According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), car insurance rates for many Ontario drivers will be going up at renewal and for some it could be as much as 11.6 per cent.
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 third quarter (Q3) of 2018, approved rates increased on average 2.06 per cent. This is no anomaly, in fact, there has now been a full year of approved rate increases: in Q2 rates increased on average 1.11 per cent, in Q1 they went up 2.23 per cent, and at the end of 2017 they increased 1.03 per cent.
This trend, unfortunately, is in line with the news earlier this year that auto insurance rates were expected to increase Canada-wide, in the neighbourhood of five per cent. The reality is, however, 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."
Ontario's premier, Doug Ford, is also likely keeping an eye on what's going on, especially now that two MPPs, the NDP's Gurratan Singh and the PC's Parm Gill, separately announced plans to table legislation that, if passed, would end auto insurance pricing that takes into consideration where you live. Ontario auto insurance rates are about to become a focal point at the legislative building.
Wide range in approved auto insurance rate changes
Even though the approved rates increased 2.06 per cent on average, some drivers could see their rates go up as much as 11.60 per cent. How much your insurance will go up 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 most current quarterly announcement.