Liberals in Ontario are promising that they will end the insurance industry practice of setting higher premiums for drivers based on their postal code – a promise that the NDP claims was originally theirs.
CBC News reported that the Liberals’ promise is an effort to garner more votes in areas that have some of the highest auto insurance rates in Ontario, such as Brampton, in preparation for the June 07 election. Last year, insurance comparison website Kanetix.ca listed Brampton as the most expensive city for auto insurance in the province, with drivers paying an estimated premium of $2,268.
“Families are being hit hard by high auto insurance rates simply because of their postal codes,” Liberal Party candidate for Brampton East Dr. Parminder Singh said at a campaign event last week.
Singh added that a re-elected Liberal government would work with insurers to discontinue the practice.
“Unlike other parties we have a plan that will deliver,” he claimed.
The NDP, however, warned that the Liberals cannot be trusted, particularly on the issue of auto insurance.
“They’re changing their tune — this is desperation,” said NDP candidate in Humber River–Black Creek Tom Rakocevic. “The Liberals are doing very poorly in this election and they are just saying anything ... As a person living in one of the districts that is highest charged, I’m really disappointed.”
Rakocevic prefaced that in 2012, both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives voted against a private members bill tabled by the NDP that called for the end of postal code discrimination in auto insurance. He also pointed to a couple of efforts by the Liberal minority government to reduce auto insurance rates in the province that have fallen short of their goals, such as last year’s Fair Auto Insurance Act.