Minutes of Meeting September 20, 2012

Attendees:                                              FSCO:

Mike De La Haye: Wawanesa (Chair)                            Asfaw Seife
Mark Cekuta: Unifund                                                 John Lobo
Laurie Cuda: TD Insurance                                          Janine Macey
Janice Hedington: The Co-operators                             Isobel Fealdman
James Kempf: The Personal Ins./Certas Direct               Margaret Orlander
Patrick Lau: Dominion                                                Shayna Wiesenfeld
Suilan Lue: DGIG                                                      Christina Pearce
Jeff McComb: Aviva Canada Inc.                                                    
Bev Murray: Co-operators                                          Guests:
Kim Thoms: Royal & Sun Alliance                              
Robb Walker: Belair Direct                                         David Evans          
Linda Watson: TD Insurance                                       Francisco Liu
Tim Slaats: Aviva Canada
Laura Stelzer: TD Insurance
The Dispute Resolution Group – Companies Forum includes representative from auto insurance companies dealing with disputes before the Commission involving motor vehicle accident claims and Statutory Accident Benefits. It consults with the Dispute Resolution Group of Financial Services Commission of Ontario on issues relating to the dispute resolution system.
  1. Review and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting – June 21, 2012
    Approved without amendments.
    Matters Arising from the Minutes
  2. Arbitration and Appeal Decision Database (AADD) Demonstration:
    Francisco Liu (Project Manager, CSD) and David Evans (Appeal Officer) did a presentation on the launch of a new online Arbitration & Appeal Decision Database (AADD) which will be available on the FSCO’s public website. The new database features a refreshed user interface and advanced search functionality that returns better results.  Other enhancements include sample searches, FAQs, settings for preferred viewing and help resources.  
  3. Backlog Initiatives:
    John L. provided an update on:

    Mandatory Settlement Blitz Days: For the period November 4, 2011 to August 31, 2012, FSCO has mediated 1,732 files on the blitz days resulting in 977 full settlements and 35 partial settlements, where some but not all of the issues were settled.

    Discussion followed on whether the initiative should be extended considering the commencement of assignment of mediation files to ADR Chambers as of September 19, 2012, which will be on-going at the rate of up to 2,000 mediation files per month, over and above the files that will continue to be handled by FSCO’s mediators and other factors including availability of the parties etc.    

    Consent Failures: 78 completed Consent to Fail Forms have been received from the period Sept 19, 2011 to August 31, 2012. Reminder that the forms and Instructions are posted and available on the website.
  4. Requests for “Deemed” Failed Reports of Mediator

    Further to a decision released by the Director’s Delegate in July 2012 and as judgment has been reserved with a decision expected in a couple of months on the Court of Appeal decision, on the same 60 day issue, as outlined in stakeholder communication and postings on the FSCO website, it is FSCO’s opinion that it would be premature to change the dispute resolution processes without the benefit of the Court of Appeal decision.  As such, it is status quo for now with no failed reports of mediator being issued, unless a completed consent to fail form is received by FSCO.

    Under staffing:
    Competition to be posted shortly for both permanent a fixed term (backfill) mediators. 
  5. Private Vendor Project Update:
    Isobel F. Director, Strategic & Operational Planning, gave an update on the use of private DR Service Providers.  The RFP procurement process for a private dispute resolution service provider has concluded. The contract was signed with ADR Chambers in August 2012.  FSCO began assigning files to ADR Chambers as of September 19, 2012 and the expectation is to assigned a maximum of approximately 2,000 mediation files per month to ADR Chambers, over and above files that will continue to be handled by FSCO’s mediators.  FSCO will begin assigning up to 500 arbitration files per month to ADR changes in mid-October.
  6. DRS Stats:  
    John Lobo, Janine Macey and Asfaw Seife provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.  

    Judicial Review:

    Updates since June 2012 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.
  7. Other Business:
    Margaret Orlander, Senior Policy Consultant with AID gave an update on the Auto Policy Issues:
  • 1) The Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force submitted its Interim Report to the government, recommending several preliminary measures.
  • 2) After an open competitive RFP process, FSCO awarded the consulting contract to develop the Minor Injury Protocol to Dr. Pierre Côté, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Scientists and other experts will contribute to the development of an evidence-based Minor Injury Treatment Protocol (MITP) that will form the basis of a new Minor Injury Guideline.  The protocol will be used by insurers and health care providers when treating minor injuries resulting from automobile accidents and ensure that there is an extensive continuum of care based on current and scientific and medical evidence.

Minutes by Christina Pearce