August 15, 2012
By Sabrina Granese

Due to some confusion as to what constitutes an automobile fleet, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has outlined the qualifying criteria.

All parts of the definition must be satisfied in order to be considered a fleet by FSCO. Readers are encouraged to visit the FSCO website for further details regarding the definition of fleet and the fleet exemption as described below at

Part 1 - Five Vehicles
The first point to note is that there must be at least five vehicles (power units) before there can be a fleet.

Part 2 - Common Ownership or Common Management
The second part of the definition is the requirement of common ownership or common management. In general, ownership should be determined on the basis of who is registered as the owner and in the case of a commercial fleet this would normally be under the corporate name. While there could potentially be certain cases in which someone other than the registered owner is the true owner (e.g. a leased vehicle, where the leasing company would be considered the registered owner), these cases would be the exception. Also, there must be an insurable interest by the named insured for each individual vehicle, meaning that this party would suffer a financial loss as a result of an incident/accident. Family members with vehicles registered in their own names are not an exception to the common ownership requirement.

If there is no common ownership, then common management must be considered. Common management is a factor that allows a group of vehicles to be considered as a fleet, despite the lack of common ownership. In this case, the owner or manager has control over the vehicles, and the vehicles are to be used solely in the operation of the business. Often the vehicles have corporate logos on them, are managed by a fleet risk management program, and all drivers adhere to specific controls. The experience of the fleet will be affected by the actions of the owner or manager, and often risk management programs are in place.

Part 3 - Used for Business, Commercial, or Public Purposes
The final part of the definition of fleet concerns the usage of the vehicles. It is the usage of the vehicle by those persons who actually operate the vehicle that determines whether the vehicle is used for business, commercial, or public purposes. The definition, it should be noted, excludes vehicles that are driven primarily for personal use.

As noted above, all three parts of the definition must be satisfied for a fleet exemption. In particular, the fleet exemption would not apply to a contract insuring a group of vehicles driven primarily for personal use.

If vehicles do not qualify for fleet rating, they would be rated based on filed rates that have been approved by the government regulatory body in your province. Insurers are audited and held accountable if vehicles are not rated according to these filed rates.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your auto insurance under the CNLA program, contact Marsh Canada at 888-949-4360.

Sabrina Granese is a client executive with the Consumer Practice of Marsh Canada. She can be contacted at