Eliminating Costly and Unnecessary Disputes
In Ontario’s 2019 budget, the government announced the ‘Putting Driver’s First Blueprint’ which is a plan to put drivers first and implement reforms that make auto insurance affordable, easy to understand and minimize fraud. With this goal in mind, the government is expected to make some changes to help eliminate costly and unnecessary disputes after car accidents.
These changes will be implemented with the help of a newly formed independent financial regulator FSRA, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Ontario. The FSRA will negotiate lower treatment fees charged by providers and also work on reforming the medical assessment process which claimants must undergo after an accident to bring more credibility and accountability.
Additionally, the government will take steps to work with the Law Society of Ontario to add more transparency into contingency fee agreements in order to protect victims and families who choose to hire lawyers.
Combating Insurance Fraud
The government is also committed to helping combat insurance fraud, which costs Ontario consumers billions of dollars every year. With the help of the FSRA, they will develop some new fraud reduction strategies and modern systems that help improve how health care benefits are delivered to claimants.
Some of the anti-fraud measures that will be taken include:
- More in-depth data analysis to detect fraud
- New rules on unfair or deceptive acts
- An online claims process that allows consumers to keep track of their auto accident benefits and makes the process of filing a claim more convenient
When will you see these changes?
According to most consumers, these changes are long overdue, and the government needs to take certain actions now in order to begin simplifying the consumer insurance experience.
Some of the early actions taken by the government as per the Putting Drivers First Blueprint include:
- Facilitating electronic communications which make processes fast and convenient
- Enabling new business models such as car subscription services that offer drivers more options
- Enabling insurers to offer more discounts and options to consumers
The proposed changes to the Insurance Act and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act have paved way for these improved electronic communications.
With the new amendments, the Ontario drivers no longer must stick to few insurance coverages options. They now have more choices as to which coverage suits their needs and they can access them in a more convenient and affordable manner. Auto insurance companies on the other hand have an opportunity to offer their clients more options in terms of discounts and policies to choose from.
The Driver Care Plan
The government is also taking an initiative to focus more on people injured in car accidents and making sure they get treatment faster through the Driver Care Plan. This plan will ensure that any injured persons in a car accident receive quick access to treatment and care.