Auto insurance rates in Ontario dropped during the third quarter, snapping a trend where they had risen through the previous two quarters. However, the dip was by less than one per cent, according to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).
The financial regulator of the province posted the results on Friday, showing an average drop of 0.14 per cent for the third quarter of 2017. In the previous quarter (Q2), rates increased 0.76 per cent on average, while in the first quarter they went up 1.24 per cent.
Considering those previous increases, auto insurance in Ontario remains more expensive than it did at the close of 2016. However, since the Liberal government’s 2013 pledge to reduce rates by 15 per cent, auto insurance premiums have fallen around eight per cent on average. It is worth remembering that the government pledged its 15 per cent decrease by August 2015.
When that date came and went, political opposers accused the Liberals of buying votes with a promise that could not be kept. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne later described the self-imposed deadline as a “stretch goal”.
Ontario has comfortably the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada, largely driven by expensive coverage in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In a report published earlier this year, David Marshall found accidents and fatalities are among the lowest in the country, yet auto insurance is the most expensive.
"Since 2013, we have made progress on lowering rates through product reforms, including changes made in 2015 that require insurers to offer discounts for the use of winter tires, create a new dispute resolution system to help Ontario claimants get faster access to the benefits they need, prohibit premium increases on minor at-fault accidents, and lower the maximum interest rate charged on monthly premium payments," government spokesperson Jessica Martin wrote in a statement.
"Based on Marshall's recommendations, we are considering systemic changes to further reduce costs."