On­tario auto in­sur­ance rates rose in last quar­ter of 2017

The Hamilton Spectator - - WORLD & CANADA - AL­LI­SON JONES TORONTO —

Auto in­sur­ance rates in On­tario in­creased in the last quar­ter of 2017, putting the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment fur­ther away from its prom­ise to cut rates by 15 per cent.

Fourth quar­ter num­bers re­leased by the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion of On­tario show an av­er­age rise of about one per cent.

On­tario’s fi­nance min­istry says that amounts to a nearly 5.5 per cent av­er­age de­crease in rates since 2013, when the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment promised an av­er­age de­crease of 15 per cent by Au­gust of 2015.

When that self-im­posed dead­line passed, Pre­mier Kath­leen Wynne ad­mit­ted it had been what she called a “stretch goal.”

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Charles Sousa says the new rate fil­ings “un­der­score the need for struc­tural re­forms to the auto in­sur­ance sys­tem in this prov­ince.”

The gov­ern­ment re­cently an­nounced a pack­age of auto in­sur­ance changes, in­clud­ing stan­dard treat­ment plans for com­mon col­li­sion in­juries such as sprains and whiplash, in­de­pen­dent and neu­tral ex­am­i­na­tion cen­tres to pro­vide med­i­cal as­sess­ments for more se­ri­ous in­juries, and en­sur­ing that con­tin­gency fees set by lawyers are fair.

“Our plan in­cludes a com­pre­hen­sive set of mea­sures that will in­crease con­sumer pro­tec­tion, com­bat fraud in the sys­tem and en­sure those in­jured in an auto ac­ci­dent get the care they need when they need it,” Sousa said.

The Lib­eral plan would also es­tab­lish a Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice, staffed in part by of­fi­cers from the On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice, to tackle abuse in the sys­tem. The gov­ern­ment has es­ti­mated the cost of auto in­sur­ance fraud to be as high as $1.6 bil­lion a year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.