Ontario has the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada despite the province having low rates of collisions and deaths – a big factor to that is the prevalence of auto insurance fraud.
Ontario is looking into ways to push for changes in the auto insurance industry to help try to combat fraud and eventually reduce premiums. This is in view of the reported cost of auto insurance fraud totaling to an estimated $1.6 billion a year as shared by Finance Minister Charles Sousa. He said it is now time to put a stop to the fraud, a move that may create new challenges for real crash victims.
Sousa shared that there are plans for the government to develop standard treatment plans for commonplace collision injuries such as whiplash and sprains. They will also create neutral and independent examination centres for the medical assessment of more serious cases and tackle fraud in the system by establishing a Serious Fraud Office. He hopes that getting rid of fraud will significantly reduce costs and subsequently lower premiums.
Ontario found out earlier this year via a government-commissioned report that the province pays Canada’s most expensive auto insurance premiums despite having the lowest numbers of fatalities and accidents. The higher cost is for covering loses due to auto insurance fraud.
All of the above comes at a time when the Liberal government is still working on their promise of a reduced rate. Although they are about halfway of their goal right now, they missed their self imposed deadline in August 2015.
Lawyers Say New Plan Will Unfairly Target Victims
Personal injury lawyers are not fans of the proposal, pointing out that the new process will work unfairly against real victims.
Michael Smitiuch of Smitiuch Injury Law based in Toronto stated that it seems the current government has a talent for punishing people who truly needed help the most as it will create unnecessary roadblocks for victims. The lawyer also said that a cookie cutter approach like what the province is proposing will not be enough to adequately meet the needs of injured victims. He further voiced out that he sees more problems in the future regarding claiming of benefits and making sure that they are paid out.
Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers’ consultant Sebastian Gallagher said the proposed system will do the opposite of providing clarity and lessening confusion.
A Different Time for The Same Mistakes?
Critics expressed that the new plan have concerning similarities with the failed Designated Assessment Centres introduced in 1994 and shut down in 2006. The DAC failed because the process was usually long, drawn out, and a sinkhole of resources.
Should the new proposal be implemented, proving fraud or the absence thereof might become even more difficult. Some people will do anything for fraud. Luckily for you, we specialize in uncovering cases of it through the use of our legitimate private investigation services and techniques. Contact us should you wish to get data on someone or place them under personal surveillance the right way.