By: Luke Jones, Published on August 7, 2018 07:58 AM, Last Update on August 7, 2018 05:01 AM
During the Ontario elections earlier this summer, political parties made auto insurance reforms a major part of their campaigns. However, since being elected, the ruling Progressive Conservative government has not discussed its plans to reduce auto insurance prices in the province. While customers wait for information, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has offered its thoughts on auto insurance in Ontario.
Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations with the IBC says the trade association is still advocating for the province to adopt recommendations from the Marshall report while exploring modern technologies.
“Taking some of the recommendations within that report would go a long way,” Karageorgos said Thursday.
Titled Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered, the Marshall report was released in 2016 and Karageorgos says the new government clearly knows it exists. Marshall was tasked by then Liberal Ontario government to review the auto insurance market in the province. His report – Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered – was released April 11.
David Marshall has previously said the “main cause” of high Ontario auto insurance costs “is not inefficiency, or excess profits by insurance companies or the behavior of claimants, providers or lawyers,” Marshall said in his report. “It is the way the system is structured.”
“In many ways, the need to have lawyers involved to negotiate settlements in what should be a straightforward, no-fault, accident benefits system signals a failure in the system,” he wrote.
“There should not be so much uncertainty that neither accident victims nor insurers are confident as to what constitutes fair benefit,” Marshall added.
Marshall also called for a focus on customer care following injuries caused in a collision. It is this aspect of the report that the IBC believes is the most important to follow. “There’s a whole industry out there that is focused on quantifying the dollar amount on a person’s injury, but that doesn’t necessarily help them get better quicker,” Karageorgos said. “So, I think as an industry we have to focus on helping people recover quicker.”
With the insurance industry changing through innovation and modern technologies, the IBC would like to see the Ontario government embrace these changes. Solutions to make the customer experience more efficient, such as usage-based insurance (UBI) through the use of telematics devices.
“If people don’t drive much, their ability to buy a product that reflects that would be great,” Karageorgos said. “They are more able to, or they are greatly able to, purchase a product that meets their needs and I think some of that really needs to be highlighted going into the future.”