Over the course of the last seven years Ontarians have seen many changes to insurance legislation in the province, changes that arguably may have caused more harm than good. When no-fault insurance was introduced, it was intended to be a system that provided Ontario drivers with affordable coverage and protected accident victims; what has evolved over the course of nearly a decade has been a series of reforms that have done the exact opposite.
The findings of a review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario were published earlier this year in a report entitled Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered. The report outlines further changes being considered by the provincial government which threaten to put further strain on an already ailing health care system. This recent round of reforms – if implemented – would be sending even more people to hospitals that are already dealing with an overcrowding crisis. The idea is that medical assessments related to accident claims are conducted in hospitals, an idea that would further tax the already limited resources of healthcare facilities.
To further add fuel to the fire, an additional recommendation in this report is that the province should adopt a model (and a controversial one at that) similar to that of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for conducting medical exams. However, implementing this model would result in added assessments and costs further victimizing anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident claim.
What the government should consider is some research into standardizing the process of independent medical assessments and the examiners who conduct them – a recommendation that has been made a countless number of times.
According to the report the proposed reforms are “an opportunity to learn from past experience and fix the problems in the current auto insurance delivery system”. These proposed reforms however would do little in resolving the present issues and threaten to make things far worse.