Ontario's 2023 budget includes plans to make auto insurance more affordable

IBC welcomes government's commitment to tackling affordability issues

Ontario's 2023 budget includes plans to make auto insurance more affordable

Motor & Fleet

By Mika Pangilinan

Ontario has unveiled its 2023 budget, which includes plans for making auto insurance more affordable for drivers in the province.

The government said it has made significant strides toward this goal since announcing the multi-year strategy called “Putting Drivers First: A Blueprint for Ontario's Auto Insurance System” in 2019, and it plans to build on this progress by introducing additional improvements that centre on creating more choice, cracking down on fraud, and enhancing fairness within the auto insurance market.

Working with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), the government has so far been able to increase competition by making it easier for insurers to offer more discounts and options to consumers. Other changes include boosting innovation by enabling insurers to develop usage-based insurance programs and improving the customer experience through enabling electronic communications, as well as enabling a FSRA rule that defines unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

With its 2023 budget, the government said it will continue this work by proposing changes that “over time would provide consumers with more options when purchasing automobile insurance.”

The government also emphasized its commitment to fighting Ontario’s insurance fraud problem, stating that it has empowered FSRA to request fraud information from insurers on “an ongoing basis.” This will be supplemented by a fraud reporting tool that the FSRA is developing.

Furthermore, it has also requested FSRA to review the issue of issue of territorial rating.

“The government will consider FSRA’s findings as it moves forward,” a portion of Ontario’s 2023 budget read.

Responding to these plans, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a statement that the Ontario government’s 2023 budget demonstrates its dedication to improving auto insurance in the province, as it identified “increasing insurance premiums as a challenge to driver affordability.”

“It is clear the government is committed to making driving less expensive for Ontarians,” said Kim Donaldson, IBC’s Ontario vice president. “IBC and its members stand ready to work with the government and all other stakeholders interested in making auto insurance more affordable for drivers.”

Last month, Ontario brokers criticized an IBC-backed campaign on auto reform, with one labelling it “Trumpian”, though they accepted that reform calls were well intentioned.

What are your thoughts on the Ontario government’s plans for auto insurance? Feel free to share your comments below.

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