Ontario Making Auto Insurance More Affordable for Drivers
Province Targets 15 Per Cent Average Rate Reduction
By A Correspondent
Ontario is taking action to protect consumers and help them save money on auto insurance through its Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, said, "The government has a practical plan to protect consumers and help save them money on auto insurance. We have worked hard to reduce costs in the system and we continue to take further action to help ensure that those savings are being passed on to consumers."
Within the next two years, Ontario is targeting an average 15 per cent auto insurance rate reduction -- with an average eight per cent reduction target by August 2014. The province will achieve these reductions by:
• Providing the Superintendent of Financial Services with authority to require insurers to re-file rates
• Continuing to crack down on fraud, including licensing health clinics that invoice auto insurance companies
• Reducing unexpected costs by making the Superintendent's Guidelines on accident benefits binding
• Exploring other cost reduction initiatives, including provincial oversight of the towing industry and addressing collision repair practices
• Continuing to require insurers to offer discounts for consumers with safe driving records
• Helping ensure that all regions of Ontario benefit fairly from cost savings.
The government will take further action as required and all necessary steps to achieve the 15 per cent average rate reduction target.
These measures build on previous reforms that stabilized auto insurance rates and are part of the government's plan to ensure a fair and affordable auto insurance system for Ontario's nine million drivers and help people in their everyday lives.
• To ensure greater transparency and accountability, independent experts will report on how quickly savings are passed on to consumers and the effectiveness of the marketplace in providing affordable premiums to consumers.
• The Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy was introduced as part of the 2013 Ontario Budget.
• With the measures it is putting into place, the government expects the report from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario in January 2014 to show an approved rate reduction of three to five per cent.
• Consumers are encouraged to explore ways of further reducing their rates by shopping around and reviewing their policies with their insurance companies, as discounts may be available for such things as having winter tires, completing a recognized driver training program, bundling home and auto insurance, and insuring all vehicles with the same company.
• In addition to the Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy, the Hon. J. Douglas Cunningham has been appointed to lead a review of Ontario’s auto insurance dispute resolution system and make recommendations on transforming the current system.