Province has the most expensive auto insurance premiums in Canada despite lower accidents and fatalities rate
TORONTO—Auto insurance rates in Ontario rose again in the second quarter of 2017.
Approved rates posted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario show an average increase of 0.76 percent.
Last quarter, rates went up by an average of 1.24 percent.
In 2013, the Liberals promised to reduce car insurance premiums by an average of 15 percent by August 2015, but after the self-imposed deadline passed, Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted that was what she called a “stretch goal.”
In April, a report by Ontario’s auto insurance adviser found that the province has the most expensive auto insurance premiums in Canada despite also having one of the lowest levels of accidents and fatalities.
David Marshall found that the average auto insurance premium in Ontario is $1,458, which is almost 55 percent higher than the average of all other Canadian jurisdictions.
The insurance system favours cash settlements in lieu of care, Marshall found. Sprains and strains—the majority of claims—often take more than a year to settle and about one-third of overall benefit costs goes toward competing expert opinions, lawyers’ fees and insurer costs to defend claims instead of going to treatment, he wrote.
Marshall’s recommendations included adopting a “care not cash” approach, exploring better ways to care for people who are catastrophically injured and making lawyers’ contingency fees more transparent.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government will be hosting consultations on the recommendations made in Marshall’s report in the coming months.