Ontario Auto Insurance Increases in Last Quarter of 2017
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released fourth quarter numbers for 2017 that shows an increase of 1%, on average, for auto insurance rates in Ontario.
While the increase is small, the number still trends away from the Liberal government's 2013 promise to cut rates by 15%. What is now being classified as a ‘’stretch goal’’ by Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the increase ‘’underscores the need for structural reforms to the auto insurance system in this province.’’
The largest contributor to Ontario’s Canada-high car insurance premiums is fraud. According to The Canadian Press, the average car insurance premium in Ontario is $1,458, which is nearly 55% higher than the average of the other Canadian provinces and territories.
Fraud costs Ontarians $700 million - $1.6 billion annually, which translates to 10-15% of the average auto insurance premium. With fraud playing such a prominent role in Ontario’s inflated insurance premiums, the Ontario government will work with the Ontario Provincial Police to open a Serious Fraud Office this spring.
Fighting Insurance Fraud: What You Can Do
If you suspect car insurance fraud, you can contact the police (Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-TIPS) and/or the FSCO (1-855-584-7669).
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario website cites these five ways to help protect against auto insurance fraud:
- Fill out and check over your auto insurance application or claim forms carefully to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes
- Never sign blank insurance claims forms
- Keep detailed records: get the names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate and driver’s license numbers, and insurance information from all those involved in an accident. Take photos of the accident scene. Record the age and gender of those involved, including by-standers
- Refuse to sign any documents or agree to any terms at the site of an accident
- Demand detailed repair and medical bills – make sure you received all the goods and services you were billed for
- Review benefit payment information from your insurance company to confirm that treatments, medical providers and dates are accurately listed