Dispute Resolution Group - Companies Forum

​Minutes of Meeting March 21, 2013

Attendees:                                                                 FSCO:

 

Mike De La Haye: Wawanesa (Chair)                    Asfaw Seife               
Pierre Gravesande: Economical                            Elizabeth Nastasi 
Maria Jolly: Unifund Claims Inc.                            Janine Macey          
Suilan Lue: DGIG                                               Elizabeth Faggiani
Janice Hedington: The Co-operators                     Margaret Orlander              
Bethany Pereira: Wawanesa                                Shayna Wiesenfeld
Barry Rosenthal: Belair Direct                               Christina Pearce
Kim Thoms: Royal & Sun Alliance                              
Robb Walker: Belair                                          

                                                                                      Guests:

                                                                     Victor Cherniavsky
                                                                     Francisco Liu
 
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.
 
  1. Review and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting – January 10, 2013
    Approved with amendments. 

    Matters Arising from the Minutes
    None
  2. E-Calendar for Arbitration Demo/Stakeholders Consultation:                                                 V. Cherniavsky (Systems Development Consultant, CSD), F. Liu (Project Manager, CSD), and J. Macey (Senior Arbitrator) did a presentation on the E-Calendar for the Arbitration Unit to book meetings using an online scheduling system. This will help to reduce arbitration wait time providing efficient services to the parties; allow flexibility in booking, including over-bookings, to optimally use the availability of arbitrators; allow parties to check schedules from home and on-the-go; cuts back on telephone calls, faxes, letters, and other administrative functions between both parties and between both parties and FSCO. This will be cost-saving to both FSCO and the parties.
    Target “go live” is voluntary in Fall 2013 and mandatory in Winter 2013.

    As this is the first time system demo and consultation, FSCO is looking for parties’ input. Parties will be informed on the progress during the project implementation. FSCO will be looking forward to invite some pilot companies at the soft launch stage.
  3. Private DR Services Update:              
    A. Seife, Director, Dispute Resolution Services Branch, provided an update on ADR Chambers. Up to 2000 mediation files are continuing to be shipped out per month. As of February 28 the backlog was down to 12,762.  It was 29,142 on March 31, 2012. This clearing of the backlog is contributing to a spike in arbitrations. 500 arbitrations files are continued to be sent out to ADR Chambers on a monthly basis. As of the end of February, ADR Chambers had conducted 68 pre-hearings.  Lots of pre-hearings booked are going forward. The most recent file pickup was on Monday, March 18th.

    A. Seife also informed members that ADR Chambers is sending out (electronic) feedback surveys to parties following the conclusion of mediation and encouraged members to complete and return the surveys as it is a good way for ADR to improve their service, and a good way for FSCO to get feedback on ADR’s work.

    A. Seife reminded members that if they have any complaints or issues with ADR Chambers to contact Isobel Fealdman either by phone or email.
  4. Various Enquiries raised by CF member:
    Various enquiries were raised and discussed:

    - e-Calendar: booking of mediation dates, confirmation notices, rescheduling until file is locked and the mediation re-scheduling/adjournment pilot initiative.

    - Confirmed that a copy of Application for Mediation is being sent to the insurer, when a failed 60 day Report of Mediator is issued.

    - ADR Chambers: confirmation that mail is date stamped on receipt at FSCO and documents received by fax, show a receipt date.

    Members were reminded to use the complaints process for administrative     matters/concerns that were raised pertaining to ADR Chambers.

    Usage and implementation of O
    nline Dispute Resolution, was deferred to the next meeting
  5. Greening Initiatives Update/Summons to Witness:                    
    Elizabeth N., Senior Arbitrator, informed members that Summons to Witness, Form N, is available in a downloadable, fillable format on the FSCO internet site.  In the near future, members will be able to email to a general email box for electronic signature by an arbitrator.

    Elizabeth N. also encouraged members to use web/video conferencing using Microsoft LYNC to participate in Companies Forum meeting.
  6. Consent Dismissal Orders:                                                                       
    Janine M. Senior Arbitrator advised that DR was collaborating with Legal and HR about the possibility of restricting the conditions under which consent dismissal orders may be issued in future.  The backlog of files awaiting signature continues.  
  7. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates  
    Asfaw Seife, Janine Macey and Elizabeth Faggiani provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    Updates since January 2013 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.

    Under Staffing:

    Arbitration Unit:
    Two arbitrators have retired at the end of the month and therefore two arbitrators’ positions will be posted shortly.
  8. Other Business                                                                                                         
 
Catastrophic Impairment Update:
Margaret Orlander, Senior Policy Consultant, AIPU advised members that the Ministry of Finance organized a round table meeting last week with a small group of stakeholders to better understand perspectives and determine whether there was any opportunities for consensus on issues associated with catastrophic impairment.
 
The Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force:
Margaret Orlander advised members that the new Premiere has accepted the recommendations of the final report.
 
 
2013 Meeting Schedules:
 
May 30, 2013
September 26, 2013
November 28, 2013