With this Bulletin, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is highlighting, for your reference, two additional regulation changes recently filed by the Ontario Government.
- Increased Deductible for Pain and Suffering Awards (Ontario Regulation 312/03 amending Ontario Regulation 461/96 - Court Proceedings for Automobile Accidents that Occur on or after November 1, 1996)
As outlined in the Ministry of Finance’s recently released White Paper, Automobile Insurance Affordability Plan for Ontario: Next Steps, the deductible for pain and suffering awards under the Insurance Act will be increased from $15,000 to $30,000 and from $7,500 to $15,000 for Family Law Act awards. This amendment will be effective for all accidents that occur on or after October 1, 2003.
- New Process for Selecting Designated Assessment Centres (DACs) within a Geographic Region (Ontario Regulation 313/03 amending Ontario Regulation 403/96- Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule - Accidents on or after November 1, 1996) (SABS)
Section 53 of the SABS, which outlines how DACs are selected, has been amended. The selection of the DAC will no longer be based only on the centre nearest to the insured person’s home address.
In situations where a designated assessment is required, if the insured person’s residence is located in the Greater Toronto Area (specifically in the City of Toronto, or the Regional Municipality of Durham, Halton, Peel or York) the insurer and the claimant may agree to use any DAC authorized to conduct the assessment within 30 kilometres of the insured person’s home.
If the insured person’s residence is outside of the Greater Toronto Area, the insurer and the insured person may agree on the selection of any DAC authorized to conduct the assessment within 50 kilometres of the insured person’s home.
If there are no DACs within 50 kilometres of the insured person’s home that are authorized to assess the type of impairments and conduct the type of assessment required, the insurer and insured person may agree to use any authorized DAC in the Province.
If no agreement is reached within two business days after the insurer or the insured receives notice a designated assessment is required, the DAC will be selected by FSCO. DACs selected by FSCO will notify the parties of any conflict of interest the DAC may have relating to the assessment. Following this disclosure, if the insurer and the claimant cannot agree to continue the assessment by the selected DAC, another DAC will be selected by FSCO.
In addition, if the DAC is unable to begin an assessment within 14 days of the request for an assessment, the insurer or the insured person may require that another DAC be selected by FSCO as described above.
This amendment will apply to all designated assessments required on or after October 1, 2003.
FSCO Selection Process
Details of FSCO’s process for selection of a DAC where there is no agreement reached between the insurer and the insured person will be released in a forthcoming Bulletin.
Copy of Regulation
Ontario Regulation 312/03 amending Ontario Regulation 461/96 (Court Proceedings for Automobile Accidents on or after November 1, 1996) and Ontario Regulation 313/03 amending Ontario Regulation 403/96 (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule - Accidents on or After November 1, 1996), are enclosed for your information and will be published in the August 16, 2003 edition of The Ontario Gazette. The regulations can also be downloaded from the Ontario e-Laws website at: www.e-laws.gov.on.ca
Bryan P. Davies
Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent of Financial Services
August 13, 2003