|Albert Conforzi (Chair)
||Audrey Ramsay |
||Philippa Samworth |
||Kevin Doan |
||Asfaw Seife |
1. Approval of Minutes – Meeting of January 29, 2010
Approved as amended.
2. Auto Reform Implementation:
Margaret Orlander provided an overview of the implementation activities associated with the auto insurance reforms. A number of working groups have been established to ensure stakeholder involvement and a smooth implementation. Different stakeholders are participating in the various working groups, depending on the group’s focus. The working groups are: Accident Benefit Claim Forms Working Group, Policy and Endorsement Forms Working Group, Rating and Underwriting Technical Advisory Committee Working Group, Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) Working Group and the DR Working Group. The DR Working Group is an internal FSCO group that is identifying changes needed to the Practice Code and DR Forms to bring them in line with the new Regulations. The DR working group will vet its draft changes with Counsel Forum and Companies Forum. There is also a steering committee made up of insurance industry reps, broker reps, legal rep, health care provider rep, FSCO staff and MoF staff. The steering committee meets every 3 weeks and is chaired by the Superintendent. Various form changes, bulletins and Guidelines will be released between now and Sept 1st. Proposed release dates have taken into account stakeholders’ process and training needs. For example, a bulletin addressing transition issues will be issued in April and the MIG guideline will be issued in June.
3. Outreach Committee Update
Nothing new to report.
4. Mediation Backlog Committee:
John Lobo provided an update on the process efficiency review to identify ways to improve productivity and reduce the increased mediation wait times engaged in a 4 pronged approach:
- Review previous process reviews and ensure previous ideas were not overlooked
- Review the processes of similar organizations offering dispute resolution services
- Discuss our processes with external stakeholders – Companies and Counsel Forum
- Strike a Committee of Mediators, Caseworkers and Mediation Assistants to review current processes and make suggestions for improvements.
Meetings were held with staff, Forum chairs and later with representatives from both Companies and Counsel Forum. Collection of ideas/recommendations completed. Review process commenced and decisions being made on which ideas can be implemented in the short-term and which require further investigation. Updates to follow.
5. DRS Excellence/DRDC Update:
Nothing new to report at the present time as the Management Team is in full swing with launch of MARS V.
The newly updated Forms A and C were circulated at the meeting. Senior Arbitrator Elizabeth Nastasi informed members that the changes on the forms are really minor. She asked that Christina email the electronic versions of Forms A and C and the related Guides to the group for feedback/comments by April 9, 2010. The anticipated target date for all forms to be completed is end of JUNE.
6. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates
John Lobo, Elizabeth Nastasi, and Asfaw Seife provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration, and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.
Monthly: Feb 10
1,855 new applications received, 1,373 files were closed resulting in 13, 271 open files in the system, including files assigned to mediators.
The Quarterly and Annual Statistics were also reviewed. John Lobo raised a concern about some insurers and representatives, who are unable to provide dates within the 60 day time period. A discussion followed.
Interviews completed for 3 permanent mediator positions. There will be no impact to the staffing number as the vacant positions are being currently backfilled.
282 applications were received in February which represent a 8% increase over the 261 in November. There were 2,848 applications pending at the end of February compared to 2,754 at the end of November. From December 2009 to February 2010, 824 applications were received compared to 814 applications from September to November 2009. Also, during the period of December 2009-February 2010, the decision time increased from 57 days to 70 days and the number of decisions released within 85 days decreased to 67% from 73% in the previous period. For February 2010, 25% of decisions were issued within 85 days.
Applications received fell to 6 for the period December 2009-February 2010 from 7 in the previous period. The number of decisions issued fell from 12 in the period of September to November 2009 to 10 in the period December 2009 – February 2010 and the decision time went from 4 days in the previous period to 9.
Updates since January 2010
Judicial review of RAMALINGAM and State Farm Automobile Company, (FSCO P05-00026, August 13, 2007)
- Insurer sought and obtained extension for filing leave to appeal materials.
- Jan 15, 2010 – FSCO factum filed.
Judicial review of JETTY and ING Insurance Company of Canada, (FSCO P08-00012, October 10, 2008)
- Hearing held Wednesday, February 10, 2010: decision issued February 17, 2010: ING Insurance Company of Canada v. Jetty, 2010 ONSC 1091. JR. denied.
- The court agreed that the inexact description of possible IRBs allowed rescission. However, it rejected the additional ground in the appeal decision that the settlement disclosure notice was signed in typed form by the insurer’s lawyer.
Judicial review of PASTORE and Aviva Canada., (FSCO P09-00008, December 22, 2009)
- Application served February 2010.
Judicial review of URIBE and Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (FSCO P09–00021, February 5, 2010)
- Application served March 2010.
7 & 8. DR Expenses and Proposed change to Rule 78.1
Senior Arbitrator Nastasi discussed the proposed change to Rule 78.1 in respect of DR Expenses of Representatives. The proposed change would increase the permitted hourly rate for an insured person’s representatives. The proposed change would increase the permitted hourly rate for an insured person’s representative from the current $150 to $250 per hour. The rule has not been updated for 12 years. Members provided feedback and highlighted pros and cons of the proposed change. Eric G. provided his recollection of the original reason for the creation of the Rule as he was part of that committee.
9. Other Business
Eric G. brought the idea to members of receiving Arbitration Decision electronically (via email) once they are finalized. That way it will save time to look for decisions to be posted on the website, it could improve better communication between Bar members and DRS staff. Senior Arbitrator Nastasi will look into it.
Next Meeting – May 28, 2010