Insurance News – Monday, February 2, 2015

Here are the leading auto insurance headlines from ONTARIO AUTO INSURANCE TOPICS ON TWITTER for Monday, February 2, 2015:

  • One Ontario broker is suggesting that insurers are blaming everyone else and not taking responsibility for rising claim costs.
  • Queen’s Park is looking at ways to curb speed limits in Ontario cities and towns, including lowering the standard from 50 km/h.
  • At least 15 family members have to charged in California for being part of an auto insurance fraud ring. Must be the family business.
  • California regulator approves filing from Metromile Insurance to provide insurance coverage to Uber drivers.
  • Germany will use of a “digitized” stretch of Autobahn to develop domestic alternatives to Google cars.
  • Considering human drivers like to speed, will we be satisfied with driverless cars that rigidly follow speed-limits?

LAT Will Not Be Following All of the Cunningham Recommendations

The Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) begins accepting applications to resolve auto insurance disputes on April 1, 2016.  LAT has completed a first round of recruitment for adjudicators and case management staff.  Adjudicators are Order-in-Council appointments.  Training of adjudicators and staff is underway.
FSCO will continue to operate beyond April 1, 2016.  If mediation has been completed, but the arbitration process has not begun, a party can apply to LAT and begin the new process.  If the case already has been assigned an arbitration case number by FSCO, the case remains at FSCO.  Existing cases will not be transferred from FSCO to LAT.
Although the new system follows the recommendations put forth by Justice Cunningham in 2016, a number of recommendations have been modified: 
Justice Cunningham recommended that mandatory mediation (along with pre-arbitration hearings) be eliminated and that a settlement meeting be held before arbitration (Recommendations #4 and #13).  LAT has created a case conference prior to arbitration which follows the intent of settlement meetings proposed by Cunningham.
Justice Cunningham recommended that statutory timelines and sanctions regarding settlement meetings, arbitration hearings and the release of arbitration decisions be created (Recommendation #6).  However, no statutory timelines have been created and LAT will manage timeline requirements.  This is essentially the status quo.
Justice Cunningham recommended that the policy of no application fees for claimants at the settlement meeting stage be continued (Recommendation #7).  LAT has introduced a $100 application fee.
Justice Cunningham recommended that settlement meetings be conducted by video conferencing rather than by telephone in cases where it is not feasible for the parties to meet in person (Recommendation #14).  LAT is continuing the current practice and most case conferences will take place over the phone.
Justice Cunningham recommended an adjournment fee be charged to the party requesting an adjournment in the absence of exceptional circumstances (Recommendation #16).  No adjournment fee has been established.
Justice Cunningham recommended that the settlement of future medical and rehabilitation benefits be prohibited until two years after the date of the accident (Recommendation #17).  The SABS have not been amended and settlements will still be permitted one year after the date of the accident.
Justice Cunningham recommended that each insurer establish an internal review process (Recommendations #19, #20 and #21).  A company internal review process has not yet been established.
Justice Cunningham recommended criteria for streaming disputes to paper reviews, expedited in-person hearings and full in-person hearings (Recommendations #25, #26 and #27).  The criteria have not been adopted.  LAT adjudicators will exercise his or her discretion to determine the format of a hearing, which is the status quo.

Below is the full dispute resolution process: 

Insurance New – Friday, August 8, 2014

Here are the leading auto insurance headlines from ONTARIO AUTO INSURANCE TOPICS ON TWITTER for Friday, August 8, 2014:

  • The UK had committed to launching a £10 million driverless car experiment and the UK government will amend road laws in order to allow trials beginning in 2015. This will kill auto insurance business down the road.
  • The FBI is concerned that driverless cars will be used as suicide car bombs except without a driver.
  • Insurers have been focusing telematics for young drivers but a study finds demand for telematics among older drivers.
  • How U.S. auto insurer Progressive collected 10 billion miles of driving data from its customers.
  • A story on how Newfoundland drivers have millions more in accident claims every year than New Brunswick drivers, but have cheaper premiums.

