According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), car insurance rates for many Ontario drivers will be going up at renewal, instead of down.
In Ontario, every insurance company must have auto insurance rate changes approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance) and every three months, FSCO publishes these rate changes.
The latest FSCO results are out and in the first quarter of 2018, approved rates increased on average 2.23 per cent. This is the second quarter in a row that approved rates increased. In the previous quarter, rates increased on average 1.03 per cent.
This news isn't entirely unexpected. In fact, auto insurance rates are expected to increase this year, Canada-wide, in the neighbourhood of five per cent; however, the reality is that many Ontario drivers could see an even greater increase in what they pay for coverage as claims costs in the province are some of the highest in the country.
It's a reality that is not lost on the agency.
"FSCO is monitoring two evolving trends that may be affecting auto insurance rates in Ontario," FSCO says in its quarterly statement. "First, insurance companies are reporting an increase in claims costs related to property damage, in part because of the rising cost of repairing increasingly technologically advanced vehicles. Second, FSCO notes the growing concern related to distracted driving. As the number of accidents due to inattentive driving increases, so too do the claims costs." As a result, FSCO says they'll monitor these trends to see if they have any impact on insurance rates.
Wide range in approved auto insurance rate changes
Even though the approved rates increased 2.23 per cent on average, some drivers could see their rates go up as much as 9.96 per cent, while others may see a decrease in the neighbourhood of 1 per cent. How much your insurance will go up or down when it's time to renew your auto insurance policy will all depend on who you have your coverage through and the change in rates they're allowed to implement.
"Consumers are urged to shop around for auto insurance," advises FSCO. "Rates for the same coverage vary based on each insurer's claims experience and the insurer's rating system."
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Updated regularly to reflect FSCO's quarterly announcements.