Author Archives: Admin2

Healthcare Providers Respond to Auto Reform Announcements with Cautious Optimism

The Ontario Rehab Alliance (ORA), representing healthcare providers in the auto sector, sees much to applaud in the blueprint to improve the province’s auto insurance system presented in the 2019 Budget.

“On behalf of our seriously injured clients we are thrilled with the return to the higher level of coverage for catastrophic injuries and relieved that this government has protected other accident benefits after years of cuts”, says Laurie Davis, Executive Director of the ORA.

ORA Media Release – Heathcare Providers Cautiously Optimistic About Auto Reform

Rehab First Auto Insurance Submission to Finance Minister Fedeli

Auto insurance in Ontario is segmented according to nine lines of coverage. Our submission focuses on the two lines which represent the largest percentage of claim
costs, they being the Statutory Accident Benefit and Third Party Liability-Personal
Injury lines. According to FSCO, in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 calendar years, those lines,
respectively, accounted for 58.1%, 56.2% and 52.4% of auto insurance claims costs.

Rehab First – 2019-Auto Insce Accessibility Affordability Submission to Minister Fedeli

Positive News for Ontario’s Injured Car Accident Survivors

TORONTO, April 15, 2019 PRESS RELEASE – Last week Ontario’s drivers received the first positive news they’ve heard in over a decade.

FAIR is pleased to see that coverage for the most injured of accident victims will be increased to the pre-June 2016 level of $2 million in med/rehab benefits for catastrophically injured Ontarians.

The concerns of motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors under the previous government had been ignored and the erosion of coverage had allowed insurers to download a significant number of victims onto taxpayers who were already paying some of the highest premiums in Canada.

Auto insurance has been dysfunctional and broken for many years and this has left injured Ontarians to fend for themselves to find treatments when insurers ignored their responsibilities. The changes in the 2019 Budget are the first indication that this government was listening to consumers and they have a taken a good first step to improve things for this vulnerable population.

Car accident victims in Ontario have faced many barriers to recovery, both in the medical file manipulations by insurers who have been dodging the responsibility owed to their injured customers and in the increased legal costs of holding their insurers accountable.

According to Tammy Kirkwood, Vice Chair of FAIR “This government listened and heard the need for positive changes for the victims of MVA. It will be a good thing to see that insurance is going to start working to be the safety net we need after the traumatic event of an auto accident.” Ms. Kirkwood is herself a survivor of a horrific car accident with a dump truck some years ago and has dedicated much of her time to ensure that others have the same recovery options and resources as she did post accident. “We all deserve to be the best we can be and insurers should be on board with that as a promise to their injured customers.”

FAIR looks forward to working with stakeholders in a new era of “Putting Drivers First” in Ontario and toward protecting the rights of injured consumers to access the treatments they need in order to reach maximum recovery.

‘FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education’

SOURCE: FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform 

For further information: Rhona DesRoches, FAIR, Board Chair at fairautoinsurance@gmail.com, http://www.fairassociation.ca

April 12, 2019

What we know so far about upcoming changes to auto insurance as listed in the 2019 Budget  

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Province Announces Sweeping Changes to Auto Insurance

The Provincial Government released their budget yesterday and announced ‘Transformative Auto Insurance’ reforms but have provided little information on how much drivers will save, and how much injured people may lose in benefits. What is clear is that this is a wide scale plan aimed at reducing insurance rates for drivers. No targets were released as to how much they will drop. The changes seem to be aimed at making the insurance claim process easier for claimants in the event of car accidents and personal injury. The government hopes to create more competition between insurance companies as well. 
 
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Insurers respond to Ontario’s multi-year auto insurance plan

The government of Ontario has unveiled its budget for 2019, which includes a blueprint to improve the province’s broken auto insurance system – a decision that insurers are wholeheartedly supporting. 
 
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Ontario Government Takes a Different Approach to Auto Insurance Reforms

The 2019 Ontario Budget is out and there’s some positive news for auto insurance consumers. 
 
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Ford government reveals ‘transformative’ auto insurance reforms, but doesn’t say how much drivers will save

The Ford government has revealed a sweeping plan to reduce auto insurance rates, though it is not saying how much drivers should expect to save under the new rules. 
 
