To the attention of all insurance companies licensed to transact automobile insurance in Ontario
The Ontario Insurance Commission (OIC) has released the second edition of its Dispute Resolution Practice Code (Code). The Code is the chief source of comprehensive and easy-to-read information on the procedures that the OIC has set out for insurance companies, the public and their representatives, who are attempting to resolve disputes over claims for statutory accident benefits.
This new Code takes effect on August 1, 1995.
It refines and expands on the first Code, dated July 20, 1990, that we issued as part of OIC Bulletin 8/90 on July 27, 1990. Many improvements to the Code are drawn from the experiences that the OIC has gained after conducting hundreds of mediations and arbitration hearings.
The Dispute Resolution (DR) services at the OIC include mediation, arbitration, appeal and variation/revocation.
Background to the updated Code
Every section of the previous Code has been reexamined so that this current Code offers the users - and other interested parties - much that is relevant, useful and progressive in light of our experience in the DR process gained since the inception of the OIC in 1990 and the impact on our DR services following the proclamation of Bill 164 on January 1, 1994.
The new Code also incorporates useful ideas suggested by insurance companies, the public and their representatives, about its content, format, layout and language.
Format and organization of the new Code
The Code is now designed to fit into a three-ring binder. This format means that we will be able to provide more frequent updates when changes are required as a result of the rapidly evolving insurance environment.
The key sections of the current Code cover:
- Rules of procedure for mediation, arbitration, appeal, and variation/revocation.
- The Insurance Commissioner's Guidelines on the interpretation and operation of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).
- Practice Notes explaining key elements of the DR process.
- Fees and assessments for the DR process.
- Regulations on settlements and expenses.
- Copies of the OIC forms that must be used for accessing DR services at the OIC.
Code contains new 'Application for Mediation' form
Included in the "Forms" section of the Code is a specimen of the new "Application for Mediation" form which replaces, from August 1, 1995, the two application forms for mediation that are currently in use under the Ontario Motorist Protection Plan and Bill 164.
To obtain the new "Application for Mediation", as well as other DR forms, please contact the printing companies which normally provide you with forms.
How to obtain copies of the 1995 Dispute Resolution Practice Code
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Co-ordinators in all insurance companies licensed to transact automobile insurance companies in Ontario are being sent a copy of the new Code.
Otherwise, copies of the new Dispute Resolution Practice Code are available from:
Publications Ontario Bookstore
880 Bay Street
Telephone: (416) 326-5320 (within Toronto)
1-800 668-9938 (from outside Toronto)
Fax: (416) 326-5317
The price for a copy of the bilingual version of the Code is $30.00. However, customers may purchase either the English or French halves of the Code for $15.00 each.
To improve consumer access to the Code, we have sent a copy of the Code to all public libraries in Ontario. Please refer to the Code for other arrangements we have made with private suppliers to have it available in electronic format.
Comments and Suggestions
If you have any comments about the new Code, please write the Dispute Resolution Group at the OIC. Their mailing address is: Dispute Resolution Group, Attention: DR Code Co-ordinator, 5160 Yonge Street, Box 85, North York, Ontario, M2N 6L9. The fax number is: (416) 590-7077.
D. Blair Tully
July 24, 1995