Insurers ready to dig in for Ontario reforms

Published: August 30, 2018

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Few people disagree with the assertion that the auto insurance market in Ontario needs reforms to combat high premium rates. However, while some insurers may be focused on becoming less reliant on auto, others are sticking in Ontario and continuing to remain focused on car insurance.

One such industry heavyweight is the Co-operators Group, which told Canadian Underwriter it has no intention of reducing market prescence in auto in Ontario. Gore Mutual, the country’s largest mutual insurer, was less committed but said it is “not necessarily planning to decrease” its market share.

Earlier this month, Aviva Canada admitted its would reduce auto focus in Ontario. The decision came following poor financial results. This means the second largest property and casualty insurer in Canada will reduce its exposure in Ontario and put more focus on other provinces.

“When you look at Aviva’s business in Canada, there’s a heavy concentration in Ontario auto,” Aviva Canada president and CEO Colm Holmes told Canadian Underwriter.

“So, what we’ve been looking at is, how do we diversify the business such that we are not exposed to a single product risk within Canada? So, we are looking to grow in our Global Corporate and our Specialty business. We’re also looking at what I call our home insurance business, and risk prevention and risk management.”

However, Aviva Canada has clarified that diversifying its business in the province does not mean less auto insurance policies will be written. This is a similar situation to Intact Insurance. The country’s largest P&C says it will ride out the storm and take a loss to seek a better market in Ontario.