Dispute Resolution Group - Companies Forum

Minutes of Meeting May 30, 2013


Attendees:                                                           FSCO:

Mike De La Haye: Wawanesa (Chair)                           Isobel Fealdman    
Mark Cekuta: Unifund                                               Janine Macey
Laurie Cuda: TD Insurance                                        John Lobo          
Pierre Gravesande: Economical                                  Margaret Orlander
Janice Hedington: The Co-operators                           Christina Pearce                         
Maria Jolly: Unifund Claims                              
Suilan Lue: DGIG                        
Barry Rosenthal: Intact Insurance
Kim Thoms: Royal & Sun Alliance                              
Robb Walker: Belair Direct                                          
Linda Watson: TD Insurance                                      
Pamela Ground: The Dominion
Wendy Gagliardi: The Dominion
Tim Slaats: Aviva Canada
Zorka Djurdjevic: Desjardin General                                                                     
Vicki Brindley: Allstate, Pembridge & Pafco via conference call
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 – March 21, 2013
    Approved with amendments. 

    Matters Arising from the Minutes
  2. E-Calendar Update for Arbitration:                                  
    J. Macey, Senior Arbitrator, advised Companies Forum Members that they are no significant changed. The planning/development is going well and is on schedule. Next step will be operational decisions. 
  3. Private DR Services Update:              
    I. Fealdman, Project Director, Auto Insurance Division, provided an update on ADR Chambers. Up to 2000 mediation files are continuing to be shipped out per month to ADR. Last file pick up was May 21, 2013. As of May 21, 2013 the backlog is now down to 6,067 files. The backlog will be eliminated by September 2013.  We don’t anticipate sending any more mediation files to ADR Chambers after September. This clearing of the backlog will be contributing to a spike in arbitrations. 500 arbitrations files are continued to be sent out to ADR Chambers on a monthly basis.

    I. Fealdman reminded members that if they have any concerns with ADR file handling to contact her either by phone or email with a file number, mediator/arbitrator name and issue.
  4. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates  
    Janine Macey and John Lobo provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    Updates since March 2013 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.
    Under Staffing:
    Mediation Unit:
    John L. advised that the following positions would be filled through competition: Manager, Admin & Supt Services, Mediation, Team Leader Mediation and two Designated Mediator positions.  

    Arbitration Unit:
    Two arbitrators retired in March, and another's is effective October 1, 2013. Replacements start September 30, 2013 and approval is pending to back fill the remaining vacancy. 
  5. Other Business 

    The Auto Insurance Highlights/ Ontario 2013 Budget:

    Margaret Orlander, Senior Policy Consultant, AIPU provided members with an overview of the Budget items/highlights that relate to the Auto Insurance Industry. Christina P. will send the website link to access background information on the Ministry of Finance Budget.

    ohn L. provided clarification and confirmed that FSCO was accepting mediation applications where the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG), was noted as a stand-alone issue.

    ohn L. and Janine M. informed members that they attended the Canadian Defense Lawyers Conference on April 25, 2013. They presented on Mediation and Arbitration Statistics pertaining to intake, closing and open pending as well as initiatives undertaken to deal with the backlog and future strategic direction.