Ontario’s auto insurance is the most expensive in the country. What is causing this? What can be done?

At next week’s BIP Talks event at Convention David Marshall, the Ontario Ministry of Finance Adviser on Auto Insurance, and Don Forgeron, President & CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, will discuss the Ontario Auto insurance system.

Our speakers gave us a preview of what to expect.

Don, in one word, what is the status of the Ontario auto insurance product today?

DON: Broken.

In your opinion, why is it important that the brokers come to hear your presentation?

DON: David Marshall’s report is a comprehensive diagnosis of what’s wrong with auto insurance in Ontario. It provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for product reform and shows us a path forward. He’ll be speaking about his vision for a vastly reformed Ontario auto insurance system – one that finally works for consumers, your customers. 

Without giving away any of the good stuff you’re going to share on stage at the IBAO Convention, what is one interesting piece of information you want the brokers to know about the future of Ontario auto insurance?

DON: Ontario’s auto insurance product is once again not sustainable. We’ve run out of Band-Aids for the current system. While accident rates are falling, claim costs continue to rise. David Marshall credits this in part to leakage in the system: Each year about one-third of benefit costs, approximately $1.4 billion, go toward competing expert opinions and legal services – instead of paying for the treatment of injured people. If we can’t collectively find a way to eliminate inefficiencies and abuse from the system, costs will continue to rise.

David, how have you enjoyed your experience working on this project thus far? 

DAVID: This project has been one of the most enjoyable and productive I have ever worked on. The subject matter is complex and I felt I was learning something new every day. I opened my door to anyone who wanted to talk to me and I met so many smart, fascinating people.

What have been the most enjoyable components of the project? 

DAVID: Working on the project was like solving a giant puzzle. Each day I would take the pieces of information I had gathered and try and fit them together. At first, it seemed there would never be a solution to the puzzle but then gradually over the summer and fall of last year, a picture began to emerge. That was an exciting time. I worked many hours putting the picture into words which eventually became my report. The best part is that I feel I got to know so many good, smart people in the course of the work and maybe I have also contributed to a better understanding of how to solve the problems that have plagued us for a long time.

You can hear more on October 25th in Ottawa. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for Convention.