As part of the Pre-Budget process, IBAO was invited to present before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in January. Traci Boland, Chair of the Board, presented on IBAO’s behalf, to give us an opportunity to speak to our requests in a more thorough way. She said she felt the meeting was a success and “officials from all three parties were engaged with what we had to say.”
As an association representing over 12,000 insurance brokers across Ontario, IBAO is an important voice with the Ontario Government, working alongside government bodies on policy issues that affect brokers and consumers. This year’s Pre-Budget Submission focuses on three areas of concern and outlines a number of recommendations for each.
Regulatory Auto Reform
While we’re very supportive of the recommendations made in David Marshall’s Report, Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario, we recommend a well-considered implementation timeline and plan. We advise the FSRA, the new governing body, to proceed cautiously and not change too much too soon, which could have a destabilizing effect on the market. We also stand behind the importance of territorial rating as a variable for setting auto rates and suggest that the best way to educate consumers on changes to Ontario’s auto insurance product is through the broker channel.
The impending legalization in July will impact the insurance industry from a number of angles. We’re working with government, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and a number of insurer partners to develop educational materials for both brokers and consumers. To ensure we can develop and deliver materials prior to legalization, we require clear communication on the rules and regulations – the sooner we can equip brokers with the information they need, the sooner brokers can help consumers understand the impacts of this new legislation.
Testing of driverless cars is already happening in Ontario. There are many implications that require detailed analysis prior to and during the transition to sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. We believe there are a number of key principles that should be adopted in order to lay a foundation for the future: insurance should continue to be provided from the insurance sector and not from automotive companies; liability must rest with the vehicle owner, who is ultimately responsible in the case of user error and maintenance neglect; consumers must own and have access to their data and have a say on what that data can and cannot be used for. As with cannabis, insurance brokers are positioned as a key voice in consumer education surrounding autonomous vehicles.
For more detail on these recommendations, you can view our Pre-Budget Submission online.