Package of care as important as cash says David Marshall

Published: October 26, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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David Marshall, the man behind the report into insurance in Ontario and the former CEO of Workplace Safety Insurance Board, said the province’s auto insurance and workers compensation system need package of care instead of cash settlements.

In Conversation with David Marshall was one of the BIP Talks held at the Insurance Brokers Associations of Ontario (IBAO) annual convention. Marshall was speaking to Don Forgeron, president and chief executive officer of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Auto insurance claims costs “continue to rise” in Ontario “while automobile accidents continue to fall,” Marshall suggested in his report.

He offered 35 recommendations in the report, among them: “there should be no cash settlements in the accident benefits portion of the Ontario auto insurance system for those benefits specified in the legislation as being for medical and rehabilitation care.”

“So you may say have $200 annually for physio,” Forgeron said during the talk. “I can’t imagine that any of us would ever think of picking up the phone one day and calling Sun Life and saying, ‘You know, I’ve got $200 as a limit for physio but I am willing to settle for $100. Send me a cheque for $100 and I won’t take any physio treatments this year.’ We have that very same phenomenon that takes place in auto insurance.”

Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule was “never intended the auto insurance system to be a cash jackpot,” Marshall wrote in the report. However, auto insurance companies “are incented to close their liability with as little cash cost as possible and hence they introduce the practice of negotiating cash settlements with claimants in lieu of medical treatment, future wage and other future benefits under the SABS.”