On April 11, 2019, the Ontario Provincial Government released the “Putting Drivers First” blueprint, which proposes a series of reforms to the auto insurance system in Ontario. While many details of the plan have yet to be released by the Government, some of the proposed changes include:
- Allowing insurance companies more flexibility to offer drivers more choices coverage options.
- Creating a driver care card, which acts like a debit-style card for people who make insurance claims. When an accident occurs, the driver care card will be loaded with money reserved for insurance benefits.
- Introducing a “care not cash” clause to standard automobile policies in Ontario. This clause would prevent injured individuals from settling their accident benefits claims for a lump sum. Those who are catastrophically injured may be exempted from this change.
- Implementing changes to the Insurer Examination process.
- Restoring the accident benefits limit for catastrophically injured individuals from $1 million to $2 million.
- Increasing the use of electronic communication for forms, policies, and other documents.
- Enhancing data analytics for insurers.
- Introducing new rules on “unfair and deceptive” acts or practices by insurers.
While the full implications of these reforms are not yet clear, it appears that big changes are in store for the auto insurance system in Ontario.