Issues and Activities

Consumers’ Association Invites Consumers To Tell Their Insurance Horror Story

Press Release



August 20, 2003

Consumers' Association Re-Issues Warning To Consumers About Insurance Company Practices and Invites Consumers To Tell Their Insurance Horror Stories

OTTAWA, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada reconfirmed its advisory that consumers should be on the alert when contemplating making a claim on insurance policies for any losses incurred as a result of electrical blackouts in Ontario. "Over the last two days consumers in Ontario have told us first hand about how they have been unfairly dealt with by the insurance industry," said Mel Fruitman, President of the Association.

"The private insurance lobby group, The Insurance Bureau of Canada, has publicly denied that their members engage in practices that consumers have personally experienced," said Mr. Bruce Cran, National Secretary of the Association. "Yesterday the Insurance Bureau stated that many of its members are taking steps to ensure that claims related to the blackout are not even counted against a policyholder's personal claims history. While this is good news for some consumers, it does mean that other claims will be counted and will be apt to result in premium increases for consumers."

"The insurance industry has offered no guarantees that they won't increase premiums on insurance policies if consumers simply report an incident to their broker or insurer even though no claim is ever made," said Mr. Cran. "We caution consumers to read the fine print on their policies before discussing any possible claim with their insurance provider or broker."

The Consumers' Association is asking the insurance industry to make an immediate public statement that it will guarantee that premiums will not be raised for consumers who simply report some type of loss due to the blackout but decide to make no claim," said Mr. Cran. "Consumers also want to know which companies have agreed to this guarantee and which haven't so this information can be made widely available to consumers and Government watchdogs."

The Consumers' Association announced that effective today it has established a way for consumers to tell their horror stories. "We believe many consumers want to tell their insurance stories to someone who will listen," said Mr. Cran. The Association has set up a web-based mechanism for any consumer or small business who has had experiences with property or auto insurance and has something to say about insurance.

A person can click on the CAC website to fill out a form "and tell it as it is."

"We are very interested in having consumers tell us about their dealings with their insurers", said Mr. Cran. "The Consumers Association will review all the information collected and determine how this information can be used to achieve lower prices and fairer treatment for consumers."


For further information contact Mr. Bruce Cran: (604) 454-7827