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Servicing Toronto, Brantford, Simcoe, Hamilton and surrounding areas.
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Archive for January 2013

Firm Expansion!

Smitiuch Injury Law is very pleased to announce that Mr. Luke Hamer has joined the firm as an Associate Lawyer.  After articling with the firm for 10 months, Luke was Called to the Bar on January 25, 2013.  He obtained his Juris Doctor law degree (J.D.) from Bond University in Queensland, Australia.

Prior to attending law school Luke studied at the University of Toronto where he graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science, majoring in Anthropology and English.

Luke will be serving clients in the Toronto, Brantford and surrounding communities.  His addition to the firm enhances Smitiuch Injury Law’s commitment to providing excellent customer service.

You can contact Luke Hamer at [email protected], or call 416-621-1551, extension 211.

Ontario Government Announces Specifics of Regulatory Changes to Combat Auto Insurance Fraud

The Ontario Government has made public the regulatory changes that will be made to help combat automobile insurance fraud in the province.  All changes are scheduled to come into effect on June 1, 2013.

The following changes will be in effect for the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS):

  • The insurer is bound to pay only to the maximum rates established under the Guidelines for all medical and rehabilitation benefits, except for transportation.
  • The insurer is allowed to have an additional Examination Under Oath of an claimant for the purpose of determining the priority of accident benefits insurers.
  • An insurer will be required to give all reasons, not just a medical reason, for denying a medical or rehabilitation benefit.
  • The insurer can demand:
    • Confirmation in writing that the goods or services were provided to the insured person, and/or
    • A statutory declaration as to the circumstances that gave rise to the invoice.
    • This information must be provided within 10 business days after receiving the request; and
    • An invoice is not overdue and no interest accrues on it during any period during with the insured person has not provided the information within the above timeframe.
  • While the insurer is still obligated to provide regular statements to the insured as to what has been paid out on a claim, they may be required to provide additional information if the Superintendent approves a benefit statement form.

The following changes will be in effect for the Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices statute:

  • It will be a deceptive act or practice for anyone other than a lawyer or paralegal to require, request or permit a person to sign a blank OCF form.

The legal reference for these changes are O.Reg 14/13, O.Reg 15/13, O.Reg 16/13.

Ontario Government to Introduce Regulatory Amendments to Combat Auto Insurance Fraud

The Ontario Government has announced that it will introduce regulatory amendments aimed at tackling automobile insurance fraud in the Province.

According to their website, measures will be taken as follows:

  • Require insurers to provide claimants all reasons for denying a claim.
  • Give claimants the right to receive a bi-monthly, detailed statement of benefits paid out on their behalf.
  • Increase the role of claimants in fraud prevention (e.g. require them to confirm attendance at health clinic).
  • Make providers subject to sanctions for overcharging insurers for goods and services and banning them from asking consumers to sign blank claim forms.

The entire news release can be read by clicking here.

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