Ontario Trial Lawyers slam Task Force recommendations

OTLA supports majority of recommendations but says some are

Some of the Anti-Fraud Task Force recommendations are problematic, says the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA).

OTLA released a statement supporting the majority of the Task Force’s recommendations, including province-wide licensing of the towing industry and enhanced data sharing to facilitate detection of fraud, but it says some of the recommendations are outside the scope of what the Task Force was asked to consider.

Read: Industry urges Ontario to adopt Anti-Task Force recommendations

“As a result, the Task Force had insufficient data to make properly informed recommendations in those few areas,” OTLA said in a press release.

“We are disappointed that the Task Force continues to recommend that consumers should be charged $500 for missing a medical examination. As we noted in our August submission to the Task Force, a missed appointment does not constitute fraud. If an insured person misses an examination that they were required to attend, there are consequences set out in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).”

In a statement, OTLA also stressed that the government should not target fraud through “across-the board” reductions to auto insurance policies.

Read: Ontario court broadens definition of catastrophic impairment

“Fighting insurance fraud by broadly cutting coverage makes a mockery of insurance as ‘a promise to pay’ in the event of loss. Mandatory insurance must mean more than just guaranteed profits for insurers,” the association said. “Before further restrictions are contemplated under the banner of fighting fraud, including restrictions to the definition of catastrophic impairment, the government must evaluate the effect of the 2010 package.”

Earlier this year, OTLA was one of several groups that opposed the updates to the definition of catastrophic impairment.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada responded by saying OTLA was “fear-mongering.”

Read: IBC has strong words for opponents of updated CAT definition 

In its statement to the press, OTLA also recommended that FSCO accelerate its review of auto insurance profits and stated that insurers “are poised to earn record profits in 2012 and Ontario auto insurance results are largely responsible for this turnaround.”

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Transcontinental Media G.P.