Government Releases Marshall Report & Recommendations to Improve Ontario's Auto Insurance System
On April 11th government released Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered, A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario, a report by David Marshall, Ontario's adviser on auto insurance. Marshall was asked to review the auto insurance system and to provide advice on initiatives to reduce claims costs and uncertainty in the sector. The Report recommends transformative steps to strengthen consumer protection, improve health outcomes for those injured in collisions and reduce insurance costs.
Marshall was asked to focus on:
- Coverage options
- Comparable systems
- Common Traffic injuries
- Medical examinations and assessments
- Legal costs
- Dispute prevention
- Engagement and education
- Evidence-based treatment protocols
Some of Marshall’s recommendations include;
- Prohibiting most cash settlements
- Implementing mandatory programs of care to treat common injuries
- Introducing independent, hospital-based examination centres to provide single medical assessments
- Increasing the financial services regulator's role in monitoring and investigating practices in the auto insurance system
Government has announced that it will consult on the recommendations and make details of this consultation available in the coming weeks.
View Ministry of Finance press release.
Implications for Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists working in Ontario's auto insurance system are well advised to review this report. Amongst other reasons, it is a good review of the current system and how it is structured and the history of reforms that have led to today's structure.
Marshall makes several claims as basis for his recommendations that will be of interest to OTs such as:
- "A major element of delay and extra cost is cause by the inability of parties to agree on an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the injury."
- "It has become a system that is largely focused on cash rather than care.... The outcomes are not only more expensive but worse for injured parties."
Marshall's recommendations will be of interest to OTs as they have the potential to significantly impact how services are delivered and how roles of health professionals are engaged in the auto insurance system. To this end, OSOT requests that members review the report and share their reactions and comments with the Society so as to inform the Society's response to the proposed consultation. OSOT will also be working in collaboration with the Coalition of Professional Associations in Auto Insurance to explore feasibility of a joint response.
Please forward your comments and reactions to the Report and recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.