Akwei and Intact Insurance: An Abandoned Appeal

Background

Anita Aku Akwei, the applicant was injured in a motor vehicle accident on July 19, 2009.  Differences between Ms. Akwei and Intact Insurance company developed regarding her accident benefits under The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule and as a result Ms. Akwei applied for arbitration at FSCO under the Insurance Act.

  Facts

  • March 4, 2014 – Neither applicant or her representation appears for the pre-hearing discussion
  • March 4, 2014 – Arbitration hearing is scheduled for May 9, 2014 at 10:00am
  •  If Applicant appears at hearing it is agreed that it will be turned into a pre-hearing, if applicant does not appear, arbitrator will hear motions to dismiss claims
  • March 6, 2014 – Pre-hearing letter is sent to last known address on record for applicant advising her of the consequences of not appearing at the hearing scheduled for May 9, 2014
  • May 9, 2014 – Applicant does not appear at hearing
  • May 9, 2014 – Applicants claim is dismissed without hearing

Issues

Applicants claim was dismissed without a hearing based on rule 68 of the Dispute Resolution Practice Code, which states that:

Dismissal of proceeding without hearing

68.1     Subject to Rule 68.2, an adjudicator may dismiss a proceeding without a hearing where the

proceeding is frivolous, vexatious or is commenced in bad faith.

68.2     Before dismissing a proceeding under the Rule, an adjudicator shall deliver written notice to

all parties of the intention to dismiss the proceeding on the grounds set out in Rule 68.1.

Applicant did not respond to any notices of pre-hearing or hearing dates, has not presented any written objections or submissions.

Decision

Applicant’s claim is dismissed.  Costs in the amount of 850.00 dollars are awarded to Intact Insurance Company.

Reasons for Decision

As a result of applicants non-response to notices of hearing etc. her claim is dismissed as having become vexatious under rule 68.  Costs are amended from initial Bill of Costs asking for $2,185.87 as some of those costs were accrued during the portion of the proceedings which applicant had counsel and matters were proceeding.

Vicky Sparks is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

Ontario Parties Promise Big Auto Insurance Savings

While campaigning for the Ontario provincial election earlier this spring, the Ontario Parties laid out their auto insurance plans – most had savings in mind.

Liberals

The Liberal party indicated that it was proposing an 8% rate reduction by August 2014, and a further 7% (to 15% overall) reduction by August 2015. They also introduced Bill 171 in March 2014, which addressed a number of obstacles to rate reductions including amendments for change to the dispute resolution system, cost saving measures and increased protections from fraud and abuse. In order to do monitor more closely the fraud in the auto insurance industry they announced they would form a task force dedicated to investigating and prosecuting serious auto fraud if they won the election.

NDP

The NDP also made big promises in regards to lowering auto insurance rates; stating they’d have rates lowered by 15% within a year of taking office. They also referenced making transparent rate setting permanent and allowing consumers a strong voice in the process of setting rates. Unfortunately, they did not share a plan on how to implement these ideas.

PC

The PC plan seems to take a little from column A and B to come up with their plan. They proposed fighting insurance fraud and changing the dispute resolution system like the Liberals and making auto insurers accountable to consumers and consumers a bigger part of the process like the NDP. Finally they added that they were committed to eliminating red tape. There was no specific mention of a rate reduction that they would push for.

Vicky Sparks is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.