue tort claims in court;
• Reducing the prejudgment interest that can be awarded for non-economic losses to reflect current interest rates; and
• Reducing fraud and abuse in the towing and vehicle storage industries.
“Everyone – including the insurance industry – is in agreement on one thing: auto insurance in Ontario is far too expensive. We realize the financial hardship it can create for vehicle owners, particularly young people and those in northern and remote communities,” Palumbo noted. “Now we have an opportunity to begin fixing the system once and for all.”
In a statement also issued Nov. 20, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario also welcomed the passage of the legislation. “On behalf of the six million policyholder’s our brokers represent province-wide, IBAO is happy to see the passage of Bill 15,” Chris Floyd, the association’s president said. “This is a good step towards the responsible reduction in insurance costs by fighting fraud.”
“We are pleased that the Ontario government passed Bill 15 without issue, it is a good first step,” Karin Ots, senior vice president of regulatory and government relations for Aviva Canada, also noted in a statement. “But to truly affect long-term change for the Ontario auto insurance system, we need to reduce claims costs to be in line with other provinces.”