Ontario Budget proposals should appeal to auto insurance customers says IBC

Published: April 16, 2019

Updated: April 19, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Motorists in Ontario may appreciate the value of a proposed change announced in the province’s 2019 Budget regarding auto insurers. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says Ontarians want an insurance system that offers more discounts for clients who use collision repair shops and health facilities recommended by insurance companies.

Thanks to a proposal in the Ontario Budget, carriers may soon be in a position to deliver those discounts. In its budget, the provincial government pledged to give auto insurance companies more scope for offering discounts.

“Drivers should have the choice to lower their premiums by allowing insurers to consider their credit history, or by agreeing to use preferred providers of auto repair or health care services,” the government said in the budget document.

IBC says the change could be profound for auto premiums:

“You have companies like TD and Intact who are now going to these one-stop shop type of customer care facilities,” Pete Karageorgos, IBC’s director of consumer and industry relations for Ontario, told Canadian Underwriter. “For some consumers, they may like that choice. Others may not.”

Under current laws, insurance providers in Ontario are unable to use factors such as credit scoring to assess auto insurance premiums. The budget proposes to lift that prohibition, in a move Karageorgos says is “interesting”.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli says auto insurance plans are designed to give customers more control over their coverage and to give insurance companies more control over rates.

“This government is obviously interested in looking at the Marshall report. I think they recognize that to fix auto insurance, this is a problem that has been decades in the making,” Karageorgos said Monday.