Ontario budget takes aim at insurance fraud

Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa released the province's budget recently, which included statements about the province's plan to establish a serious fraud office focused on auto claims.

Toronto, Ontario — February 28, 2016 — The government of Ontario has plans to establish a “serious fraud office” with a special focus on auto insurance fraud. The announcement was included in the budget recently announced by Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa.

“Auto insurance fraud continues to be a serious problem and has plagued the Ontario auto insurance system costing as much as $1.6 billion a year,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “We are thrilled to see the Government make the fight against fraud a priority.”

Also announced in the Budget, the Government is working with the regulator on ways to assist with the rapidly expanding sharing economy. It will enable new insurance products for ride-sharing services to be approved faster, even if interim approvals are necessary. The Government and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) will also work with insurers to develop legislative and regulatory changes necessary to integrate the sharing economy into the auto insurance system.

The government of Ontario’s 2016-17 budget document also states the government is “prepared to amend the Insurance Act to ensure that consumers are provided with complete information about the history of used vehicles.” Those amendments would “allow for regulations to be made to require insurers to provide claims and repair history information to motor vehicle dealers for disclosure to prospective used vehicle purchasers.”

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