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Happy motoring, Ontario. Like paying the highest insurance?

Monday, May 19, 2014   by: Rick McGee

Drivers with a few years behind the wheel have seen this movie before.
A long-playing and oft-fumbled political football is bouncing around again as a provincial election nears.

The issue - auto insurance rates - is hardly new.

Just over a decade ago, Liberal Leader and future premier Dalton McGuinty promised a 10 percent rollback on auto insurance premiums.

After gaining power in 2003, his new government announced that it “... is delivering on another major commitment by taking steps to lower auto insurance rates and protect Ontario consumers.”

The Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act was introduced in November of that year.

“This is about acting responsibly to protect consumers,” said Finance Minister Greg Sorbara. “We’re going to reduce out-of-control costs and make sure those savings are passed on to consumers in the form of lower rates.”

And how did things work out?

Auto insurance premiums dropped during the decade’s middle years.

But rates started to climb in 2008, and then they soared.

By 2009, the opposition parties were pressing the McGuinty government to act.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak claimed premiums were increasing by 30 percent in some cases.

New Democrat France Gelinas cited bills going up $300.

She suggested Ontario might want to examine public auto-insurance systems operating in several other provinces.

Meanwhile, Ontario drivers absorbed a hard-to-swallow average premium jump of 12.3 percent in 2010.

They could only hope reforms implemented by the McGuinty government that year would bring relief.

“One of the goals of our government's auto insurance reforms was to promote greater auto insurance price stability for Ontario drivers,” said provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan at the time.

Ontario tops most expensive list

If auto insurance costs have long been erratic, the same can’t be said for Ontario’s position as Canada’s most expensive province for auto insurance.

That ranking has predominated over an extended period. 

Ontario’s current average auto insurance premium of $1,509 (as of March 2014) is the costliest in the land, the Insurance Bureau of Canada told news.

That was also the case when the Fraser Institute issued a major study in 2011 showing average insurance premiums as follows:

Ontario - $1,281

British Columbia - $1,113

Saskatchewan - $1,049

Manitoba - $1,027

Alberta - $1,004

Newfoundland - $749

Nova Scotia - $736

New Brunswick - $728

Prince Edward Island - $695

Québec - $642

The Liberals now say they are on track to deliver a 15 percent average reduction in premiums by August 2015.

What they don’t say is that the reduction idea didn’t originate with them.

Kathleen Wynne’s government gave in to an NDP demand to include the measure in the 2013-14 provincial budget to ensure the Liberals stayed in power.

In upcoming articles during the election campaign period, will examine the politics of auto insurance in Ontario.

In the process, readers will be able to learn more about a system described by some close to the scene as “a mess” and “broken.”

Other articles will focus on additional issues that affect voters‘ lives.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
OMGWTF 5/19/2014 6:09:19 PM Report

Man does this smell like a PC new release!
here's a novel idea - drive better! My rates have gone down!
rockbanger 5/19/2014 6:23:10 PM Report

So where is the original 10% discount Dalton promised...

Maybe Wynn can elaborate and set the province on the right course? Maybe?

Why is Ontario twice as much as many other provinces?

Davie 'O' will help us?
Yo Davie??
Verbatim 5/19/2014 6:30:53 PM Report

is it me or has anyone else noticed that since the american meltdown in 2008 ..everything and i mean everything is going up in price.
Mr. Poster 5/19/2014 6:42:28 PM Report

Election promises mean nothing to me, It is what happens AFTER the election that counts. Most parties strike out on that one.
RELAC 5/19/2014 6:49:13 PM Report

My son moved to Manitoba, never had insurance on his own and is under 21 and is paying 1300. per year full coverage. He has 2 accidents.
My younger son lives here and pays 2500 for the same coverage, but has had his own insurance in the past. He has never had an accident.
Those are real numbers you can take to the bank. We are getting hosed in Ontario and our government won't change it because their friends run the insurance companies.
Take those numbers to your insurance company.
nailr 5/19/2014 7:43:57 PM Report

If your rates in Ontario went down, you will see that you don't have the same equivalent benefits anymore. That is how the insurance companies are able to make you think your rates have been reduced. And the Liberal government is to blame because of legislation changes regarding auto insurance. One example of many is if you are injured in an accident,you are limited to $100 per day for lost wages whereas before, if your wages were $200 a day or whatever, this is the amount you would have been paid. This is just one example of many that have screwed the insurance buying public. When the NDP were in power in the 90's they campaigned on bringing in public insurance but lo and behold...they reneged on that promise! It seems that no party has the "balls" to go up against the auto insurance industry, and provide the public with what they want..." PUBLIC AUTO INSURANCE"
ThinkAgain 5/19/2014 8:12:14 PM Report

You will always pay more & get less, a discount only means a higher deducible or coverage is decreased to some degree.

