Subject to the requirements to file at least once every two years for private passenger vehicles and once every three years for commercial and miscellaneous vehicles, a Company can file an application with the Board proposing changes to its rates and/or risk-classification system.
Applications are made under one of three sections of the Insurance Act, namely:
- Section 155B – Overall Rate Decreases;
- Section 155H – Expedited Approval; and
- Section 155G – All others.
Applications made under section 155B are subject to timelines specified in the Rate Decrease Filing Regulations. Applications made under section 155H must be decided within 30 days from the file being deemed complete. Other applications are governed by the timelines specified in section 155G (60 days from the date the file is deemed complete, extendible by the Board for another 60 days as long as notice is provided).
To assist in streamlining the approval process, the Board has prepared eight different filing requirements. The Application Summary identifies:
- the types of filing available,
- the filing requirements to be followed,
- the items that cannot be filed under the specific filing,
- the actions the Board can take with the application,
- the timeline for decision, and
- the appeal process of a decision.
When an application is made, the cover letter should include the section of the Insurance Act (i.e. 155B, 155H or 155G) that governs the timeline for the review. As well, the letter should indicate which filing guidelines have been used to prepare the documents. Failure to include this information could delay the processing of the application.
When selecting the effective dates for the proposed changes, it is important that the timelines for the approval process be considered.
The application must conform to the appropriate filing requirements and the requisite number of hard copies of the report must be delivered to the Board. Failure to include the requested information or explanations may result in delays in processing the file. Timelines do not begin until the Board notifies the Company that the file is complete.
Where Board staff or its consulting actuaries produce a report, the report is shared with the Company. The Company has ten (10) days to respond with any comments on the report. The author of the report will then have four (4) days to respond to the comments. The Company would then have a further four (4) days to respond to those final comments. At this stage, the application and the reports and comments are forwarded to a selected panel. In order to expedite the processing of applications to adopt new Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) tables, the brief report prepared by staff is not subject to this exchange process.
In most cases, the hearing of the application will be a paper hearing in front of up to three (3) members of the Board. Where deemed appropriate , a public hearing may be held. In these cases, an Order and Notice of the Public Hearing will be advertised in the Province’s newspapers. Interveners will have the opportunity to identify themselves during the time prior to the hearing. The Public Hearing will be in front of three (3) members of the Board.
With the exception of a filing of “a schedule of overall decrease in rates with a cap” as identified in the Rate Decrease Filing Regulations, the Board will issue an Order with reasons outlining the decision made by the Board on the application. At this point, the Company has fifteen (15) days to file an appeal of the decision. For details on the appeal process, please review the Practice and Procedural Guidelines.