Spring 2018 will bring in some changes with how auto insurance fraud cases are handled, starting with the slated opening of a dedicated Serious Fraud Office. The new government office will focus on protecting accident victims and cracking down on auto insurance fraud offenders.
Reforms In Ontario Soon
Finance Minister Charles Sousa introduced new reforms earlier this month under Ontario’s new Fair Auto Insurance Plan. The reforms include the creation of independent examination centres where victims of vehicular accidents can get neutral assessment of sustained injuries. The province’s government believe that this, along with a task force, will help crack down on the systematic fraud in Ontario auto insurance industry.
The creation of a Serious Fraud Office in early 2018 is just one of the several arms of the new program under Ontario’s Fair Auto Insurance Plan that aims to eradicate the questionable practices that are clouding the system for accident victims.
According from the joint announcement by Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Ontario Attorney General Yasir Nagvi, the new office will protect accident victims and combat auto insurance fraud by the combined work of crown attorneys and investigators.
Stopping Auto Insurance Fraud
Sousa was quoted saying that it is time to stop the wrong practices in auto insurance resulting to fraud more so now that it has reached an estimated $1.6 billion annual loses for taxpayers, an amount that lines it up with leading industries in terms of value.
The reforms were brought on by David Marshall’s report that brings to light how medical clinics, lawyers, insurers, and some other people take advantage of victims to milk more money resulting to higher overall cost that good drivers have to pay for. Marshall is the former CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as well as the province’s auto insurance adviser. Sousa says that the reforms will give easier and faster access to care for accident victims.
The province is also set to develop a standard treatment plan for victims of common injuries such as whiplash or sprain after a collision. Independent examination centres will also be created for the neutral assessment of injuries of victims of more serious collisions. These centres are expected to decrease disputes on diagnosis and result to decreased inefficiencies and system costs from that typically accompanies disputes.
Change for the Better
Sousa stated in a press release that the Insurance Act will be given more teeth to protect consumers and prevent companies from charging unfairly high premiums for certain areas of the province.
This news will also reduce the incidences of the rampant overcharging that personal injury lawyers in Ontario have been found to do, sometimes overcharging accident victims by the thousands.
Nagvi shared that these reforms have been in the works for years and the time to act against auto insurance fraud is now more so that fraud hurts both individuals and businesses alike. He believes that the recent announcements will yield positive results in time.