Some Ontario drivers to see deeper auto insurance savings, but all will face an overall reduction in coverage.
The Ontario Liberals have announced additional measures to reduce car insurance premiums for some drivers in Ontario, but it doesn't come without a catch.
At Thursday's budget announcement, the Ontario Liberals announced changes to the Insurance Act calling for mandatory insurance savings for drivers with winter tires, a reduction in the mandatory coverage to the standard auto policy for medical and rehabilitation benefits, and changing the definition of catastrophic impairment.
The Liberals are coming up on their deadline to reduce auto insurance rates in Ontario by 15 per cent by August 2015, but so far rates are down an average of seven per cent. Finance Minister Charles Sousa said, "We are halfway there" but noted there's more work to be done.
Where drivers may see reductions in premiums
The proposed changes may help some drivers see additional reductions in their premiums. The Liberals intend on:
- Mandating insurance providers give a discount of at least 15 per cent for winter tires, though no details were specified
- Disallowing insurance providers from automatically increasing premiums for drivers involved in certain types of minor, at-fault accidents. Criteria for this has not yet been laid out
- Limiting the maximum interest rate some drivers pay on insurance premiums from 3 per cent to 1.3 per cent
Where coverage is being limited
Drivers also need to aware that this proposal means changes to standard auto insurance benefits.
- Medical and rehabilitation benefits will be combined with attendant care services as a single benefit set at $65,000. Previously, the policy provided $50,000 for medical and rehab benefits and $36,000 for attendant care
- Catastrophic accidents coverage for medical rehabilitation benefits and attendant care services will be combined as a single benefit to a limit of $1 million. Previously, it was a combined $2 million limit.
In both cases, drivers are able to pay more for extended coverage.
The definition of catastrophic impairment will also be updated to make it "consistent with more up to date medical information and knowledge," the Liberals said in the budget, adding they will, "continue to ensure, where possible, that insurance coverages reflect the most relevant scientific and medical knowledge on identifying and treating injuries from automobile accidents."
The Ontario government says they will take measures to ensure the public is aware of the changes as they become implemented-including what they'll mean for your auto insurance.
Don't wait for the changes to come into effect before you see savings. Find out if you could be getting a better rate today by comparing auto insurance quotes on Kanetix.ca.