Ontario Liberals to renew push for lower car insurance


mentalfloss
#1
Ontario Liberals to renew push for lower car insurance: Mayers

An energized Liberal government with a strong mandate will mean lower car insurance costs for Ontario’s nine million drivers, says provincial finance minister Charles Sousa.

The Mississauga South MPP is promising that as Queen’s Park gets back to business, a full slate of promises made in the April budget, but stopped dead by the election, can now come back to life. These include his commitment to push car insurance rates down by 15 per cent over a two-year period ending in August, 2015.

In an email exchange, Sousa says car insurance rates have dropped by an average 6 per cent since he made the pledge last August — prodded by Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats who then held the balance of power.

“We set an average target of 15 per cent by August, 2015 and we’re well on our way to meeting that goal,” Sousa says.
And unable to resist a dig at the NDP’s decision to trigger an election that cost them dearly, he also promises a speedy reintroduction of a bill introduced in March that died with the election call.

“The NDP first stalled Bill 171 and then let it die,” by triggering an election, Sousa said. “I look forward to reintroducing this legislation shortly so that we can continue to stabilize and reduce auto insurance rates.”

Bill 171 would have measures to fight car insurance fraud. The measures include speeding up the process to settle disputed accident claims and limiting the amounts auto body shops can bill insurers for the cost to store vehicles under repair. The bill also promises more oversight of clinics that offer rehab services.

The insurance industry says fraud is a big reason why GTA drivers pay the highest rates in Canada. The average cost to insure a GTA car is $1,500 a year above the Ontario average of about $1,350 a year. It’s hard to believe but the Ontario average is about twice as high as the Maritimes.

Related: When it comes to car insurance, does loyalty pay?

Here’s how Sousa plans to cut your car insurance bill:
Fraud crackdown: Health care clinics providing accident rehab services which are billed to insurers must be licensed by the insurance regulator, Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), as of Dec. 1.

FSCO’s powers to investigate and prosecute fraud will increase.
Rule changes will speed up the settlement of disputed insurance claims, cutting legal fees and other costs often billed to insurance companies.

The province is setting up a fraud investigation office.

The interest rate paid on prejudgment accident pain and suffering claims will fall from a fixed 5 per cent to the market rate.
<bullet> Ontarians will be encouraged to consider usage-based insurance (UBI). In exchange for a tracking device in your car, these policies offer discounts based on better driving habits.

The insurance industry is lining up at FSCO’s door to apply for UBI programs. Those approved or rolled out include Desjardins Insurance, CAA Insurance, The Co-operators, Intact and Allstate. (I tested a Desjardins device for 10 weeks this spring and would end up with an annual saving of about 8 per cent, compared to the industry average 12 per cent.)

Consumers are cautious about UBI. They wonder what the insurers will do with the data they collect and whether poor driving can be punished with higher rates. Susie Heath, Sousa’s press secretary says FSCO has made clear “the data can only be used to set discounts,” not increase rates.

Ralph Palumbo, a vice president with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says the Ontario government has made strides to bring premiums down, but there is more work to be done.
“Too much of the money doesn’t actually go to accident victims,” he says. “Instead, it pays for other costs like legal fees, treatment and assessments by for-profit medical facilities, and fighting fraud.”

What is needed is “a lasting solution . . . to fix the system, once and for all.”
Amen to that.

Related: Is privacy loss worth 8% saving?

http://m.thestar.com/#/article/busin...ce_mayers.html
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#2  Top Rated Post
LOL When they have failed every year since 2003, why should we believe this tripe now?
 
mentalfloss
#3
Should we have a curmudgeonly crow bet ?
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Should we have a curmudgeonly crow bet ?

I just fail to believe a government that failed to do anything (other than corruption and scandals that is) for 11 years will SUDDENLY start doing something (other than corruption and scandals of course).
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#5
I don't have much faith in governments who mandate insurance but don't regulate to what levels of unconscionable their new friends will go in pocket mining for greater profit. I mean ... if it wasn't a lucrative scam, the banks wouldn't be trying to get more of the action
 

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