The Automobile Insurance Rate Stability Act became a law on November 1, 1996. It was later amended and in 2003, the Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act was also passed. This legislation works alongside the Insurance Act of Ontario and was put in place to help control the auto insurance rates for Canadian consumers. It also helped bring basic accident benefits coverage to everyone injured in an automobile accident in the province of Ontario.
By passing laws that would further prosecute criminals involved in insurance fraud and also prosecute uninsured drivers, the purpose of the act was to cut overall insurance costs. An insurance ombudsman was also appointed to investigate consumer complaints about insurance companies in Ontario. In 1996, each insurance company was also required to establish a complaint-handling protocol. To read the Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act click here.
The General Insurance OmbudService
The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent resolution service for Canadian consumers of automobile, home, and business insurance products. The organization was created in 2002 and all of their services are provided to Canadians free of charge, in both French and English. Insurance claims make up the bulk of the GIO’s business but interpretation of insurance coverage, and policy-processing concerns are other areas of expertise.
If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your car insurance provider then you can speak with a GIO representative. You can contact the GIO by phone, email, mail, fax and through their website.
What Happens if I Have a Complaint or Dispute?
Read this guide on the GIO website for more information. That page walks you through the entire process from how a disagreement with your insurance might arise to the steps that take place after mediation or senior adjudication. The process is different in some provinces, such as Alberta, so it is best to read through the GIO website before making a complaint.
GIO Cannot Help in Some Disputes & Concerns
For example, GIO does not handle complaints about the price or availability of auto insurance. Another area that they will not be able to help you is with disputes that are already before the court. If a formal dispute is already in process then you should not contact the OmbudService. The General Insurance OmbudService does not consider proposals for regulation reform in the auto industry. You will have to take up those concerns with your Member of Parliament.
For Concerns About Your Health Insurance & Life Insurance
The General Insurance OmbudService only deals with complaints and concerns regarding their member insurance companies. These member organizations only offer insurance for your home, vehicle, and business. If you have a concern regarding your health insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance coverage then you will need contact the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance. You should try settling the dispute with your life or health insurance provider before contacting the OmbudService.