The “Choice” Myth

Posted by on September 7, 2011 under Our Firm | Comments are off for this article

When the Ontario Government dramatically reduced non-catastrophic no-fault coverage on September 1, 2010, they explained that they were providing choice to Ontario consumers by allowing people to pay for coverage that they formerly received as part of their basic coverage.
The vast majority of clients that have retained me since the September 2010 changes were completely unaware of the option to buy additional coverage before meeting me. This anecdotal evidence is now reinforced by the results of a survey conducted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) who asked the largest private passenger auto insurance insurers in Ontario to provide data regarding consumers’ purchasing habits regarding optional coverage. The survey covered policies written between September 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.
As was reported by ILSTV at http://www.ilstv.com/ontario-auto-insurance-consumers-slow-to-add-optional-coverages/#.Tl98j-kP_8M.twitter, the survey captured 78 per cent of the Ontario market, based on written premium.

The following is the summary of the abysmal percentage of policyholders that have purchased optional coverage, by choice or through ignorance of the availability of the optional coverage:

Increased death and funeral – 4.76 per cent
Increased income replacement ($600) – 0.26 per cent
Increased income replacement ($800) – 0.13 per cent
Increased income replacement ($1,000) – 0.17 per cent
Increased medical and rehabilitation to $100,000 – 1.31 per cent
Increased attendant care to $72,000 – 1.22 per cent
Increased medical and rehabilitation to $1.1 million and increased attendant care to $1.07 million – 1.04 per cent
Caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance – 0.64 per cent
Dependent care benefit – 0.25 per cent
Indexation – 0.29 per cent
Ontario Policy Change Form (OPCF) 48 – Added Coverage to Offset Tort Deductibles – 0.19 per cent

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