As you know, drivers in the province of Ontario must have car insurance. Despite increases in premiums over the years, the benefits that insurance companies pay out are decreasing. Since 2010, insurance companies restrict most people to only $3,500 in rehabilitation coverage. Did you also know that Ontario is the only province in Canada with a $38,000 deductible on general damages? This means that if you get into a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company automatically reduces your pain and suffering damages by $38,000.00! This is one of over a dozen cuts the insurance companies have made to your rights and benefits since 2010.
Why are car insurance rates going up?
The government made a promise back in 2013 to reduce the cost of car insurance for Ontarians by 15 per cent within a two-year timespan. Unfortunately, this promise could not be kept. Premier Kathleen Wynn described this as a “stretch goal.” According to Ontario’s auto insurance advisor, Ontario has the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada. A CBC article from April 2017 reveals that this is unfair, as Ontario has one of the lowest car accident rates. Another CBC journalist found that five years ago, Ontario’s injury rate was 62.1 per 10,000 licensed drivers. At the time, this was the lowest rate in Canada. Ontario’s fatality rate (0.54 per 10,000 licensed drivers) was the second lowest in North America. Former Workplace Safety and Insurance Board CEO David Marshall wrote that despite consistent reductions in automobile accidents, especially serious ones, the cost of claims has consistently risen, thanks to “one of the least effective insurance systems in Canada.” So why is it that Ontario’s roads are the safest in the country, yet drivers pay the highest car insurance premiums? Marshall stated that there is a significant leakage of funds from the system from claims totalling about $1.4 billion a year, with much of those insurance benefits not going directly to those involved in accidents.