Canadian Underwriter

Auto Polish

January 11, 2018   by Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor

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Ontario’s 2016 auto reforms was one hot topic at the recent Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) annual convention, held October 25-26 in Ottawa.

Brokers discussed whether they made the most of the opportunity to explain the changes to their clients, creating a closer connection with consumers. Insurers, meanwhile, talked to a key figure in the reforms, David Marshall, about what lies in store.

Ontario implemented reforms for the province’s 9.7 million drivers on June 1, 2016, reducing premiums by an average of 8.5%. As the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) notes in its 2017 Fact Book, more than half of the savings come from changes to accident benefits, and the remainder come from changes to bodily injury coverage.

– cartoon illustration of car wash

Insurers have argued that the reforms offered insured drivers more choice. For example, the catastrophic impairment benefit now offers $1 million for medical/rehabilitation and attendant care combined, regardless of fault. Ontario drivers now have an option to buy up to $2 million for this benefit; when combined with the optional medical/rehabilitation eligible benefit, the amount can be increased to $3 million.

Before 2010, Ontario vehicle owners had to buy first-party auto accident benefits insurance, with $100,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits and $72,000 for attendant care. Mandatory coverage was cut by 50% in 2010. Now, for accidents occurring on or after June 1, 2016, there is one limit of $65,000 for both medical/rehab and attendant care benefits. Brokers can advise clients of optional additional coverage available.

Explaining these reforms and providing advice is a “perfect example” of how brokers can connect with clients, said Brian Purcell, who takes over in 2018 from Traci Boland as president of IBAO.

“How many brokers looked at [communicating the reforms to clients] as an unwelcome increase in workload and took the easy way out just to fire off an extra piece of paper in a renewal envelope?” Purcell said during his incoming president’s address. “How many others took that as an opportunity to make personal contact with their client, review personal situations and uncover greater needs?”

Read the full article in the Digital Edition of the December 2017 Canadian Underwriter.

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