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2019 Ontario Budget Protecting What Matters Most

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Allen Wynperle discussing the 2019 Ontario Budget

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Ontario Budget 2019 Announces $1 Billion in OW and ODSP Cuts

The 2019/2020 Ontario Budget was announced today, and creates even more uncertainty for people who receive benefits from the Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) system. 
 
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How Aviva is simplifying its claims process

Aviva Canada has worked with provincial regulators to simplify its products and the claims process for customers. 
 
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Family Fails to Declare 17 Year Old Son with G2 in Household – Policy Cancelled – Costs Awarded – Seetaram v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 2019 ONSC 683

IS INSURANCE POLICY VALID:  duty to disclose material changes in the insured risk; applicant fails to advise insurer of change in risk; policy revoke is warranted; costs assessed to insured 
 
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Law Society of Ontario and Arkadii Barapp

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18-004555 v Wawanesa Insurance, 2019 CanLII 22203 (ON LAT), <http://canlii.ca/t/hz9f0 

ISSUES

      [3]      The issues before me that I must decide are:

                       (i)      Is the respondent required to advise the applicant of the existence of surveillance, if any?

                       (ii)     If the answer to (i) is yes, is the respondent required to provide the applicant with complete, unredacted surveillance tapes and records if the respondent does not intend to rely on that evidence at the hearing?

      [4]      To determine these issues, I must answer the following questions:

                     (i)      If surveillance evidence exists, is it relevant to the issues in dispute in this application?

                     (ii)     If surveillance evidence is relevant, is the applicant entitled to have the existence of the same disclosed and the surveillance evidence produced, or is some or all of what is sought protected from disclosure by litigation privilege?

RESULT

   [5]        Having considered the evidence and the parties’ submissions, my decision and reasons are as follows:

                     (i)      Surveillance that is related to the issues in dispute, if any, is relevant to this application.

                     (ii)     Litigation privilege arose in this case on September 4, 2014 when the applicant filed an application for arbitration to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) claiming accident benefits arising out of the May 1, 2013 accident (“2014 application”), and I find that:

a)        the respondent must advise the applicant of the existence of all surveillance, if any, conducted prior to September 4, 2014 and provide the applicant with the date, time, place and reason for the surveillance; and

b)        the respondent must provide copies of any surveillance conducted before September 4, 2014 that relates to the issues in dispute. The respondent shall be entitled to redact solicitor-client privileged communications, if any.

                     (iii)     The respondent is not required to advise the applicant of the existence of any surveillance or provide copies of any surveillance evidence that relates to surveillance conducted after litigation privilege arose on September 4, 2014, unless the respondent intends to rely on it at the hearing.

                     (iv)     The respondent shall comply with the Tribunal’s Common Rules of Practice & Procedure[1] (the “Tribunal Rules”) with respect to any surveillance evidence it intends to rely upon at the hearing. 

 
 

April 10, 2019

When a car is classified as a write-off, that usually means it’s time for a new one. As many consider Ontario’s system of auto insurance regulation as badly broken, could the same guidance be applied here? 
 
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Insurers object to characterization of Ontario auto as “profitable”

Canada’s home, auto and business insurers are objecting to a recent characterization of Ontario’s auto insurance regime as “profitable.” 
 
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Ontario city partly liable in collision that injured four

A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision means the City of Hamilton is partly liable in a motor vehicle bodily injury lawsuit because there was no painted stop line immediately before an intersection. 
 
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Car accident while delivering food leaves woman with $8,400 repair bill

A woman working for Skip the Dishes is out thousands of dollars after she discovered that her regular insurance policy doesn’t cover collisions that take place on the job. 
 
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What are the Main Differences Between STD and LTD Benefits?

The waiting period for STD benefits is relatively short compared to LTD benefits and can be as short as 1 day or as long as 1 week. Short-term disability benefits are meant to provide almost immediate financial assistance when you become disabled, whereas LTD benefits could have a waiting period of anywhere from 119 days to 52 weeks. 
 
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Take a stance and change the future for Ontarians with disabilities 
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$175,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Chronic Psychological Injuries

In the recent case (Anssari v. Alborzpour) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2014 collision.  She sustained various psychological injuries including severe depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms.  These continued to the time of trial and were likely to continue in the future. 
 

