Auto Insurers’ ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Campaign

A while ago CBC’s Ontario Today radio program asked callers for their post-accident experiences. The phone lines were full from the moment the segment started. There was not one positive story told. This is the reality that insurers distort with a smoke-and-mirrors campaign while the rest of us deal with the impact of second-hand smoke.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has described medical rehab providers as “strong opponents” to changes in auto insurance, claiming that we “have the ear of government”. Alas, if only this were so. The Ontario Rehab Alliance, represents healthcare providers in the auto insurance sector. Most of the advocacy work we do is done by a handful of committed volunteers.  We cannot afford rich advertising, public relations campaigns and political contributions as insures and the IBC do.

Since 2009 we have been advocating for reasonable and necessary accident benefits. We see first-hand what happens to the “insured” when they need treatment to recover and seek the coverage they paid for. It isn’t pretty.

We have supported the licensing of our sector, despite the significant cost to our members, because we hoped that anti-fraud measures, such as licensing providers, would bring an end to the endless series of cuts to accident benefits that hurt all those hurt in auto accidents. This is the ‘opposition to change’ that the IBC is railing against.  Insurers are hugely powerful. They fund media and government-savvy campaigns that show them crying poor, while behind the scenes they are on the receiving end of continuing changes to accident benefits that lower their costs at the expense of their injured customers.

Why do insurers spend so much time and energy painting this warped picture? Because they know full well how little trust consumers have in the insurance industry – and with good reason.

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