Clamping Down on Insurance Fraud,
Report Issued Today
MPP Amrit Mangat’s battle against auto insurance fraud received a boost today with a provincial task force recommending such things as better regulation of the towing industry and oversight of private health clinics.
Drivers in Peel Region will benefit from the ongoing work of the Anti-Fraud Task Force. By addressing the issue of auto insurance fraud and recommending ways to improve the system, we are taking positive action for responsible drivers,” said Mangat, MPP for Mississauga-Brampton South.
Her private member’s bill 41, Reducing Automobile Insurance Premiums by Eliminating Fraud Act, 2011, continues to make its way through the legislative process, with Second Reading passage earlier this year. And, an all-party auto insurance committee visited Brampton on July 10 to hear from local stakeholders.
In a Status Update delivered today, Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force identifies a number of potential recommendations:
?Oversight of health clinics’ auto insurance business practices.
?Regulating the towing industry.
?Expanding investigative authority for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).
?Mandatory disclosure by insurance companies about how they select and supervise their preferred service providers – including independent medical examinations; and
?Developing a consumer engagement and education strategy.
The task force’s work builds on a series of recent changes the government has made to help address auto insurance fraud, including:
?Implementing a package of auto insurance reforms in September 2010.
?Starting a pilot project using the Health Claims for Auto Insurance database to detect potential fraudulent activity.
?Introducing new rules to ensure that health care treatments are provided as invoiced.
?Issuing a guideline to prevent insurers from being invoiced for medical devices at a significantly higher than market rate; and
?Requiring CEOs of auto insurers in Ontario to annually attest that their accident benefit cost controls are effective and that claimants are being treated fairly.
Under the McGuinty government, auto insurance rates have risen at a slower pace than inflation, and Ontario’s accident benefits remain the most generous in Canada when compared to other provinces with similar auto insurance marketplaces.
“Auto insurance fraud is a serious issue that affects all of Ontario’s nine million drivers, so I thank the task force for its continued hard work and I look forward to receiving final recommendations in the fall. Our government continues to monitor and make changes to the system so that auto insurance remains affordable while providing people with optimal protection,” said Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
?The Task Force will seek stakeholder feedback on its proposed recommendations before submitting a final report this fall.
?Since 2003, the McGuinty government has continued to keep auto insurance affordable and available for all Ontarians. From 2004 to 2011, auto insurance rates increased 11.6 per cent in Ontario, while the Consumer Price Index rose 17.1 per cent.
?From 2006 to 2010, accident benefits claims costs increased by 118 per cent, despite a reduction in the number of auto accidents, number of people injured in auto accidents and the severity of injuries suffered over the same time period.
?Read the Ontario Automobile Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force Status Report at: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/autoinsurance/status-report.html.