December 30, 2019 by David Gambrill
Jason Storah, President, CEO, Aviva Canada
I find it quite interesting, intriguing and frustrating that auto insurance is so complex in this country. Why is an auto accident treated differently in Quebec, Ontario, B.C., or Alberta? It doesn’t make sense, because an accident is an accident regardless of which province in which you had it. If we as an industry were able to tackle that issue and remove some of that complexity – it could have a huge impact.
At Aviva, we are absolutely committed to simplifying Canada’s auto insurance regime. We are working towards that goal on a number of fronts. I don’t think the federal government has the appetite to tackle it, and I would argue that the federal government is not the right place to tackle it. It would be nice to see provincial regulators and governments coming together with industry stakeholders to help answer the question: ‘Why are we allowing that complexity to continue and be exacerbated in some areas?’
How on earth would we even begin to tackle this issue?
I think that to achieve a more harmonized approach to auto insurance across the country, we must first have an honest conversation backed by data, not by anecdotes and self-interest. This could be done on a province-by-province basis. I envision an honest conversation with all stakeholders and parties represented, including insurance companies, brokers, consumer advocacy groups, health care providers, lawyers, etc., etc. The conversation would explore what works for consumers, and what works for the industry. What are the differences? Where are there overlaps? Where are there gaps?
The point would be to get everyone in a room and develop a balanced scorecard. We should be taking our cues from other industries and looking at the insurance sector through an objective set of data – searching for outcomes that benefit our millions of customers. They deserve stability and they deserve simplicity.