No-fault benefits have been a compulsory part of the Ontario automobile insurance package since 1972. The value of these benefits increased substantially in 1978, 1990, and 1994. In November of 1996 the benefits were decreased as part of the Bill 59 insurance scheme enacted by the former Progressive Conservative government. Further restrictions were put in place in October of 2003, and yet further restrictions took effect in April 2004, and March 2006. In spite of these changes (reductions) the resolution of accident benefits claims can still demand a substantial time of a lawyer’s practice.
The purpose of this article is to:
1. Discuss the pros and cons of the litigation process at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario;
2. Review the accident benefits settlement process; and,
3. Hopefully, to alert lawyers about potential pitfalls in this process.
Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) was created on July 1, 1998, as an arm’s-length agency of the Ministry of Finance. FSCO integrated the operations of the former Ontario Insurance Commission (which was created in May of 1990) Pension Commission of Ontario, and Deposit Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for overseeing and resolving disputes between motorists and their insurers.