Car Insurance In Ontario Goes Up Again

Let’s say you’re driving casually down one of Canada’s congested highways in your brand new car. The person in front’s smoke-billowing crapwagon is acting strangely, and the driver is watching you keenly in their mirror. All of a sudden, at a stop in traffic, their reverse lights come on and BANG – they back into you at full throttle. For all the world, this looks like a typical nose-tail collision in a traffic jam, and you’d be on the hook for the insurance deductibles, perhaps a fine from the cops, or worse. You protest your innocence, but it’s he-said-she-said and you’re not looking good on evidence.

Ontario car insurance rates are up again. They’ve gone up both quarters this year, and remain by far the highest in the country despite low accident rates.

This time the increase is 0.76 percent, but it’s just more bad news for Ontario residents who were already paying 55 percent more than the average of the rest of the country. The numbers increase comes from the approved rates list posted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the arm of the Ministry of Finance that regulates insurance, as well as other banking services.

The Wynne government promised in 2013 that it would cut auto insurance rates by 15 percent by August 2015. Rates did go down, but by less than half of the promise. Since 2015, they’ve been growing again.

A study released last April of insurance in Ontario by David Marshall, commissioned for the Ministry of Finance, showed that Ontario residents were paying almost 55 percent more than the rest of the country. That’s an average of $1,458 versus $930. The study found that this wasn’t because of more accidents or injuries – Ontario is among the lowest in the country for that – but because they have a higher rate of cases that don’t get appropriate care. Instead, those cases go to court, taking years to settle. That increases legal fees and costs to pay experts, as well as costing insurers more. It raises rates for everyone. In that report, Marshall called the system “one of the least effective insurance systems in Canada…filled with disputes and inefficiencies”

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan is based in Halifax, and has been a car nut for as long as anyone can remember. He autocrosses, does lapping days and TSD rallies, breaks cars and then fixes them again.