October 9, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
David Marshall has been appointed as advisor to Ontario’s finance minister on auto insurance and pensions, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
Marshall will be charged with providing recommendations to the government on further ways to reduce auto insurance costs in the province, as well as guidance on implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), notes a statement Thursday from the provincial Ministry of Finance. His appointment is for a one-year term with an opportunity to renew for another year.
Having served the last six years as president and CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Marshall brings to his new post expertise in active claims management practices that can be employed to identify additional opportunities for auto insurance reform.
Before that, Marshall (pictured below) served in several senior executive roles in both the public and private sectors. Among other positions held, at the federal level, he is a former deputy minister of public works and a former deputy minister of public works and government services, while in the private sector, he is a past vice chairman of CIBC responsible for the bank’s mortgage, insurance, credit card businesses and global operations.
Affordable auto insurance is important to Ontario’s more than 9.5 million drivers who rely on cars to get to work, school and take part in community activities, notes the ministry statement.
A ministry backgrounder states the August 2013 launch of the Ontario government’s Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy included reforms to further lower auto insurance costs, which helped reduce auto insurance rates by more than 6% on average as of last fall. [click image below to enlarge]
To reduce costs in Ontario’s auto insurance system, bring costs more in line with other provinces and provide consumers with more choice in buying auto insurance, the government committed to, among other things, the following:
• change the standard benefit level for medical and rehabilitation benefits to $65,000 (from $50,000) and include attendant care services under this benefit limit;
• reduce the standard duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to five years for all claimants except children; and
• eliminate the six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits and limit the duration of non-earner benefits to two years after the accident.
“David Marshall’s expertise in management and operational planning will help guide our work reducing auto insurance rates for Ontarians,” finance minister Charles Sousa says in the statement.
“While progress has been made, costs in Ontario’s auto insurance system remain too high,” notes the ministry backgrounder. “The government will continue to take action to further lower costs,” it adds.
Don Forgeron, president and CEO of Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), welcomed Marshall’s appointment. “We look forward to working with him on the challenges facing Ontario’s auto insurance system and how, together, we can provide Ontarians with an affordable and sustainable auto insurance product,” Forgeron says in an IBC statement.
“Ontario drivers deserve affordable, high-quality auto insurance that offers them choice. That’s why we continue to work with the Government of Ontario to reform the auto insurance product,” he adds.
The provincial government reports that reducing auto insurance rates is among the key initiatives in its four-part plan to build up Ontario: investing in people’s talents and skills, investing in public infrastructure, creating an environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.