Insurance Bureau of Canada rejects false Lazar report

February 13, 2020 (TORONTO) – The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) released a report today by a gun-for-hire university professor whose previous work on insurance industry revenues has been characterized as not an accurate reflection of the actual profit levels.

As recently as 2019, Dr. Fred Lazar, a professor at York University, was paid to prepare a report on insurance revenues for a campaign by trial lawyers in Newfoundland and Labrador. During testimony before the provincial insurance regulator, Lazar was asked why annual losses for insurance companies were not reflected in his report. He responded by admitting "I just ignored them."

The Newfoundland and Labrador provincial insurance regulator later published its findings on Lazar's work, stating, "the board does not accept the campaign's expert analysis of industry profitability to be an accurate reflection of the actual profit levels."

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and its members remain focused on improving the auto insurance system for all consumers in Ontario.

This is not the first time OTLA has paid Lazar to try to thwart progress being made to improve Ontario's auto insurance system. Previous reports by Lazar were reviewed by certified actuaries and found to contain fundamental flaws in presenting revenues and return on equity (ROE) earned by all Ontario insurance companies that write automobile insurance policies in the province, in addition to using erroneous insurer expense ratios. Lazar's 2018 report Price Regulation and Possible Premium Overpayments: Automobile Insurance Companies in Ontario was criticized specifically by a number of actuaries for cherry-picking data to perpetuate OTLA's false narrative around profits.

The actuaries reported that Lazar's methodology and conclusions were without merit, and based on questionable assumptions not supported by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries' best practices.

"Lazar states that insurers do not report their ROE associated with Ontario auto insurance and as such assumptions must be made to undertake this calculation. This statement is incorrect. GISA does, in fact, report ROE in the Automobile Insurance Financial Information Industry Profit and Loss Report Private Passenger Automobile'."

- Dr. Mary Kelly, Wilfrid Laurier University Professor of Finance, and Chair in Insurance

"Lastly, where the Author explores alternative assumptions, for example around expenses and the exclusion of companies with negative ROEs, the chosen assumptions are not grounded in the industry's actual experience and are used to reinforce a false impression of high levels of profitability."

- Satnam McLean, Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK)

If you would like to speak to someone at IBC for more information about this issue, please contact Pete Karageorgos at 416-362-2031 x 4329 or email

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays over $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

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