Victim's Group Calls for Ontario Auditor General to investigate and report on the Auto Insurance Sector
TORONTO, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ - A recent StatsCan Civil Court Survey revealed that there are now 61,063 auto insurance related cases waiting for hearings in Ontario's Superior Court.
According to the 2013 Minister of Finance DRS Report there were over 30,000 unresolved claim disputes at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
This is an unprecedented number of innocent and injured victims who have not had their claims properly handled by the insurer whom they paid to assist them in a time of need. Many of these seriously injured victims are without timely access to treatment and rehabilitation and they face a wait of up to 10 years or more to hold their insurer accountable.
Ontario drivers pay the highest prices in Canada for insurance, almost double what some other Provinces are paying for similar coverage. With so many unresolved claims in the system it is time to take a hard look at whether our government should be legislating Ontarians to buy this inferior product.
According to the Auditor General's 2011 Report on auto insurance about half of all claims are turned down by Ontario insurers. What the AG report doesn't talk about is how these claims are turned down. Victims are forced to attend multiple and excessive medical examinations by their insurer in course of a claim. Insurers spend more on assessing a victim than they do on treatment and rehabilitation according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada's own statistics in the HCDB Standard Report.
Insurer medical examinations (IME) are virtually without oversight and are often performed by biased and even unqualified medical 'experts' who are beholden to the insurer who hires them. These bogus medical opinions are the tool used to deny claims and are at the core of the court backlog.
Victims are being downloaded at an alarming rate onto OHIP and our public system of Welfare, Ontario Disability and CPP Disability programs that are underfunded and unable to provide adequate care for victims.
Not only do victims face a personal crisis but they are faced with hiring a legal representative in a province where the cost for legal representation is the highest in Canada. Many victims hire more than one lawyer during the course of a claim and there is plenty of evidence that the quality of the services and the billing practices of that sector are also harming MVA victims.
We pay our premiums and we should be able to access the coverage we paid so handsomely for. What we have is legislators who are listening only to the Insurance Bureau of Canada's incessant calls to slash benefits and our government is now on-board with blocking victim's access to fair and balanced hearings in court through Bill 15.
When insurers don't pay we all will. We are paying for private insurers who, according to the OTLA's recent report, are making unprecedented and excessive profits on the backs of victims they refuse to pay.
We invite the public to join FAIR and we ask our elected MPPs to join in the call to the Auditor General to review and report on the auto insurance sector.
About FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform – FAIR is a grassroots not-for-profit organization of auto accident victims and their supporters who have struggled with the current auto insurance system in Ontario. http://www.fairassociation.ca/
SOURCE FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform
For further information: Rhona DesRoches, FAIR, Board Chair, [email protected], Tel: 705 543-0574