General Insurance Statistical Agency

Frequently Asked Questions


For what types of insurance is reporting required?
All licensed automobile insurers operating in Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories must report specific data. The Automobile Statistical Plan defines the data, the format that it is to be reported in and the timeframes in which it is to be reported to GISA via GISA’s statistical service provider, Insurance Bureau of Canada. In Ontario, additional data for Commercial Liability insurance is also reported. The Ontario Commercial Liability Statistical Plan defines the data reporting requirements. The manuals for these statistical plans are available on this website.

Is the 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 PDF icon  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 is presented in tabular and graphical formats. It can be found here: Statistical Information. In addition, GISA will be making some of these exhibits available online at no cost.

When are the GISA reports published?
The reports are prepared and published from April to December, for the previous year’s data. For example, the 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 are published from October to December of the same year. The PDF icon  GISA Catalogue of Statistical Information is updated annually in March and includes the 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 thePDF icon  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 this data and what is it used for?
The data reported through three statistical plans is used by both the insurance industry and provincial government regulators. The main purpose for the collection of this data is to provide premium and claim information to support fair rates. This data enables regulators to ensure that insurance premiums are adequate, not excessive or unfairly discriminatory and enables them to monitor market structure and performance. Insurance companies use this data to make better and more informed pricing decisions based on aggregate industry experience.

GISA collects more data than what is published. Can professional actuaries, researchers, media, the general public and others have access to the information?
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. FSA) and are not published. Other data that are new or recently collected are not published until the data has been validated and has 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 for the general users of the GISA data?
GISA data, like any other data, has limitations. The following are some of its limitations:
Most of the industry-wide reports are produced using data that is 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 the general users.
The current data elements do not, accurately reflect the rating variables that the majority of the insurance companies are using. (A project is underway by GISA to address this limitation.)

Has there been any recent change to the collection of data by GISA?
GISA has 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 will be reported in 2013, and this will be the last year for reporting under this statistical plan.
ISA has 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.