Canadian Underwriter

Consumer protection measures for Ontario auto go live

March 31, 2015   by

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Sections of an Ontario law aimed at reducing auto insurance claims costs, which give inspectors power to enter premises without a search warrant and remove records for review, took effect April 1.

Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, is an omnibus bill that was passed into law Nov. 20. Not all provisions have taken effect, but a section of Bill 15 – which changes the Consumer Protection

Act to provide for the appointment of inspectors and inspection powers – is now in effect.

Bill 15 will “provide new enforcement tools, such as allowing inspectors to issue orders where violations are found,” said Laura Albanese, parliamentary assistant to Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, when Bill 15 was tabled for second reading last October. She was commenting on the parts of the legislation that impose additional requirements on towing and storage providers.

Bill 15 will change the Consumer Protection Act to require tow and storage providers to publish their rates, accept credit card payments and provide itemized invoices before receiving payment. It “would require tow and storage providers to get authorization from the consumer, or someone acting on behalf of the consumer, before charging for towing and storage services,” Albanese said.