DISPUTE RESOLUTION GROUP
COMPANY'S FORUM MINUTES OF MEETING
Brad Barber, Allstate
Mary Wright, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance
Martine Sliva, ING Halifax Insurance
Dieter Mayer, CICMA/Wawanesa
Phil Thorpe, The Co-operators
Shonna Neil, Mediation Unit, FSCO
Mary Sullivan, FSCO, DRG
Ron Bouwmeister, CGU Group
Jan Mackintosh, Registrar, DRG, FSCO
Dirk VanderBent, FSCO
Barbara Dudzinski, FSCO
Debbie Diamanti, Zurich
Mavis Haws, Dominion of Canada
- Staffing and Work Load
The staffing and work load issues were reviewed as per the letter of September 14, 1999 which was sent to all committee members. The Commission will be meeting with their stakeholders over the next two months to explore new avenues, and to look at other ways and new ways to do business. Dina Palozzi has sent a letter to the CEOs of Insurance Companies to set up meetings with Janice and Barbara to explore these issues.
One idea raised by the committee was the exploration of mandatory mediation with the tort and accident benefits files together. With Bill 59 it is almost impossible to settle the AB portion of the file without the tort as well.
A discussion paper with regards to a funding proposal for the Commission can be found in the What's New and About Us categories of the Financial Services Commission web-site. One of the issues raised in the funding proposal is the concept of a $500 fee for mediation.
The group discussed this issue, and had some serious concerns with regards to that fee being on a per file basis. There are some solicitors who would use this as a pressure/bargaining tactic in order to increase potential settlement amounts. This could lead to a serious abuse of the mediation process. The group preferred the concept of the mediation usage being factored into an assessment.
The contracts of the following contract arbitrators will expire on the following dates: Shari Novick, December 31, 1999; Anne Sone, December 31, 1999; Donald Hale, January 1, 2000; Judith Killoran, January 31, 2000; David Muir, February 7, 2000; John Wilson, February 7, 2000; and Kaye Joachim, March 31, 2000. At this time it is not expected that these contracts will be extended or renewed. However, the Commission is committed to maintaining the new benchmarks of service which have been established despite staff reductions. The DRG is closely monitoring its workload and staffing requirements.
The number of mediations received and closed continues to be fairly static, however, there has been a slight increase in the pending mediations at the Commission. There is a continuing trend in a decrease in the outstanding arbitrations as the Commission continues to close more arbitrations than they receive.
- Practice Code Amendments
Four draft Practice Notes were distributed to the committee. Janice Mackintosh would appreciate any feedback on the content of these practice notes. The sub-committee led by Phil Thorpe will be reviewing these items, and providing feedback to Janice by November 15, 1999. Anybody who has individual feedback on the Practice Notes can provide that feedback directly to Janice Mackintosh or to Phil Thorpe or Mavis Hawes.
The Practice Code is still in a state of transition. The Commission continues to wait for Bill 90 and further direction from the government.
- Bill 90
The status of Bill 90 is unsure at this time and all changes are on hold pending review by the new parliamentary assistant that has been assigned to review these issues.
- Outreach Education Program
The tentative date for the program is the first Friday in April. This date will be confirmed in the near future. The fee for the program will be the same as the fee for the Outreach Program that was held three years ago. Jan Macintosh would appreciate any feedback with regards to what topics would be of interest, and if anybody wants to participate in the development of the program or as a panel member, please let Jan know.
The DAC group will be doing a presentation at the program regarding changes which are to occur in the DAC system. It is also hoped that the new Practice Code will be available for release at the same time.
At this point, it is anticipated that the program will also be offered in Ottawa, London and possibly two northern Ontario locations.
- Section 42
One of the Committee members raised an issue with regards to the procedures regarding having IEs completed before AB an application is received from the client. There are cases which arise where the client is obtaining treatment, however, has not filed an application with the insurer, and the insurer would like to request an insurer's examination to control the file. From the Commission's perspective, a mediation will not be accepted unless a claim has been made and denied by the insurer. As no claim has been made by the client at that point, there would be nothing that would be subject to mediation at the Commission.
- Next Meetings
Monday, December 6, 1999 9:00 a.m.