Ontario residents can expect their car insurance rates next August to be an average 15 percent lower than they were summer 2013 thanks to a new bill passed by the province’s legislature.
Premiums have already fallen an average six percent since the bill introduction in summer 2013, the Canadian Press quotes government legislators; about a sixth of Ontario’s 120 car insurance providers have lowered their rates by a full 10 percent.
The bill is designed to tackle insurance fraud, a problem that affects Ontario at a disproportionately higher rate than other provinces, via several different means, including moving the “dispute resolution system from Ontario’s insurance regulator to an existing tribunal run by the Attorney General’s office.”
It also helps put into place new rules regarding the billing practices of clinics that treat car accident victims; and regarding tow truck drivers and their obligations to keep drivers informed of their vehicle’s whereabouts after an accident.
The province is also looking at following Quebec’s lead and making snow tires mandatory in winter.
The NDP, who drew up the 15-percent-drop-in-two-years policy and forced a then-minority Liberal government to accept in 2013, voted against the bill November 20 because they say it also “takes away [motorists’] right to sue if accident benefits are denied.”
Conversely, the bill’s passing was endorsed by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, who noted that even the industry agreed insurance rates are too high in Ontario.