Frequently Asked Questions
For what types of insurance is reporting required?
All licensed automobile insurers operating in Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island and Yukon must report specific data. The Automobile Statistical Plan defines the data, the format in which the data are to be reported and the timeframes for reporting to GISA via GISA’s statistical service provider, the Insurance Bureau of Canada. In Ontario, data for Commercial Liability insurance are also reported. The Ontario Commercial Liability Statistical Plan defines the data reporting requirements. The manuals for these statistical plans are available on this website.
Are GISA data available for general use?
A set of reports using aggregate information is prepared annually based on the data reported to each of these statistical plans. These reports are described in the GISA Catalogue of Statistical Information
available on this website. These reports can be purchased as electronic files, using the Exhibit Order Form. GISA will be making some of these exhibits available online at no cost. The electronic files often contain more detailed information than the corresponding printed reports.
Are any of the reports published on this website?
A selection of High Level Data has been extracted from the Actual Loss Ratio exhibits for Private Passenger Automobile for Alberta, Ontario, the Atlantic provinces and the Territories and are presented in tabular and graphical formats. They can be found at Statistical Information
. In addition, GISA will be making some of these exhibits available online at no cost.
When are GISA reports published?
The reports are prepared and published from April to December, for the previous year’s data. For example, data collected for 2012 will become available in published reports in 2013, with the exception of some data collected in the first six months of the year, which will be published from October to December of the same year. The GISA Catalogue of Statistical Information
is updated annually in March and includes information on when the reports are scheduled to be published.
The graphs posted on the GISA website use insurance terms like "earned premiums" and "accident year". Where are these terms explained?
A glossary of common insurance terms is available in the GISA Catalogue of Statistical Information
and in the Key Definitions, both available on this website.
What is the difference between calendar year results and accident year results?
Claims can take several years to be fully resolved and closed by the insurance company. Claims costs include both the payments that have been made for the claim and a reserve or estimated amount for how much more will be paid to close the claim. Claims costs on a calendar year or financial year basis will reflect all transactions that occurred in the specified calendar year, regardless of when the accident occurred. “Calendar Year” claims costs include payments made during the calendar year, plus amounts owing on claims at the end of the calendar year less amounts owing for claims at the end of the prior year. “Accident Year” results present the claims costs for the year in which the accident occurred. As new information becomes available, accident year claims costs will be restated until the claim is finally closed. Accident Year statistics can be matched with the premiums in effect at the time the loss occurred to provide a measure of rate adequacy.
Who are the primary users of GISA data and what are the data used for?
The data reported through the two statistical plans are used by both the insurance industry and provincial or territorial government regulators. The main purpose for collecting this data is to provide premium and claim information to support fair rates. The data enable regulators to ensure that insurance premiums are adequate and not excessive or unfairly discriminatory, and to monitor market structure and performance. Insurance companies use the data to make better and more informed pricing decisions based on aggregate industry experience.
GISA collects more data than are published. Can professional actuaries, researchers, media, the general public and others have access to the unpublished data?
At this time, GISA does not make available unpublished data to organizations or individuals, other than provincial government regulators, insurance companies and GISA’s service providers. Some of the data collected by GISA are used for validation purposes or are too granular (e.g., data collected by Forward Sortation Area (or FSA, the first three characters in the postal code)) and are therefore not published. Other data that are new or recently collected are not published until the data have been validated and have accumulated sufficient experience. For example, GISA currently does not publish data elements that are part of the revised submission layouts as of January 1, 2008 or those data elements that incorporated Ontario auto reform changes as of January 1, 2010.
What are the limitations of GISA data for general users of the data?
GISA data, like any other data, have limitations. The following are some of the limitations:
- Most of the industry-wide reports are produced using data that are based on the previous year-end; for many of the reports, this data will be at least six months old.
- There are several data elements that are collected but are not as yet available in reports.
- Some of the reports are intended to be used by professionals who have good understanding of the insurance industry and the related context of the data.
- Only published industry-level reports and their companion data files are available to general users.
- The current data elements do not accurately reflect the rating variables that the majority of insurance companies are using. (A project is underway by GISA to address this limitation.)
Have there been any recent changes to the collection of data by GISA?
GISA discontinued the collection of data under the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Statistical Plan from insurance companies as of December 31, 2012. The data collected in 2012 were reported in 2013, the last year for reporting under this statistical plan. GISA started collecting financial information from automobile insurance companies as of March 1, 2013.
In addition, automobile insurance reforms that are undertaken by member regulators usually impact the data collected. For instance, the 2010 Ontario Automobile Reform and the 2013 Nova Scotia Automobile Reform have impacted the data collected by GISA.