Orillia Business Women’s Association – Women of Distinction 2019 Nominees Tammy Kirkwood

Orillia Business Women’s Association – Women of Distinction 2019 Nominees
 
Tammy Kirkwood
FAIR (Fair Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform) 

To understand how Tammy has and is continually achieving excellence and is an innovator for the work that she does, I would like to say a bit about what happened to Tammy to bring her to the point she is at today. On October 24th 2008 Tammy was T-Boned by a dump truck on her way to work. The injuries she sustained were catastrophic including a severe brain injury and many permanent physical injuries. The crash changed her life completely and her recovery was nothing short of a miracle as the doctors did not give much hope to her family for her recovery. However, Tammy, being the determined and amazingly strong willed person she is, did recover. Over time, and with much rehabilitation and determination on Tammy’s part, she has accomplished so much. She continues to live with the injuries she sustained, both physical and mental and has thrived in her ‘new’ life giving back to all who come not only come in contact with her but the community and all those that can’t speak for themselves.

 
She currently works for FAIR which is the Association for Accident Victims and Accident Insurance Reform. In her role she does many administrative duties, but where she really shines is her advocating with government bodies and the public at large for fair treatment and access to benefits that survivors of serious injury so desperately need. Since her accident, insurance companies and the government have cut settlement monies for rehabilitation and on- going life management and Tammy has been vocal about what is needed and necessary for individuals to recover, flourish and in many cases such as hers, create a new life while dealing with permanent life changes. She attends budget meetings, speaks at government committees, writes numerous letters to MPP’s and anyone who will listen including the press about survivors’ plights and rights, and tries to make the insurance companies and the government accountable to some of the most vulnerable members of society. Ail of this she does without expecting a thing. She does not look for accolades or pats on the back. She does this because she believes that everyone is entitled to a good life.
 

April 9, 2019

Orillia Business Women’s Association – Women of Distinction 2019 Nominees
Tammy Kirkwood
FAIR (Fair Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform) 

http://www.fairassociation.ca/
 
To understand how Tammy has and is continually achieving excellence and is an innovator for the work that she does, I would like to say a bit about what happened to Tammy to bring her to the point she is at today. On October 24th 2008 Tammy was T-Boned by a dump truck on her way to work. The injuries she sustained were catastrophic including a severe brain injury and many permanent physical injuries. The crash changed her life completely and her recovery was nothing short of a miracle as the doctors did not give much hope to her family for her recovery. However, Tammy, being the determined and amazingly strong willed person she is, did recover. Over time, and with much rehabilitation and determination on Tammy’s part, she has accomplished so much. She continues to live with the injuries she sustained, both physical and mental and has thrived in her ‘new’ life giving back to all who come not only come in contact with her but the community and all those that can’t speak for themselves.
 
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Better simplified procedure needed in civil courts

Parties’ right to a jury trial is standing in the way of an effective simplified procedure in civil courts, according to the president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.

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Slow down because speed kills, police tell drivers in new Toronto campaign

The campaign is designed to protect what police call vulnerable road users. That means all pedestrians, but especially school children and older adults, as well cyclists and motorcyclists. All of these groups of people are most at risk when a crash occurs.

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Aviva Canada CEO calls for regulation overhaul

The CEO of Aviva Canada has spoken up about the state of auto insurance in Ontario, calling for more changes to be introduced in the province’s insurance system.
 
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Collecting evidence covertly is useless if not defensible in court

“You have to be able to defend your actions in a court of law, an arbitration, or wherever else it might end up being used,” he says. “You have to always think in those terms because if you can’t defend it, and the evidence is thrown out because it was collected improperly, then it’s a waste of everyone’s time and money.”

https://www.advocatedaily.com/mkd-international-inc–collecting-evidence-covertly-is-useless-if-not-defensible-in-court.html

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The Rule of Law Is Declining Globally, Canada Is Not Entirely Without Room for Improvement
 
Overall in 2019, Canada ranks 9th globally with a score of 0.81. Denmark ranks 1st with a score of 0.90. The lowest score is for Venezuela at 0.28. Although Canada ranks favourably overall among advanced nations, our score remains stubbornly low on the civil justice factor.
 
