||FSCO – DRS
|Mike De La Haye (Chairperson)
Dave Alpert – Belair
Vera Babiy- Co-operators
Mark Cekuta- ING
Albert Cesario –Motors
Mina Cosolo- RBC
Whitney Goodfellow- AXA
Sharon Lennox – TD Meloche Monnex
Cassandra Phillips – AXA
Marg Rees – CICMA
Judy Flanagan – Unifund
Tom Walsh- Dominion
Kausual Anup – Personal
Wayne Clay - Wawanesa
The meeting was called to order at 10:00am on September 20, 2007.
The minutes of the last meeting were approved with no changes.
No additional matters were added to the Agenda.
Mediation Statistics and Issues - John Lobo
Memo provided regarding stats from April 2007 to August 2007.
The number of applications increased each month over the summer from 1,000 per month to almost 1,400 per month and FSCO have had a few staffing issues resulting in increased processing time.
Settlement rates have increased to 46% with partial settlements at 15% and failed mediations at 39%. There are no stats on single issues because of the variability of issues but the Housekeeping issues have increased.
There is no new information on reducing the settlement period from one year to 6 months. The one year came from insurers and the IBC may have a position on it.
Staffing – there are 2 new Team Leaders – Jeanette Watt and Elizabeth Faggiani.
There will be 5 one year contract positions for mediators that will be filled and should assist with improving the processing time.
Arbitration Statistics – David Draper
There was an increase in the number of arbitrations and likewise, an increase in the pending as there are 2 arbitrator positions to fill .
69% of arbitration decisions are rendered by 85 days
895 arbitrations settled without a final hearing between May and Aug ‘07
Janine Macy was introduced as a new Senior Arbitrator
Appeal Statistics - David Draper
Outstanding decisions pending are higher than usual and efforts are being made to finalize these.
PDF-fillable /saveable forms are being posted on the FSCO site and the Word Versions will be removed. Users will need PDF version 7 or higher and if there are problems, check with FSCO.
Since November 1,1996, there have been 2 Response Forms. Now there will be just one Response form for Mediations and Arbitrations. The old one will be removed from the site.
Judicial Reviews – these decisions will eventually be on the FSCO site.
Memo of September 19 given to attendees providing updates on recent Judicial Reviews including cases involving the following names: McMichael, Da Rosa, Szabo, Kanareitsev, Gurney and Ms. G
Attendees were also provided a second hand–out listing all 2007 Judicial Review files and their outcome or issues in review.
Outreach Committee – 2 people offered names. This process will begin this fall.
Discussed recent cases – The Chauncey case - where a Paralegal claimed privilege . The Master stated this was a matter of public policy and the questions did not need to be answered.
The 2 MVAC cases where MVAC was deemed to be an insurer. It was reasoned that the 90 day Priority Notice rule would apply and may well apply to old cases as well but this is not decided.
Video Recording of IE’s - there needs to be a compelling reason to permit this. It would not be automatic. The decision may lead to policy initiatives
The CAT Definition – there may also be attention given to this issue.
Law Reform – Policy Initiatives
- Dispute Between Insurers - Policy work is done but not released yet (what is Insurer obligation when contacted and the role of MVAC). The final release is waiting the government election.
- SABS Reps and Paralegals - FSCO continues to operate the SABS Rep site and responsibilities until at least May 2008. So, new Reps can apply to be added to the list for the short term. Beyond May 2008, will need to deal with the Law Society.
The current Reps must apply to the Law Society by Oct 31/07 and so it will be known who applied by Nov 1/07 and who was denied. The Law Society has the licensing process on their site.
In May 2008, we will have to search the Law Society web site for those approved.
Non-lawyers who are supervised by lawyers, to appear before Tribunals such as FSCO, will still have to be licensed by the Law Society.
If an Independent Adjuster is representing a company at FSCO, they must still be licensed.
Small Claims Court will accept “any agent” of the court even those who are not registered SABS Reps. FSCO rules they can “provide representation on SABS” (but does not say where) . Insurers could make a complaint to FSCO about a Rep whether on the list or not. It is not clear what the decision would be but could take it on. But this all may change in May 2008.
FSCO can not provide references for SABS Reps applying to the Law Society. It is expected the list of those who apply may be on their site.
FSCO invoices for services. Discussed that invoices are to be delivered to the Insurers on a quarterly basis as to leave longer significantly impacts the insurers’ financial reports. One insurer did not receive an invoice for over a year.The DRG group will advise FSCO financial about this issue.
Mediations being conducted by Treatment Providers and allowing multiple Reps on a file.
It was suggested that Insurers should raise this issue on the Response to Mediation form as a Conflict of Interest and/or ask for multiple applications be joined and the applicant then must choose which person is representing them. Even if Conflict of Interest is raised, the mediation can still proceed. There is a limit to how much a mediator can question the relationship between the insured and their representative except to raise the issue.
If these applications appear to be abusive and patently unfair, the insurer may complain to FSCO to request a Cease and Desist order. If the Insurer Response form can link other outstanding issues within the requisite 10 days, the Treatment Provider Rep may wish to withdraw. Insurer would have to advise of the limitation periods if arguing that mediation did not happen.
The DRG would like to know if these meetings are useful. It was agreed they were.
It was asked if the stats could be seen before the next meeting and then only need to summarize trends at the meeting
Cease and Desist orders. Roland Spiegal is not allowed to do any work in Dispute Resolution. FSCO only had 6 files pending and one of the applicants supposedly has a new Rep on the same application. FSCO is sending letter to the applicants asking what they want to do and if not proceeding will close the file. Mr Spiegal asked for Hearing so the Cease and Desist order has been extended as can not lift the order as the Hearing is pending. There was no date set yet for the Hearing . Check the Tribunal field on the FSCO site for updates.
The next meeting will be at FSCO on December 6 at 10:00am
As a reminder for new attendees, the first 2 meetings in 2008 will be Mar 6, 2008 and June 5, 2008
Minutes - Sharon Lennox