New Ontario regulator promised for next April

ONTARIO’s Liberal government has pledged to have the province’s new financial services regulator fully operational by next April.

In its budget released earlier this spring, the government proposed amendments to provide the new Financial Services Regulatory Authority prudential oversight of certain insurance companies incorporated in Ontario and authority to make rules requiring insurers to provide claims and repair-history information to car dealers for disclosure to prospective used-vehicle purchasers.

The government, which is facing a general election in June, has also promised to reduce red tape and improve consumer convenience with an amendment that would clarify the use of electronic communications by insurers and consumers, including some insurance applications, policies and forms.

“Ontario’s insurers support this new regulator and we look forward to working with FSRA,” said Kim Donaldson, Ontario vp at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The FSRA is the brainchild of an expert panel tasked with reviewing the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Ontario.

The budget also touched on the Fair Auto Insurance Plan measures published by the Ministry of Finance in December.

The plan is aimed at bringing insurance rates down by reducing fraud and disputes and connecting people with appropriate medical treatment, as opposed to cash settlements.

The IBC noted the government has adopted the recommendation made by the insurance industry on how to manage the care of those who have a catastrophic impairment, with a slight twist.

In his report ‘Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered,’ David Marshall, former ceo of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, had suggested the government make catastrophic impairment the responsibility of the Ministry of Health.

The Liberals have instead opted to fund the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation to develop evidence based programs of care for the most seriously injured.

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