June 6, Dear Mr. Howell:

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1 June 6, 2012 Mr. Philip Howell Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent, Financial Services Financial Services Commission of Ontario 5160 Yonge Street, Box 85 Toronto, Ontario M2N 6L9 Dear Mr. Howell: On behalf of the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers (CADRI), I am pleased to provide comments on the draft Statement of Priorities for FSCO s operations for About CADRI The Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers (CADRI) is a trade association representing insurance companies who offer automobile, home and commercial insurance products to Canadians on a direct basis. Whether through the web, on the phone or face-to-face, CADRI members provide end-to-end service and are in direct relationships with their customers through all steps of the sales and service process. CADRI monitors the insurance regulatory environment in all Provinces and Territories and supports regulation that encourages distribution accessibility and efficiency, technological innovation and other measures necessary for a healthy and competitive insurance market for the benefit of all Canadians. Because of their involvement as both distributors and underwriters of insurance products, CADRI members have developed a comprehensive understanding of all facets of the insurance business and are in a unique position to offer valuable input in the development of a Canadian insurance market regulatory framework that is responsive to customers needs. The members of CADRI are: Belair Insurance Company Inc. CAA Insurance (Ontario) Canadian Direct Insurance Incorporated Desjardins General Insurance Group HB Group Insurance Management Limited RBC Insurance State Farm Insurance TD Insurance 1

2 CADRI is pleased to comment on the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) draft Statement of Priorities for We commend FSCO for the work in 2011 and value the opportunity for input and exchange on a variety of issues that FSCO offers to the members of CADRI. We look forward to continuing to work with FSCO in a constructive way on issues of relevance to direct insurers. CADRI members support the three broad strategies FSCO has identified for They are: Review and recommend changes to better mitigate risk; Increased efficiency, effectiveness and transparency; Coordinate with other Canadian regulators in the financial services industry. The members of CADRI support FSCO s focus on risk based regulation and will work with FSCO to ensure an appropriate risk based framework is maintained. CADRI members also encourage policy makers to continue to work toward a principles based regulatory framework that provides appropriate consumer protection and allows the industry to innovate and develop new technologies. With rapid changes to product offerings and the increasing sophistication of electronic commerce it may be difficult for FSCO to ensure that the regulatory framework remains current unless a principles based framework is adopted. A principles based framework can be more easily harmonized across jurisdictions and can be more easily adapted to new methods of consumer transactions such as mobile. The following are the specific comments of CADRI members on the more detailed priorities for Implement auto insurance recommendations made in the Auditor General of Ontario s 2011 Annual Report. CADRI members are happy to work with FSCO on the implementation of specific recommendations from the Auditor General of Ontario s 2011 Annual Report. Comments on specific initiatives are included below. Work with stakeholders to reduce auto insurance fraud. CADRI members are very supportive of the work undertaken to better understand auto insurance fraud. We look forward to the interim report of the Task Force coming this summer We would like to continue to participate actively with the Task Force and then with FSCO as you work to implement any recommendations from the Task Force. Undertake long-term auto insurance reform initiatives. CADRI supports FSCO s focus on automobile reform and views continued work on these initiatives to be necessary to the successful completion of the 2010 review. Enhance auto insurance information and analysis to support risk-based approach to regulation. CADRI members are supportive of a risk based approach to regulation. With this in mind, CADRI members are supportive of the review of the profit provision benchmark in auto insurance rate change approvals. CADRI would like to see FSCO consider adopting a range within the profit provision rather than simply keeping one standard across the auto insurance industry. CADRI members believe that a range would better reflect the different business models of various auto insurance providers and provide continued incentive for companies to invest in technologies and improve systems 2

