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Spotlight: Auto insurance rates in Ontario set to increase by over 3% at the start of 2019

What Ontarians should expect from insurance providers in the New Year
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Auto insurance rates in Ontario are set to climb by an average of 3.25% when applied across the province, with many drivers seeing a significantly higher bump in their premiums.

Welcome to 2019, policyholders.

How rates increase

In Ontario, changes to auto insurance rates must be approved by the Financial Service Commission of Ontario (FSCO). Insurers file proposed amendments to their rates quarterly along with data to support the increase, or decrease in premiums for policyholders – this data identifies trends like where a company has experienced a change in claims cost for certain types of coverage (i.e. if there was a higher average cost of bodily injury claims).

FSCO reviews the insurers’ filing and determines if the proposed rates are not excessive, are just, and are reasonable. FSCO recently released the latest approved rate changes to impact motorists starting early 2019, and will once again have Ontario drivers paying more for insurance.

Increases as high at 16%

While FSCO reports that newly approved auto insurance rates in Ontario have increased overall policy prices by an average of 3.35 per (after filings from twenty-three insurers in Q4 of 2018), some policyholders could see their rates jump as much as 16.80 per cent.

On their website, FSCO urges policyholders to shop around for auto insurance as rate increases vary widely and are contingent on the insurer. “Ontario has a very competitive marketplace. Rates for the same coverage vary based on each insurer’s claims costs and the insurer’s rating system.”

Of the twenty-three insurers who applied for rate changes at the end of 2018, none decreased their premiums. This is not surprising considering auto insurance rates in Ontario have gone up consistently over the past five quarters.

It’s not all bad news

Recent increases have encouraged the government to address auto insurance costs and commit to making rates more affordable for Ontarians. The recently published, Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review outlines the different avenues the government is exploring to lower rates. These include:

  • Eliminating discriminatory practices against drivers based on where they live.
  • Reviewing how auto insurance rates are regulated to reduce burden in the auto insurance market.
  • Modernizing the regulatory framework and incorporate innovative solutions like electronic proof of insurance, usage-based insurance technology, and full e-commerce capabilities.

How to find the best price among rising insurance rates

The best way to keep up with rising auto insurance rates and pay lower premiums is to shop around for your coverage. And the easiest way to find a policy that fits your budget is online with BayToday’s Insurance Hotline {change name per market} where you can get quotes from over thirty providers with a single search.