Ontario is noted as the most expensive auto insurance market in Canada, that’s just the way it has been for many years. Mostly driven by the huge insurance costs of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), it seemed unlikely the province would lose its unwanted crown. However, that is changing as British Columbia is about to surpass Ontario regarding the cost of auto premiums.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a press release on Friday that points out the cost of auto insurance in B.C. will increase to $1,680 on average next year.
This is mostly due to the ongoing problems that have befallen the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). The public providing Crown corporation is in financial strife, as detailed in a report published this past summer. To overcome a financial burden placed by increasing collisions and claims, the insurance provider would need to raise premiums by up to 30%.
While the company says that (a 30% hike) will not happen, rates are expected to be raised significantly. The current government blames the previous one for taking billions out of the ICBC when there was a surplus, but still few know how to solve the problem.
That means customers will take at least some of the burden. A $1,680 per year auto insurance premium would surpass the roughly $1,450 average of the private Ontario market.
The CTF data has been backed up by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC):
“Every other province, every other driver has an average lower insurance rate than we do here in B.C.,” Kris Sims, the B.C. director for the CTF, told Global News.
“And we have no choice, we have to stick with ICBC.”
In contrast to B.C.’s problems, Ontario’s rates have been stabilizing and falling since the Liberal government pledged to reduce premiums by 15% before August 2015. That goal was widely missed, but since 2013 rates have fallen around 8%.