Up until Tuesday, December 8th 2020, claimants had up to two years to notify a defendant of legal action for personal injury caused by snow or ice. Bill 118 makes an amendment to Ontario's Occupier's Liability Act, taking that notification window from 2 years to 60 days. The 2-year window made it difficult for a business to gather the appropriate details and information to properly defend themselves against the claim. This means that insurance companies were paying claims more often, and as a result, insurance premiums increased significantly.
According to Canadian Underwriter, "The province’s brokers believe the change will reduce the liability exposure of snow removal contractors and businesses responsible for clearing snow and ice away from their properties. That, in turn, may make it more attractive for insurers to underwrite the risk, which has been deemed to be unprofitable for some time."
Bill 118 was lobbied for by the Insurance Broker's Association of Ontario, as finding commercial insurance at an affordable premium for snow-removal companies is quite a challenge. This bill represents an opportunity for the industry to recover, and offer commercial insurance to these companies at a more competitive premium for the risk. We at McConville Omni are proud to support this bill and the IBAO. Living in Canada means living with snow. We needed this solution in order to help contractors and property owner be able to get the affordable protection they need.