FAIR says new auto insurance adviser must look into medical practices during claims

Published: February 2, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The most-important job for new Ontario auto insurance overseer, David Marshall, is to set in motion a full public enquiry into the way medical evidence is handled in auto insurance claims. That’s according to The FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform, the organization making the call on Monday.

Marshall, the former chief of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) was brought in by the province last October as an adviser for the auto insurance and pensions sectors. He is tasked with find ways to reduce auto insurance costs in Ontario, which has the highest premiums in Canada.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that we are in a crisis when it comes to medical evidence in auto insurance claims," said Rhona DesRoches, Chair, FAIR. "Ontario's auto accident victim's medical files are routinely manipulated by Ontario's auto insurers to delay and deny claims," she added.

"A public inquiry is necessary to uncover the systemic abuse of Ontario's vulnerable and injured car crash victims by Ontario's insurers and our courts system, and recommend ways to address the harm," she added. "We hope Mr. Marshall will get behind the proposal to clean up this unsavory aspect of auto insurance."

 

FAIR calls on our MPPs and the public at large to support an inquiry into:

  • The failure of Ontario's courts and judges to ensure that medical expert witnesses are in compliance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. Too many experts act as hired guns for insurers.
  • The overuse and abuse of our courts by Ontario's auto insurers to delay payments to legitimate claimants. Currently about half of all claims are initially denied by auto insurers.
  • The improper and wasteful expenditure by insurers of hundreds of millions of insurance premium dollars on medical reports to fight their own clients' legitimate claims.
  • The role of Ontario's regulatory colleges in failing to meet their obligations to the public through the lax application of standards.
  • The cost to the Ontario taxpayers for financial and medical support for MVA victims whose claims have been fraudulently denied by Ontario's insurers who commission poor quality or partisan medico-legal reports.

Marshall will delve into the Ontarian auto insurance market, which is mired in problems, including rife insurance fraud. Working with the provincial government and regulatory bodies, he will identify areas for improvement and work to finding solutions to lower auto insurance premiums.