|IBC issues bulletin for drivers, insurers ahead of possible postal strike|
|Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:49|
Toronto, Ontario -- May 17, 2011 --The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has issued a legal bulletin informing drivers and insurers about handling notification of policy terminations, as well as payment of accident benefits claims, during a postal strike.
Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have yet to negotiate a new collective agreement, meaning Canadian postal workers will have a right to strike as of May 24.
"As a result of the possible mail strike, a number of members have expressed concern as to the correct method of canceling policies of insurance in mid-term and delivery of accident benefits payments," says a ‘Legal Bulletin' issued by the IBC to its insurance company membership.
Legislation requires policy terminations to be done according to certain methods and specified timelines, the IBC notes in its bulletin. A postal strike would likely limit these notification options.
The bulletin notes that the only permitted methods of cancelling a policy are by registered mail or delivering written notice of termination personally. A postal strike would mean that the insured driver could not cancel a policy via registered mail.
"Even if the strike is on a rotating basis, cancellation by registered mail would be risky, since the 15 days notice period commences on the date following receipt of the registered letter at the post office to which it is addressed. There could be significant delays before the letter reached that post office," the IBC bulletin says.
In regards to cancellation by personal delivery, IBC recommends, “the person who affects the personal delivery prepares an affidavit of service as evidence that the notice was delivered."
The bulletin also notes that Ontario insurers must give 45 days of written notice to brokers – 30 days of written notice to the insured – if the insurer does not intend to renew an insurance contract, or renew on varied terms. "Since failure to comply with these requirements results in the contract of insurance remaining in force until there is compliance, members might consider using couriers to deliver the required written notice," the bulletin says. "It would be prudent to keep proof of delivery on file."
The bulletin also provides information about handling payment of accident benefits claims during a strike."The mail strike would also cause some disruption of the payment of accident benefits to insureds where accident benefits cheques are mailed," the bulletin says. "We recommend that companies consider some alternative for getting these payments to their insureds. "Possible alternatives would be direct deposit of the accident benefits payment into the insured's bank account, or for the insurer to courier the accident benefits cheque to the insured's agent or broker for pick-up by the insured at that location, if access to the agent or broker would be easier."
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 09:09|
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