Auto Insurance Consumers to be Asked to Rate Insurance Company Claims Services

NORTH YORK, Ont. (November 25, 1997) -- Ontario's auto insurance companies are being asked to survey consumers on how satisfied they are with the way their company has dealt with them, the Ontario Insurance Commission (OIC) announced today.

The survey, which will be done through telephone interviews by independent polling firms, is to be completed every year starting in 1998. Results will be reported to the OIC by June 30th of each year.

The OIC is also requiring insurance companies to carry out audits of their no-fault accident benefits claims every two years beginning in the new year. The purpose of the audits is to evaluate how well insurers are complying with auto insurance legislation. Half of the companies will complete audits in the first year and the rest of the companies will complete them in the following year.

The results from the consumer surveys and claims audits will be used by the OIC to produce a claims rating index, which will be made available to consumers in a future OIC publication. These changes are intended to help consumers shop around and make better choices when buying auto insurance.

To help consumers, the OIC has also published Your 1997 Guide to Rates in Ontario which gives rate comparisons for all auto insurance companies in Ontario. The guide is available by calling the OIC at 1-800-263-7965 (English), 1-800-668-5821 (French) during business hours. It can also be found on the OIC's Web site at: www.ontarioinsurance.com.

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Media contact: Willie Handler (416) 590-7230