3 to increase efficiencies. Moving to a range may also reward those companies who already have efficient systems and competitive premiums. CADRI requests that the industry have the opportunity to provide input to the review. Implement Administrative Monetary Penalties in the insurance sector. CADRI members understand the need for Administrative Monetary Penalties as an additional tool for regulators to enforce insurance regulation. CADRI members look forward to participating in a consultation on the regulations to accompany the new legislation. Regulations will be important to setting out the details with respect to the nature and severity of offences that would warrant penalties and the associated level of fine. Strategy 2: Increased Efficiency, effectiveness and transparency Build an enterprise relationship system. This system will offer one-window access to renew licenses, submit filings, pay fees and do other related tasks. CADRI supports various initiatives identified to streamline the licensing process, including refinement of the electronic licensing system. CADRI in particular sees considerable advantages with the initiative relating to a single business registration number in order to make the interjurisdictional licensing process more efficient. We also see advantages in using such as system to create a central database of agent/broker infractions across jurisdictions for use by all regulators. Reduce mediation backlog. CADRI members support any initiative that would streamline the dispute resolution system and reduce mediation backlog, and we look forward to having the opportunity to provide input for consideration. CADRI members appreciate the effort FSCO has made to address the situation on an interim basis, and look forward to working with the government on initiatives to address fundamental concerns in the dispute resolution system. CADRI members put a high priority on achieving improvements in the system because of the impact on service delivery. We encourage continued industry consultation on process changes as well as continued communication, especially around timelines to implement changes. The following key issues are highlighted for consideration in developing the dispute resolution review: The current system has become adversarial and judicial. A focus on opportunities for the claimant to actively participate in the mediation process would ensure that the claimant is aware of the claims being advanced and what is being said and done on their behalf. Their active participation in the resolution process, would improve the efficiency of the dispute resolution process, and discourage potential abuse. The basis for any effective solution will rest on a thorough analysis of the problems in the system and where they originate from pre reform or post reform claims or a combination of the two. 3

4 Strategy 3: Communicate, share knowledge and engage our staff and stakeholders Develop and implement social media initiatives and enhancements for public website. The FSCO website is an important information source for consumers and social media may help to raise awareness among the general public of this important resource. CADRI members commend FSCO on the website revamp and encourage FSCO to move forward with social media initiatives and further enhancements. Raise awareness of auto insurance filing process and requirements. CADRI members support FSCO initiatives to raise awareness of regulatory and legislative requirements. The webcast offered early in 2012 that set out the regulatory and legislative requirements in Ontario could serve as a training tool for employees. Strategy 4: Coordinate with other Canadian regulators in the financial services industry Insurance act review Harmonize life and accident and sickness insurance. CADRI members would be happy to participate in the review when the property and casualty components of the Act are being reviewed. Participate in a Working Group established by CCIR to gather the facts surrounding use of credit information by insurers. CADRI members did prepare a submission to the CCIR working group and believe that it is crucial that the use of credit information is well understood by policy makers. It is important to understand that the majority of consumers benefit from using credit score through a discount on their premiums. Credit score is an objective non-prejudicial measure. No consideration of age, gender, ethnicity or income level is used. Unlike factors such as age and gender, a consumer has control over their finances. Consumers who take steps to manage and control their financial obligations and hence their credit rating will benefit from better insurance premiums. CADRI members do not believe that it is fair to pool lower risk individuals in with higher risk individuals. We are happy to continue to work with regulators and policy makers to ensure that good evidence based research is used in this discussion. 4

5 Communicate and coordinate auto insurance regulatory issues through Canadian Automobile Insurance Rate Regulators Association (CARR). This includes participation in common training and education initiatives and cooperative research opportunities on auto insurance rate regulation. CADRI members support the Canadian Automobile Insurance Rate Regulators Association (CARR). It is an important forum for coordination and sharing information. CADRI members are happy to support CARR through participation in training or other initiatives where CARR may require industry support. In conclusion, CADRI members look forward to working with FSCO in 2012 and on continuing to communicate with FSCO throughout the year. Yours truly, Alain Thibault, CEO CADRI 5

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