Toronto, Ontario — December 27, 2013 — Ontario is introducing new initiatives the government hopes will reduce costs and uncertainty in the auto insurance system, including enhancing towing industry oversight.
Consultations are underway to develop a province-wide system to oversee the towing industry. A review of vehicle storage and collision repair practices will also be conducted, which the province hopes will address consumer concerns about towing industry practices that may drive up insurance rates.
Drivers involved in traffic collisions and in need of roadside assistance should have confidence that tow truck operators are reputable, safe and will provide honest and fair dealings.
The government is also unveiling a new package of regulatory changes it believes will:
- Enable licensing of service providers that bill auto insurers so that only licensed providers can get paid directly by insurers.
- Clarify that claimants with a minor injury may only seek treatment beyond $3,500 if they have a medically documented pre-existing condition preventing their full recovery.
- Confirm that a claimant’s initial choice of income replacement, non-earner or caregiver benefits is final and cannot be modified.
- Ensure that those who attend to an injured family member or friend after an accident will be compensated for the actual economic loss they incur during that time.
The government of Ontario hopes these changes will help reduce costs and uncertainty in the system by continuing to crack down on abuse and fraud, and clarifying benefits for auto insurance claimants.
Making auto insurance rates more affordable for drivers is part of the Ontario government plan’s to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
- Consultations with representatives from the towing, municipal, insurance, policing, legal, leasing and financing sectors to look at options for towing industry oversight began in early December 2013, with additional meetings being held in early 2014. An advisory group on towing and an advisory group on vehicle storage will participate in the next stage of consultations, with the goal of submitting recommendations to the government in February 2014.
- The Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy was introduced as part of the 2013 Ontario Budget. Within the next two years, Ontario is targeting an average 15 percent auto insurance rate reductionâ€”with an average eight percent reduction target by August 2014.
- The government expects the report on 2013 fourth quarter rate approvals from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario in January 2014 to provide the first evidence that the Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy is working.
- To date, the government has taken action to address 18 of the 38 recommendations made by Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force aimed at preventing fraud and helping protect consumers.
For more information, please visit Ontario.ca.