The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is reminding insurers of the requirement to obtain consent when accessing credit information in connection with fleets or commercial or public use vehicles. This Bulletin also clarifies how applicable HST charges affect benefit limits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).
Use of Credit Information for Fleets/Commercial Use/Public use Vehicles
Where an insurer requires access to credit information for the purpose of applying its underwriting rules or risk classification systems in connection with fleets or commercial use or public use vehicles, consent is required by way of an approved supplementary application form. This requirement was originally outlined in Bulletin No. A-08/10, issued May 25, 2010.
Reports that provide information such as, but not limited to, condensed risk scores, credit score, outstanding debt obligations, past debt payment history or creditworthiness, are considered credit information, and as such are not covered by the consent language of the OAF 1 or OAF 4.
Where an insurer requires approval of a supplementary application form, insurers must use FSCO’s web-based ARCTICS System to submit such a form.
If you have any questions, please contact your Team Lead/Analyst in the Automobile Insurance Services Branch at FSCO.
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
The applicability of HST is governed under federal legislation and administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
However, HST is addressed in three Guidelines issued by the Superintendent of Financial Services – the Cost of Assessments and Examinations Guideline, the Professional Services Guideline, and the Cost of Goods Guideline. The Professional Services Guideline states that “If the HST is considered by the CRA to be applicable to any of the services or fees listed in this Guideline, then the HST is payable by an insurer in addition to the fees as set out in this Guideline”. The Cost of Assessments and Examinations and Cost of Goods Guidelines include similar statements.
Insurers are reminded that in the absence of such wording in the SABS or other such Guidelines (e.g., Minor Injury Guideline), the direction remains the same.
FSCO expects that insurers will apply the HST legislation correctly in accordance with any direction from CRA. The HST is a tax and is not part of the benefit limits set out in the SABS.
Chief Executive Officer and
Superintendent of Financial Services
June 17, 2015