Dispute Resolution Group-Companies Forum Minutes of Meeting September 22, 2011

Attendees:                                           FSCO:

                                                    
Mike De La Haye: Wawanesa (Chair)                         Asfaw Seife
Pierre Gravesande: Economical Insurance                  Janine Macey
Patrick Lau: Dominion of Canada                              John Lobo
Becky Cameron: Aviva  Insurance                             Sivan Raz
Mike Sewerniuk:  Aviva Insurance                                                 
Janice Hedington: The Co-operators
Bev Murray:  The Co-operators
Mark Cekuta: Unifund
Maria Jolly:  Unifund
Maria Joshua:  Granite Claims
James Kempf:  The Personal Insurance/ Certas Direct
Barry Rosenthal:  Intact Insurance
Linda Watson:  TD Insurance
Whitney Goodfellow: Markel
Chris Vinall:  Desjardins
Robb Walker: Belair Direct
 
The Dispute Resolution Group – Companies Forum includes representative from auto insurance companies dealing with disputes before the Commission involving motor vehicle accident claims and Statutory Accident Benefits. It consults with the Dispute Resolution Group of Financial Services Commission of Ontario on issues relating to the dispute resolution system.

Review and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting - May 12, 2011

None, as no minutes were submitted for the May 12, 2011.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

None

Auto Update/Discussion

There was an update on the anti-fraud task force. Further information is available on the Ministry of Finance website under media pages. Discussion on resources available include the IBC and Law Society when investigating suspect activity.

E-Scheduling Update

Since July 2011, when eCalendar was rolled out on an optional bases, over 1,000 mediation files have been registered online with claimant representatives and insurers effectively booking and managing their files online, freeing mediators to do more mediations. Reminder that the eCalendar will become mandatory on February 1, 2012, subject to certain exceptions such as for unrepresented applicants.  
More information is available on our website or by contacting Mediation Inquiries.
Following a general discussion on the eCalendar application, John Lobo encouraging those who had not signed up to do so or to forward him any feedback.  

Backlog Initiatives: New Expedited Mediation Processes

Consent Failures: starting at the end of September, FSCO will begin sending out letters with an attached form to claimants and insurers, starting with the oldest files, to consider the option of failing mediation upon mutual consent.  
 
The Consent to Fail Mediation Form requires the parties:
  • to list the issues in dispute
  • jointly request that the mediation be failed
  • provide confirmation best efforts were made to resolve the dispute and that there is no reasonable prospect of a resolution
  • must sign and return the form with a specified time period.
Upon receipt of a completed form, the file will be assigned to a mediator for review. If the mediator is of the opinion that mediation will fail, a Report of Mediation failing the issues will be issued, and the file will be closed.
 
Mandatory Settlement Blitz days - Claimant and insurer representatives with multiple common files that have not yet been assigned to a mediator will shortly be required to attend settlement blitz days organized by FSCO. The blitzes aim to close multiple files in a single day. Mediators are assigned to facilitate the sessions and record the outcomes
 
A discussion including on concerns raised followed on these two processes. 

60 Days Demand Failure

To date, approximately 30 applications have been received by Arbitration, where a mediation has not occurred. Arbitration process for such applications and possible next options was discussed. 

DRS Stats

Stats were provided but not reviewed during the meeting, due to time constraints.

Other Business

  • FSCO new DR Forms effective October 1st contain a section pertaining to section 55 and require email addresses. Discussion followed on possible changes to current processing of applications in those cases where an applicant has not complied with Section 55 requirements.  
  • Format change to the Report of Mediator, in cases where there is a Full and Final settlement. It was agreed due to concerns raised that this item be brought forward to the next meeting.
  • ‘Consent for Dismissal’ when a file settles- agreed that this item would be brought forward for discussion at the next meeting.
  • Documents submitted - discussion occurred over the volumes of material being submitted, the relevance of what was being submitted, as well as storage and retention concerns. Possible options including of returning or destroying file materials were also discussed. DRS undertook to look into this further.
  • Dates for next meetings:
    • January 12, 2012 (last quarter 2011 meeting)
    • March 8, 2012
    • June 21, 2012
    • September 20, 2012
 
Minutes by Becky Cameron