They want to maximize their profits, even when bankruptcies are at an all time high and hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs. They have developed numerous “legal” methods to take your money. They sell “peace of mind”, which is at best, an illusion. You can pay forever for an insurance policy, but if you try to collect, peace of mind can quickly turn into a nightmarish struggle, to collect on a policy, that you have paid for, again and again and again.
This is what some of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court had said about one Insurance Company’s tactics:
“…..The denial of the claim was designed to force her to make an unfair settlement for less than she was entitled to. The conduct was planned and deliberate and continued for over two years, while the financial situation of the appellant grew increasingly desperate….” (see full decision). Apparently, the practice of exploiting those who can least afford to fight back, is a common strategy utilized by those in the industry – a recent story about two parents struggling to ensure their son’s dignity and quality of life are up against an insurance company apparently attempting to cut its’ losses (see story).
It was revealed today that the Association of Ontario Insurance Brokers were calling on the Ontario Government to conduct an investigation into the potential illegal act of Insurance Companies discriminating against consumers who were shopping around for a good price for automobile insurance. Apparently, consumers found that after they went shopping for auto insurance, Insurance Companies were conducting “credit report” checks on their credit; this action on behalf of Insurance Companies is illegal and the current legislation (see Insurance Act – Ontario Regulation 664 – Section 16 (1) “Insurers are prohibited from using elements of a risk classification system described in this section in classifying risks for any coverage or category of automobile insurance) does not allow Insurance Companies from utilizing credit information to rate or underwrite automobile insurance policies in Ontario.
In response to this call for an investigation, Bob Christie, Superintendent of Ontario’s Financial Services, issued a Bulletin today, informing Insurance Companies to cease and desist this practice within 60 days.
While the rest of the world struggles with its financial woes, Private Insurance Companies in Ontario plow ahead finding more and more ways to generate profit. It is being reported that bankruptcy rates are up 50%, while consumers and companies stuggle in the current economy. Even the Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive officer Gordon Nixon forfeited, turned down 5 million dollars in perks/bonuses. Has any CEO, in any large Insurance Company in Ontario, turned down any perks/bonuses? We think not.
Perhaps it is time for the Ontario Government to seriously look at Public Auto Insurance.