The Ontario government is reaching out to the public for suggestions on how to lower the province’s rising insurance rates through its latest initiative called the Putting Drivers First consultation. The input will be used by officials in an attempt to get auto insurance costs under control and put more money back in to the pockets of Ontario taxpayers.

Auto insurance rates in Ontario are among the highest in the country. According to Thompson World Insurance News, the average auto insurance rates rose 3.35% in 2017, the highest increase in almost eight years. Some of the province’s largest auto insurers even saw increased rates between 10 to 16.8%.

The higher insurance rates for Ontario auto insurers are a result of the rising costs of damages and bodily injury from car accidents. New technology in vehicles brings on higher cost for repairs and according to 2017 figures, bodily injury costs are three times higher in Ontario than Atlantic Canada.

Even with higher rates, Ontario insurers are still losing money. Auto insurers collectively spent $1.02 on claims for every dollar or premium they were raising for Ontario auto in 2017. The public assumes that higher rates means more money for big insurance companies when in reality, insurers are adjusting to higher costs and still taking a loss.

The Putting Drivers First consultation encourages Ontarians to share their thoughts and stories in order to bring about positive changes to the auto insurance industry. In addition to public consultation, the auto reform will attempt to:

  • Pass a bill that would not allow insurers to rate the risk of drivers based on their lifestyle
  • End discriminatory practices
  • Create a better system for law-abiding drivers
  • Modernize the auto insurance sector by allowing electronic communications, electronic proof of insurance and moving towards full ecommerce experiences similar to banks

If you’re interested in participating, you can take the survey here.

Sources: Canadian Underwriter – Ontario wants to hear from consumers about how to lower auto rates (2019); – Have your say: making auto insurance more accessible and affordable in Ontario (2019); Thompson World Insurance News – Ontario rate hikes present PR challenge (2019)

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