Ontario is firmly entrenched as the most expensive province for auto insurance in the country and it's no accident. Auto insurance corruption is the province's worst kept secret. Fraud runs rampant and nobody has rushed to do much about it.
Until now, apparently. According to a Globe and Mail report, the provincial government is moving to set up "independent" assessment centres that can take the place of the current centres, which have proven to be highly susceptible to corruption.
"Recent news reports show that some bad actors, including insurers, lawyers, and medical clinics, are taking advantage of people and the system at the expense of victims," said Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. "We need it to be neutral, we need it to be independent, we need it to be credible. We need it to be held to a high standard."
What typically happens in the types of situations Sousa is referring to is that insurance companies and injury lawyers will influence the medical assessment process by putting money in the pockets of medical professionals. Injuries get overstated, cases get drawn out, and the whole system ends up paying for it.
Even though many have applauded the Ontario government's pledge to take action, many have noted that a pledge alone won't ensure that practices are carried out ethically.
"If insurers are writing out the cheques, that's still a problem," said Rhona DesRoches of FAIR, a group that advocates for accident victims. "Your treating physician has a vested interest in your health-care outcome and generally any help you do get comes from that direction," she said.