The Ontario Progressive Conservatives intend to propose changes that would give consumers “more options” when buying car insurance.
But the proposal, included in Thursday’s pre-election budget which doubles as a PC party platform, lacked detail on what exactly they had in mind.
The budget includes a brief section called “Reducing the Cost of Auto Insurance.”
“Ontario will take additional steps to create choice, crack down on fraud and strengthen fairness,” the document says.
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“The current mandatory insurance product may not offer the choices Ontario drivers deserve. That’s why the government intends to propose changes that, over time, will give consumers more options when buying auto insurance.
The Conservative government wants drivers to have more flexibility to personalize insurance plans, with usage-based policies being an example which determine a person’s premium and risk based on how they use their vehicle .
While the PCs claim to have made “significant progress” on a strategy first announced in 2019they said “more work is needed.”
The government said they and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) have already been able to make progress on commitments made in the multi-year strategy, including allowing insurers to develop programs based on use, increasing competition by making it easier for suppliers. offer discounts and increase consumer choice by making non-at-fault property damage coverage optional.
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They also made strides to make insurance oversight more “transparent, dynamic and flexible” through an FSRA rule that defines unfair or deceptive practices, the budget says.
The government has said it is also committed to creating ‘robust anti-fraud measures’ in the insurance system and is proposing changes to the Insurance Act that would require insurers to provide fraud information to the FSRA. on an ongoing basis.
“This would hold insurers accountable for managing, tracking and reporting fraud,” the budget says.
“ARSF will also be consulting on the implementation of a fraud reporting service tool that would better prevent, detect and ultimately deter fraud.”
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The budget says the FSRA will consult for further proposals on combating fraud and eliminating fraudsters.
FSRA is also implementing an automobile insurance regulatory reform strategy.
“As part of the new strategy, FSRA will develop a new framework for ensuring fair rates that would replace outdated guidelines, including existing territorial rate guidelines,” the budget states.
It’s an issue also highlighted by Ontario New Democrats in their recently released election platform, which promises to “explore all avenues” to lower insurance rates.
The NDP also wants to tackle “zip code discrimination” that forces residents to pay rates based on where they live.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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