Insurers Playing A Numbers Game Ahead Of Insurance Discussions

By Pace Law | February 25, 2013

Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Albert Conforzi: The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC, the association that represents Canada’s insurance carriers), took out a full page ad in the Toronto Star on Saturday, wherein they lined up their major talking points for the next round of insurance discussions.

By law, a 5-year review of the auto insurance system will start this year. The 2008 review resulted in the September 2010 reforms, the effects of which are still not completely understood. I blogged about the ramifications of the 2010 reforms a couple of weeks ago.

Among a number of astounding assertions, the Star ad suggested that Ontario’s 2011 accident benefits claim payouts averaged $28,978, while in Alberta they were $3,568. While the figures themselves might be correct, what they do not reveal is that the Ontario figures include payouts made on claims arising from the pre-September 2010 legislative changes.

In my experience, one thing that insurers hate is someone telling them that they might have made  a mistake.

Those legislative changes reduced accident benefits payouts for all minor injuries to a maximum of $3,500, including all assessment costs (my colleague Alex Voudouris provides a good examination of the minor injury guideline here). 80-90% of all claims made after September 2010 have been classified as minor injuries by insurers. Therefore, the use of pre-2010 claims payout numbers by the IBC is very misleading.

The ad also alleges that, “Lawyers challenging many cases has led to a backlog of 13,000 claims.”

Well.

The flip side of that coin is that insurers, by wrongfully denying legitimate claims, lead victims to ask lawyers to help fight for their rights.

In my experience, one thing that insurers hate is someone telling them that they might have made  a mistake. The harsh truth is that a cavalier denial of a claim by an insurer, and an equally cavalier refusal to reconsider that denial, can ruin someone’s life. It is only when lawyers shed light on such cases that victims have a chance at justice.

Insurers are in business to make money. Paying claims costs insurers’ money. These types of ads demonstrate that insurers, through their mouthpiece organization, will say or do anything to get to the point that they can collect premiums and not have to pay claims.

Albert Conforzi is a personal injury lawyer with Pace Law Firm in Toronto. Albert Conforzi is a personal injury lawyer with Pace Law Firm in Toronto. Pace’s personal injury lawyers have been helping accident victims since 1980.