June 28, 2018 07:00
On the first row, we find Anne-Marie Trahan, Roger Palmer and Margaret Vogel. At the rear, we find Bob Tisdale, Brian Maltman, Christine Hart, Graydon Nicholas and Gift-Blacksmith | Photo : Réjean Meloche
Of the 4,000 applications that the Service of reconciliation in damage insurance, is treated in 2016-2017, a little more than 200 were from Quebec, that the organization deems to be insufficient.
The GIO account better to get to know Quebec. Also, in October, the president of its board of directors will come from la Belle province, when Anne-Marie Trahan, a former judge of the Quebec superior Court, will serve in the position.
The of the insurance Journal spoke with her, but also with Roger Palmer and Brian Maltman, respectively chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the CORPORATION. Among the members of the board of directors of the CORPORATION, there is also Bob Tisdale, president and coo of Pembridge and Pafco, but also Don Forgeron, chief executive officer of the insurance Bureau of Canada.
In its mission, the organization has always met the challenge of getting to know consumers of property and casualty insurance to canadians. The challenge varies from one province to the other, said Mr. Palmer. In Alberta, insurers are obliged by law to indicate the existence of the CORPORATION in their documents. In the other provinces, in a conflict between an insurer and a consumer, the insurer’s response must know that he can send his case to arbitration in SCAD, which, however, is not the case in Quebec.
Federally licensed insurers have the obligation to be members of the GIO, but not those at provincial charter, which means that several insurers in quebec are not part of it. For example, Desjardins Insurance is not part of the 153 members of the CORPORATION, but The Personal and State Farm, who are also in the hands of the Desjardins group, are part of it.
Position itself in relation to existing options
In addition, in Québec, options are not lacking. The consumer may make a complaint to theAutorité des marchés financiers, the Chamber of damage insurance , or seek assistance at the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) for some cases in automobile insurance.
«The difference is that we are able to offer a free service, independent of the insurer, but also entities the regulatory. It is very rare that we could not provide a form of partial compensation to the consumer who feels unfairly treated during a claim, » said Mr. Palmer.
Anne-Marie Trahan points out, moreover, that most of the calls placed to the GIO are primarily requests for information. «Our agents tell people what is contained in their insurance contract. It is a form of education that takes a great dimension to us, » she said.
To M. Maltman, one of the main principles that guide the GIO is to ensure that the consumer has been well listened to. «Then we can offer him two options. Either one explains to him his contract, he offers an alternative to arbitration, mediation or conciliation in the face of its insurer. It is there that lies our strength. We are working with the consumer to find a solution and we can move his case within the insurance company with which it deals, which saves time. «
It is this principle of access to justice that Ms. Trahan likes to put on the front when she speaks GIO. She says that when she was a judge, many people to thank for having heard, even before it has rendered its judgment. «It made all the difference in the world for them. At GIO, we have no cause to win. «
A unique situation
The organization is convinced that it can play a bigger role with québec consumers. The difficulty remains to make themselves known, the body not having hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend in marketing and advertising.
«The situation in Quebec is unique in terms of insurance in Canada. People have more choices. It would be advantageous to be known. Our internal surveys show, the people who deal with us will enjoy the experience, » says Mr. Maltman.