Auto insurance is necessary to operate a vehicle in Ontario and FSRA is taking steps to ensure that all consumers can get the best product at the best price available when they purchase or renew their auto insurance policy.
FSRA recently issued “Take-All-Comers” guidance to the industry to help prevent activities that preclude or frustrate consumers efforts to purchase or renew their auto insurance when they would otherwise qualify for a quote or renewal.
Specific consumer protections of the “Take-All-Comers” rule include:
- insurers are required to offer the lowest rate available for each consumer’s circumstances
- insurers are required to offer their customer a renewal if that customer continues to meet that insurer’s eligibility rules
- insurers must accept all auto insurance business from consumers that meets their approved rules
Specific examples of Insurer non-compliance identified by FSRA include, but are not limited to, avoiding issuing automobile insurance quotes to individuals who:
- experienced a prior accident benefits loss, including individuals who were not at fault for the prior accident such as passengers and pedestrians
- were not purchasing a property policy (e.g. homeowners insurance)
- reside in certain Ontario municipalities
- had less than one year of history as an insured under an automobile insurance policy in Canada
If the “Take-All-Comers” rule is violated FSRA can take a variety of regulatory enforcement actions, depending on the nature and severity of the non-compliance.
Actions consumers can take if they think they are being treated unfairly
If an insurer is not responding, delaying or requesting additional information without explanation, consumers should document the exchange, elevate to the insurer’s ombudsperson and report the issue to FSRA. If the insurer doesn’t provide a prompt response to the consumer, FSRA will investigate and determine the appropriate response.
- Interpretation of Sections 237 & 238 of the Insurance Act and Sections 1(1) and 2(1)(5) to 2(1)(8) of Regulation 7/00 Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices and Approach to Supervision [Take All Comers Rule]
- Take-All-Comers information for Industry
As part of the “Take-All Comers” review, FSRA held public consultations in March 2020. It received comments and submissions from consumers and members of the auto insurance industry, including brokers, insurance companies and trade associations. They brought forth valuable insight about current practices and recommendations to further protect Ontario’s auto insurance consumers.
FSRA also met with FSRA’s Resident’s Reference Panel as part of a broader engagement with consumers on auto insurance.
Through these public consultation and examinations FSRA identified several activities that may contravene the “Take-All-Comers” rule, such as:
- failing to offer a renewal to qualifying customers, including customers who have not missed a single premium installment payment
- requiring the completion of written applications from customers for reasons that cannot be characterized as exceptional and warranted by the risk presented
- withdrawing underwriting authority of brokers and agents while failing to respond to qualifying customers’ quote requests in a commercially reasonable period of time
- refusing to quote or renew for reasons not listed in the insurer’s approved underwriting rules on file with FSRA