On October 30, 2002, Bill 198, Keeping the Promise for a Strong Economy Act, was introduced in the Ontario Legislature. The Bill contains important amendments to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act and Highway Traffic Act to assist in the implementation of the Uninsured Vehicles (UV) Project. The government has committed to passing legislation by December 12, 2002.
Automatic checking of mandatory insurance by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will commence approximately twelve months following the passage of the legislation. During this time, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) will work with the government and others on the development of regulations and on communications to all stakeholders. This time frame also includes the rollout of Critical Coverage Reporting (CCR), which will start immediately following the enactment of the regulations setting out the reporting requirements for the industry.
The Uninsured Vehicles Project is a joint government/insurance industry program aimed at reducing the number of uninsured vehicles on Ontario’s roads. It stems from Bill 59, The Automobile Insurance Rate Stability Act, enacted in November 1996, and contributes to stabilizing insurance rates, reducing fraud, and improving road safety.
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and Mandatory Coverage Status of all insured vehicles will be maintained by IBC on behalf of the insurance industry. MTO will verify whether mandatory coverage exists when a licence plate is renewed for individually owned or leased private passenger vehicles (1981 and newer) by checking against this information. The information will be sent by insurers through daily reporting of statistical data and by brokers, agents and insurance companies through Critical Coverage Reporting (CCR).
CCR is a procedure whereby brokers, agents and insurance companies send time-sensitive changes to mandatory vehicle insurance coverage directly to IBC using IBC’s own Web-based application, CSIO-standard store and forward technology, and direct electronic exchange. CCR narrows the inherent time gap between adding or removing mandatory coverage and receipt of that data at IBC through daily reporting by insurers.
CCR Test Results
Three successful beta tests of CCR were conducted in Fall 2001, Spring 2002 and Fall 2002. Over 500 users from across the province representing over 85 brokerages and agent offices and more than 20 insurers sent over 8,000 time-sensitive transactions directly to IBC. User feedback was very positive and some improvements have been made as a result of the valuable suggestions. IBC is preparing a comprehensive user guide to be sent to all broker offices and insurers when CCR is ultimately launched.
The insurance industry continues to make significant progress in the quality of VINs reported to IBC, consistently surpassing published targets. Today, the industry’s VIN accuracy is over 99% for the vehicle categories involved when the project starts and the match rate to MTO is over 97%. Although individual challenges will continue to present themselves, the combined accuracy target of 99% is within reach.