August 28, 2013 by Canadian Underwriter
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has eliminated its mediation backlog for disputes related to auto insurance claims, although that does mean that arbitration applications are increasing.
As of Aug. 19, the regulator had eliminated the “unprecedented” backlog of applications for mediation, which began around 2008.
New applications for mediation are assigned to FSCO mediators within a couple of days of receipt. All mediations are conducted within 60 days, unless the parties agree on an extension.
“FSCO implemented a number of initiatives that significantly reduced the backlog of mediation files, such as an online scheduling system (the eCalendar) and the use of a private dispute resolution service provider,” the commission’s website says.
“There has been a steady increase in Applications for Arbitration since 2006-07,” FSCO also notes. “As a result of clearing the mediation backlog and other external factors, this trend is continuing.”
About 72% of failed mediations proceed to arbitration at FSCO and the regulator said it is continuing to use the private service provider to assist with arbitration files.