HCAI Data: Assessments Continue to Be a Significant Proportion of Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses

The IBC has now published the standard HCAI reports for the first half of 2014. The document provides over 75 pages of aggregate data collected by HCAI going back to 2011. HCAI was made mandatory on February 1, 2011. 

 The standard reports are published on an “accident half year” basis. In accident half year statistics, the experience of all claims with accident dates in the same accident half year is grouped together. The accident half years are defined as calendar half years, with January to June being the first half and July to December being the second half for each of the stated years.

Assessment costs continue to be a significant portion of medical and rehabilitation expenses following the 2010 reforms.  Those reforms introduced a $2,000 per assessment cap on both insurer examinations and assessments conducted by healthcare providers.  As well, provider assessments now fall under the overall medical and rehabilitation cap.

Based on data from the General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA), the total cost of all assessments in 2010 was approximately $ 1 billion.  In 2010, assessments represented approximately 40% of all medical and rehabilitation expenses.

The chart below sets out insurer exams and provider assessments per accident half year as a percentage of all medical and rehabilitation expenses using available HCAI data. Note that the cost of assessment is not really falling as suggested by the chart.  The data is not fully developed and since assessments continue to be a significant cost in older claims, the numbers will continue to grow over time.  What is significant is that assessments continue to be close to 40% of all medical and rehabilitation expenses once the data is fully developed.  

What has changed is the cost of medical and rehabilitation under the SABS with the reduction in the standard medical and rehabilitation cap and the introduction of the minor injury treatment cap.

Insurance News – Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Here are the leading auto insurance headlines from ONTARIO AUTO INSURANCE TOPICS ON TWITTER for Tuesday, February 17, 2015:

  • The OPP report that high-risk driving and fatal collisions on the rise in Ontario.
  • Recent news shows Google and Uber  might by aiming at driverless cabs.
  • Uber wants to replace its drivers with robots. So much for that “new economy” it was building.
  • IBC raises concerns about extent of Uber auto insurance coverage (do they have any?)
  • Intact is preparing for major technology companies (e.g. Google) to shake up the way Canadians buy insurance.

HCAI Data: Most Early Treatment Is Provided By Chiropractors and Physiotherapists

The IBC has now published the standard HCAI reports for the first half of 2014. The document provides over 75 pages of aggregate data collected by HCAI going back to 2011. HCAI was made mandatory on February 1, 2011.

The standard reports are published on an “accident half year” basis. In accident half year statistics, the experience of all claims with accident dates in the same accident half year is grouped together. The accident half years are defined as calendar half years, with January to June being the first half and July to December being the second half for each of the stated years.

The chart below sets out the treatment reported on the HCAI system by healthcare profession.  It shows that the majority of claimants see a chiropractor or physiotherapist which is expected since the majority claims are strains and sprains.  But as the claims develop, claimants are seeing additional healthcare professionals.  In the most recent accident half year (first half of 2014) claimants saw an average of 1.5 professionals.  For the second half of 12013, claimants saw an average of 2.1 professionals and in the first half of that year 2.4 professionals.

The largest increases in interventions for older claims relate to physicians and psychologists. Because the data includes both treatment intervention and assessments, this is expected outcome. Older claims are more likely to undergo an independent medical assessment or a psychological assessment.  There appears to be minimal growth in chiropractic and physiotherapy interventions over time.

Insurance News – Friday, April 10, 2015

Here are the leading auto insurance headlines from ONTARIO AUTO INSURANCE TOPICS ON TWITTER for Friday, April 10, 2015:

  • Report funded by Privacy Commissioner raises serious concerns about telematics and what cars know about drivers.
  • Hackers looking to breach insurance carriers according to New York Department of Financial Services report.
  • Michigan police can check whether you have car insurance by running your plate.
  • Uber is the subject of new auto insurance regulations that may go into effect in the U.S., of which it is opposed to.
  • Progressive Insurance in the U.S. announces that for the first time it is increasing rates for some bad drivers based on telematics data.
  • Legislation in Georgia increases auto insurance requirements for ride-share firms.