Thursday, 2 February 2012

Insurance News - Thursday, February 2, 2012

Insurance Benefits Backlog a Nightmare for Accident Victims

Getting hurt in a car crash is bad enough, but for many people in Ontario, it’s only the beginning of a lengthy nightmare.
People turned down for accident benefits by insurance face a wait of as long as two years before their appeals wind their way through the system administered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Steps being taken by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to address the mediation backlog include mandatory settlement blitz days, joint consent to fail mediation, and the introduction of an electronic scheduling process.
FSCO also released a Request for Proposal on January 16, 2012 with the intention of contracting with up to four dispute resolution companies to provide high volume services to eliminate the file backlog. The companies would need to be able to provide arbitration services in addition to mediation services to prevent a backlog in arbitration cases as files work through the system. The deadline for proposals is February 24, 2012 and contracts are expected to be in place by May, 2012.
FSCO Releases the Costs of Goods Guideline

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has released a guideline on the costs of goods. The Guideline was developed as a result of a recommendation by the Auto Insurance Anti-fraud Task Force in its interim report regarding measures that should be undertaken as soon as possible.

The Guideline indicates that where an insurer has agreed to pay for a medical or rehabilitation good under sections 15 or 16 of the SABS, they are only required to pay the lowest retail price available to any member of the general public in Ontario. In the event of a dispute, the onus is on the insurer to provide evidence of the retain price of an item.


Social Media Sleuthing

Social media has quickly become the foremost activity on the Internet. The explosive growth in user-generated content has been a boon for insurance claims adjusters and fraud investigators. Navigating the social media landscape, however, can be tricky.


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