To the attention of all insurance companies licensed to transact automobile insurance in Ontario
This Bulletin outlines requirements for submitting automobile insurance rate and risk classification filings. The filings are made necessary by regulations that will come into force on September 1, 2010. The regulations implement reforms to automobile insurance brought about by the Five-Year Automobile Insurance Review.
Insurers that write non-fleet automobile insurance on OAP 1 or OAP 2 are required to deliver rate and risk classification filings for each category of insurance.
The filings must be submitted to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) by April 15, 2010. FSCO will review reform-related filings only; non-reform filings will be attended to once reform-related filings have been approved.
Simplified Filing Guidelines are attached. These filing guidelines have been reviewed by FSCO's Rating and Underwriting Technical Advisory Committee.
Insurers are required to make changes to their current risk classification systems and rates as follows:
1) Changes to standard statutory accident benefits rates to reflect:
- elimination of standard caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance benefits for non-catastrophic injuries;
- lowering of standard medical and rehabilitation benefits limit to $50,000 from $100,000 for non-catastrophic injuries;
- lowering of standard attendant care benefits limit to $36,000 from $72,000 for non-catastrophic injuries;
- change of income replacement benefit calculation from 80% of net income to 70% of gross income;
- introduction of $3,500 cap on medical/rehabilitation expenses and assessment/ examination report costs for minor injuries;
- other changes to standard accident benefits as outlined in the Filing Guidelines.
2) Rates for the following optional accident benefits:
- increased medical and rehabilitation benefit to $100,000 for non-catastrophic injuries;
- increased attendant care benefit to $72,000 for non-catastrophic injuries;
- increased medical and rehabilitation benefit to $1,100,000 and increased attendant care benefit to $1,072,000 for non-catastrophic injuries;
- caregiver benefit of up to $250 per week for first dependant, plus up to $50 per week per additional dependant for non-catastrophic injuries, and housekeeping and home maintenance benefit of up to $100 per week for non-catastrophic injuries;
- dependant care benefit of up to $75 per week for first dependant, plus up to $25 per week per additional dependant, to maximum of $150 per week;
- increased income replacement benefits;
- increased death and funeral benefits;
- indexation benefit.
3) The introduction of a $500 deductible for the Direct Compensation - Property Damage (DC-PD) coverage (if an insurer does not currently offer a $500 deductible).
4) The introduction of Ontario Policy Change Form 48 (OPCF 48) providing optional first party coverage offsetting the statutory third party liability tort deductible of $30,000 for pain and suffering awards, and $15,000 for family members under the Family Law Act, to $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.
5) Revised wording for the definition of a rateable at-fault accident to be used in risk classification systems, reflecting the requirement that no claim arising out of an accident occurring on or after September 1, 2010 for which an insured is 25% or less at fault be used as an element of an insurer's risk classification system.
Optional Accident Benefits
Optional accident benefits are defined in the new Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – Effective September 1, 2010. Once purchased, the optional accident benefits automatically extend to the named insured, the spouse and dependants of the named insured, the dependants of the named insured's spouse, and to any persons specified in the policy as drivers of the insured automobile. Consequently, the optional accident benefits only need to be purchased once, and not on every vehicle the named insured or those identified above operate.
It is required that all renewals be issued with the standard accident benefits coverage. For other coverages, renewals will be issued at the limits or deductibles that consumers previously selected.
Benchmarks are currently being finalized to be used to facilitate the preparation of filings. They will be released during the week of March 8, 2010. As noted in the Filing Guidelines, benchmarks will be provided for reform rate adjustment factors, loss trends, reform loss cost adjustment factors and loss cost changes for optional benefits, the tort deductible and the DC-PD deductible.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Canadian Auto Insurance Rate Regulators Association worked together to set the rate profiles used in the Filing Guidelines. The harmonized rate profiles will simplify filing requirements.
Insurers must submit the profiles to FSCO using standardized Excel spreadsheets. The Excel template will be provided by FSCO.
FSCO's web-based ARCTICS system is being updated to include these Filing Guidelines and is expected to be available for use by insurers by March 12, 2010. Using ARCTICS will speed up the review and approval of automobile reform filings.
Long-term Reform Measures
FSCO expects additional reform measures after September 1, 2010. Longer-term reforms will be reviewed by a stakeholder advisory committee and will focus on continued control of medical and rehabilitation costs while making appropriate treatment available to people injured in automobile accidents.
If you have any questions about the filing requirements, please contact your Rate Analyst or Team Lead in FSCO's Automobile Insurance Division.
Chief Executive Officer
and Superintendent of Financial Services
March 5, 2010