Do Ontario accident victims heal more slowly?

By Donald Horne  19 Jun 2014

 It is a question brokers within the province are asking after looking at the statistics, especially when Ontario insurers are trying to meet the 15 per cent premium targeted cut.

 “In provinces other than Ontario, accident victims heal and they heal quickly. And we have the science to prove it,” says Don Forgeron, president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “This isn’t just an opinion. It’s a fact. A peer-reviewed study published in 2010 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed that whiplash victims of collisions in Alberta have shorter recovery times following treatment than their counterparts in Ontario.”

 Studies reveal that at the sixth-month mark, more than half of all whiplash victims in Alberta have recovered. In Ontario however, only a third have recovered in the same sixth-month period, and yet the average premium paid by policyholders in Alberta is 25 per cent less than in Ontario.

 “And it should be noted the streets of Alberta’s cities are not strewn with accident victims,” says Forgeron. “(Alberta has) an affordable product with better post-accident recovery. Perhaps we should be studying our neighbours more closely.”

 Forgeron does acknowledge that the industry needs to “stand up” for those who are paying the bills.

 “Car accident victims who live in Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and other provinces in this country recover just as quickly from their injuries as Ontario drivers do and they pay far less for their insurance. Why?” he asks. “Because the benefit packages are under control; because they are linked to the science of recovery and there are logical limits in place.”

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