FSCO: Ontario auto insurance premiums increased 2.23% last quarter

Published: April 27, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has announced auto insurance rates in the province will increase on average when drivers come to their next renewal.

Companies like Intact Insurance, Aviva Canada, and RSA Canada has said they will need to increase premiums this year. The P&C giants cite escalating collision frequency, fraud, and claims costs as the reason. To increase the cost of auto insurance in Ontario, carriers must get approval from the FSCO.

Every three months, the regulatory body publishes rate change details. It approved a premium increase of 2.23 percent through the first quarter of 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2017, rates were increased by 1.03 percent, meaning a 3.26 percent rise in premiums over the six months.

Many customers will now face an increase in their auto insurance payments through this year’s renewal.

"FSCO is monitoring two evolving trends that may be affecting auto insurance rates in Ontario," FSCO says in its quarterly statement. "First, insurance companies are reporting an increase in claims costs related to property damage, in part because of the rising cost of repairing increasingly technologically advanced vehicles. Second, FSCO notes the growing concern related to distracted driving. As the number of accidents due to inattentive driving increases, so too do the claims costs."

"Consumers are urged to shop around for auto insurance," advises FSCO. "Rates for the same coverage vary based on each insurer's claims experience and the insurer's rating system."

The Liberal government headed by Premier Kathleen Wynne promised in 2013 to reduce auto insurance premiums by 15 per cent before August 2015.

That date passed with slight improvement, but nowhere near the pledge made by the government. A further three years on and signs of 15 per cent ever being attainable are hard to come by. Accusations that the initial pledge was merely a vote grab appear more damning with each passing year.