Solving Ontario’s Auto Insurance IME Problem
Saying that the Ontario auto insurance system is in crisis, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association recently called on the provincial government to “establish a commission to conduct a public inquiry to examine the current state of independent medical assessments of injured auto accident victims.”
In the above video clip, see OTLA President Maia Bent presenting to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, advocating for people injured in auto accidents in Ontario. In her presentation, Ms. Bent says that the auto insurance system is “fundamentally broken.” She says there is a “culture of claims denial” that results in injured persons to repeated, intrusive insurer exams (IMEs), required more often than is reasonably necessary.
Ms. Bent also describes how in her practice, she finds that “injured people are often angrier at their own insurance company, than they are at the person who hurt them. They feel betrayed by the company that was supposed to be there as their safety net if something bad happened to them or someone they loved.”
OTLA suggests one way to fix this problem would be to “legislatively limit the number of medical examinations and the frequency of those examinations”, saving costs, speeding up claims handling, and remove barriers to people claiming accident benefits.
Ms. Bent calls for a refocusing of the discussion of auto insurance away from the topic of premiums (and lowering them) towards what happens to claimants when they enter the system. “There’s no point in even having an insurance product if it isn’t going to be there for the people who need it.”