I just wish they would offer free Vaseline or Butt Wipes with an Ontario auto policy.

I have never got a ticket, never suspended, not involved in any type of accident in 30+ years of driving yet my insurance has gone up every year.

Q: Why do they tax your house insurance but not your car insurance? This question never gets answered.
dadal 5/19/2014 9:02:09 PM Report

...and yet my insurance went down-the third year in a row. No didn't compromise on my coverage.
Rockin 5/19/2014 9:21:04 PM Report

What's disturbing is that pic of that Viper car or whatever it is on this post! That is the accident that happened on Goulais Avenue last year right?

Wow, that's nasty! How did the guy and girl make out again in this accident?
Gurpy 5/19/2014 9:38:46 PM Report

Dalton was the worse thing that could`ve happened to our province! He obviously did not have a clue or just did not care and I am not sorry to see him gone!
Mr. Poster 5/19/2014 9:42:39 PM Report

Dalton is still there...he goes by name of K Wynne now.
doggs 5/19/2014 9:52:01 PM Report

The Insurance Companies ,in this province are the BIGGEST THIEVES ...My Auto Insurance ..Has went down $ 5 .00 the last 5 years ...and they raised my house insurnace ( Never had a claim ) $ 300 ...o/c all the Flood claims in this city last year ...Though I did not have a claim ''''''''' Thieves '''''''
Terry718 5/19/2014 11:54:46 PM Report

My auto insurance has gone down like many other drivers...but not the promised percentage...and these same insurance companies are maintaining the same profit margins by raising house and property insurance by unrealistic amounts all under the umbrella of "We had a bad fall because of the flooding and weather". I say "that's the business you are in"...its insurance/gamble.that some years you actually lose money but not in this country...and also they nail you now with the high deductibles which discourage anyone from filing a claim...unless of course you want to pay the exorbitant premium for a lower deductible ...And I swear it won't change with this election...remember the courts said it was okay for politicians to lie during an election...example was the McGuinty health tax he gave us after being elected
S.Claus 5/20/2014 6:42:29 AM Report

Notice that the latest promise is re-elect me again and I will reduce your costs not immediately but at some future date. Oh wait this is the same people who said that 10 years ago and still have not delivered on promises.
AlgoBryan 5/20/2014 7:35:46 AM Report

Insurance Companies = Legalised Crooks
Twistinwrenches 5/20/2014 8:04:19 AM Report

Does ontario have the highest rates in everything!!
fp9solo 5/20/2014 8:58:12 AM Report

Ya, my car insurance went down, but my house insurance went up by the same amount I saved on car insurance. Funny how that works.
guestwho 5/20/2014 9:25:59 AM Report

Just like in the past,you can always tell when a politician is lying by the fact that their mouth is moving!!
PS64 5/20/2014 9:52:41 AM Report

My insurance went down $200 per vehicle in the last couple years. But so did the benefits as much as 50% less. But for a mere $250 per vehicle, I could increase those benefits back to their original caps. The insurance company even has the balls to send a leaflet with the renewal to tell you this and instruct you to call your agent to to purchase these benefit caps back. Does anyone else see whats wrong with this picture. The government is blind to this. Yet they will claim they decreased insurance rates by 10%. LOL LOL LOL
crashed13 5/20/2014 10:40:14 AM Report

I have a 2012 SUV with all the insurance options including windshield and pay $850 per year, where are these numbers from?
kawasaki 5/20/2014 12:24:22 PM Report

I would like to see not only a lower price of insurance but also the ability to insure RIGHT HAND DRIVE vehicles!!! Every insurance company in Ontario refuses right hand drive vehicles except for facility and then you are left to pay top dollar. There should be no reason why companies can't insure a right hand drive vehicle!
Justin Tetreault 5/20/2014 12:47:10 PM Report

A Rick McGee "news" story slanted against the Liberals? Shocking!
crashed13 5/21/2014 8:54:32 AM Report

@ Kawasaki
How would you do lane changes safely.

You would have most of your car out on the on coming lane before you could even see if its clear to pass.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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