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How common are “snooping” privacy breaches?

When it comes to privacy breaches in the healthcare sector, “snooping” is definitely a concern. Snooping, or unauthorized access, breaches occur when an employee (such as a hospital worker) has access to identifiable information and abuses their authority to look at electronic health records of friends, family or co-workers.

https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/risk/how-common-are-snooping-privacy-breaches-1004161713/

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Why you shouldn’t rely on the kindness of strangers when selling your vehicle yourself

Langan also struck out when he asked his insurance company to cover the loss. Since the car had been paid for and transferred to a new owner, it was no longer his vehicle, he was told.

 
 

April 8, 2019

Increased Court Costs Impairs Access to Justice

Because disbursements aren’t already high enough, the Ontario government has increased the fees associated with the filing of many of the most common civil court documents as of April 1, 2019. 
 
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Marchant: Shouldn’t lawyers be the next target for the Competition Bureau?

Canada’s Competition Bureau saw the Toronto Real Estate Board rigging the housing market against cheaper ways for people buy and sell their homes. TREB wouldn’t let non-members in on what prices homes actually sold for. In 2018, after years of litigation, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that TREB had to make home sales data transparent. 
 
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Canada ignored its gigantic money laundering problem for years — and lawyers fanned the flames

Ottawa’s budget earmarked about $200 million over the next five years to address Canada’s massive money laundering problem. 
 
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The Awful Truth about Private Investigation & Security Guard Licensing in Ontario

Government regulations of Private Investigators in Ontario have changed their licensing system. Individual license holders are no longer required to be hired by a PI agency before they can obtain a PI license. Thousands upon thousands of individual license holders carry a PI license when they have not secured a job with any PI or security guard agency in Ontario. They carry and use the license unsupervised by any agency. 
 
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Changing disability definition a dangerous mistake that will harm thousands

Claire came into my office last week, for the fourth time in two months. She was sad, very sad, actually clinically depressed. She’s 32, works as a waitress, and couldn’t face another shift. She wanted a note off work for two weeks to focus on battling her dark mood. 
 

April 5, 2019

Is the SABs unconstitutional – Sovereign General Insurance Company and Abdirahman Abyan and Insurance Bureau of Canada Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and Attorney General of Ontario

Sovereign General Insurance Company appeals the order of Arbitrator Drory dated September 14, 2017. The Arbitrator found that two provisions of the SABS–2010 were unconstitutional, namely the definition of “minor injury” insofar as it includes chronic pain arising from minor injuries, and the requirement for a pre-accident condition to be documented in order to escape the effects of the “minor injury” definition. 
 
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Implied or explicit consent needed for vicarious liability

Car owners must have given consent to another driver’s use of the vehicle before they can be held liable for that person’s negligence, Toronto personal injury lawyer Gary Will tells AdvocateDaily.com
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

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EXCLUSIVE: changes proposed to OHIP coverage

Big changes are being proposed to healthcare coverage in Ontario as the provincial government is looking to find half a billion dollars worth of savings from within OHIP, CityNews has learned. 
 
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2.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually

Brain injuries have been in the spotlight in recent years, and for good reason. Concussion diagnosis is on the rise in the United States.Increasing 43 percent from 2010 to 2015.
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Sleep after TBI: unlock 11 endorsed steps

Something a lot of those with brain injuries find, is that they have trouble getting to sleep. I don’t mean the impromptu power naps, I mean when you go to bed expecting to recharge your batteries but it feels like you can’t find the “off” switch. 
 
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B.C. civil rule amendment could cut costs, timelines considerably

A very significant amendment to the British Columbia Supreme Court Civil Rules was enacted without warning on Feb. 11, 2019, in relation to expert reports in motor vehicle claims and personal injury actions. The amendment applies to all personal injury actions as of Feb. 1, 2010. 
 

April 4, 2019

CU Total Loss Series: How to reduce auto total loss cycle times by a week

Meet Jane Doe, a total loss survivor. The front end of her car was demolished when she tried to turn left at a busy intersection. She was hit by a driver who was talking on his cell phone while running a red light.
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Great-West Lifeco consolidating, rebranding as Canada Life

Great-West Lifeco is consolidating its three Canadian life insurance companies under a single brand.