Regulator Cracks Down on Invalid Automobile Insurance Policies

TORONTO (JULY 25, 2000) - Drivers who purchased automobile insurance from barter companies may not have valid insurance and may be at risk if they are in an accident.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has issued Cease and Desist Orders against Crump Barter Services of Harrow, Ontario, Joseph G. Crump of Harrow Ontario; Executive Barter Exchange Inc., of Waterdown, Ontario, Katherine Anne Cooper of Waterdown and Jonathan Lapid of Vaughan Ontario.

Both Crump Barter and Executive Barter were advertising an insurance product for Tri-Continental Exchange Ltd. and Robert L. Brown. Tri-Continental and Brown had both been ordered to stop conducting the business of insurance in Ontario.

Dina Palozzi, Superintendent of FSCO warns drivers "None of these people are licensed to sell automobile insurance in Ontario. I would advise anyone who purchased policies through these companies or these people to contact a licensed insurance seller immediately and get coverage."

A list of licensed insurance companies and agents is available on the FSCO website (www.fsco.gov.on.ca) or by phoning (416) 250-7250 or 1-800-668-0128.

If people in possession of invalid policies are involved in an accident, they will only be allowed minimal medical and rehabilitation benefits. They will not be allowed to claim wage loss benefits and have lost their right to sue. They are also personally liable for civil actions for the injuries of the other parties in the accident if those parties meet the legal threshold for injuries, pain and suffering.

Crump Barter and Executive Barter are barter companies, which trade in cash, goods and services. Mr. Crump is listed as the sole director and officer of Crump Barter. Ms Cooper is a director and Mr. Lapid is an officer of Executive Barter.

People who barter perform a service for another member of the barter company and obtain barter dollars for the work they do. They could trade barter dollars for other products or services offered through the barter company including insurance. In some cases, payments would be made in a combination of barter dollars and cash.

Barter companies, however, are not licensed to sell insurance.

"People looking for short term savings could be looking at life time payments if they are involved in a serious accident," said Palozzi. "They have put themselves and other people at risk by purchasing unlicensed insurance."

Although Crump Barter and Joseph G. Crump, as well as Executive Barter, Katherine Anne Cooper and Jonathan Lapid have asked for a hearing into the matter, the Interim Cease and Desist Orders continue in force against them.

Copies of the Cease and Desist Orders may be found on FSCO's website (www.fsco.gov.on.ca).

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is the regulatory body governing automobile insurance in Ontario.

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FSCO Media Contact:
Brian Donlevy
Information Officer
(416) 590-7057