Ontario auto insurance rates rose in last quarter of 2017
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.