IBC, IBAO back Ontario Budget

Ontario government combats fraud in the 2011 Provincial Budget.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and  the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) have commended the Ontario government and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan for new initiatives to combat insurance fraud in the 2011 Provincial Budget.

“Insurance fraud is a problem that affects all Ontarians who are concerned about crime, public safety and increased auto insurance premiums,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice president, Ontario, IBC. “We appreciate the efforts of the government for taking these first steps to combat this escalating problem and hope more will be done in the future.”

The Budget, announced on March 29, highlighted the government’s committment to the insurance industry and consumer protection.

“We commend Premier McGuinty and Minister Duncan on [the] Budget,” stated Randy Carroll, CEO at IBAO. “Insurance brokers are committed to protecting Ontario consumers and keeping them informed.”

The Budget focuses on the Ontario reforms, which came into effect September 2010, and stated the reforms “directly targeted abuse and fraud in the auto insurance system, which increase costs and lead to higher premiums.”

The government aims to build on these reforms through the following initiatives:

  • working with the industry to use the newly established Health Claims for Auto Insurance (HCAI) database to detect potentially fraudulent activity;
  • introducing new rules to ensure that treatments are provided as invoiced;
  • establishing an auto insurance anti-fraud taskforce to determine the scope of auto insurance fraud in Ontario and make recommendations regarding detection, investigation, enforcement and consumer education;
  • requiring auto insurers to annually attest that their companies have established effective compliance controls to satisfy the rules that protect the rights of policyholders and accident victims.

In addition, an amendment will be made to the Ontario Insurance Act to help municipal transit systems control fraudulent claims.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government and other stakeholders to do whatever is necessary to ensure that honest Ontarians and insurance providers are not victimized by fraud and abuse of the system,” added Palumbo.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.