The Ontario government is proposing several regulatory amendments as part of ongoing efforts to fight auto insurance fraud in the province.
The proposed regulatory changes include:
- Requiring insurers to provide claimants all reasons for denying a claim.
- Giving claimants the right to receive a bi-monthly, detailed statement of benefits paid out on their behalf.
- Increasing the role of claimants in fraud prevention (e.g. require them to confirm attendance at health clinic).
- Making providers subject to sanctions for overcharging insurers for goods and services and banning them from asking consumers to sign blank claim forms.
The proposed changes come in part as a response to the final report from the Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force. That report outlined about 40 recommendations for fighting fraud, which many in the insurance industry consider a major problem that leads to much higher premiums for all Ontario drivers.
Read more: Ontario anti-fraud task force calls for licensing clinics, greater power for FSCO in final report
"The importance of our auto insurance reforms and the impact they will have on Ontario drivers cannot be underestimated," Finance Minister Dwight Duncan noted in a government statement.
"The government will continue to take the necessary steps to crack down on fraud which will help lower premiums, increase road safety and ensure people hurt in car accidents get the treatment they need."
In a statement, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario commended the government on its first steps in implementing the report recommendations.
“IBAO is pleased to see that action is being taken with the initial first steps announced today,” IBAO CEO Randy Carroll commented. “However, there is still much more to do in order to tackle the fraud problem in Ontario auto insurance. The more fraud that is removed out of the system the better chance we have to see reductions in overall premiums and that’s why it’s essential to keep the ball rolling.”
The amendments will go into effect June 1, 2013.