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More rate increases for Ontario drivers

November 17, 2009

You’ve no doubt heard through the media lately that automobile insurance premiums in Ontario are on the rise again. From July 1 to September 30, 2009, the insurance industry provincial regulator, Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), approved an average rate increase of 6.20 per cent. In some cases, insurance companies received approval for an increase of 10 per cent.

So what does this mean for you? Well, the first thing you need to know is that not all insurance companies are increasing their rates. While it’s true that most insurance companies are applying for (or have received) approval for rate increases, not all of them have. The next thing you need to know is that some people with a given insurance company could see a rate increase of perhaps a whopping 14 per cent or more, while other people could see an increase of only two per cent because the increases attributed to each company are also averages.

You may be wondering, "Why do the increases vary so much?" Well, it’s a matter of each individual insurance company’s claims experience within (among other things) particular regions or driving profiles.

In order for an insurance company to receive approval for its rate increase from FSCO, it must prove that it’s not profitable at current premium levels within certain areas of its business, such as various postal codes, driver types, even within certain policy coverages such as accident benefits.

Each insurance company’s experience can be different for these factors, therefore one insurance company with a higher amount of claims in Toronto, for example, may be approved for a higher increase than another insurance company in Toronto that had a lower amount of claims. Plus, know that some insurance companies didn’t even apply for a rate increase within the July-September timeframe, so their rates will stay the same.

So, what does all this mean for you? It means that although you may not be in control of the insurance rate that you are charged by a given insurance company, you are in control of the company you choose to insure your automobile with.

Since rates vary from company to company, shopping around is a great way to take control of the insurance rate that you are paying. One quick an easy way to compare rates is by visiting InsuranceHotline.com. Within minutes, you’ll be provided the lowest rate from over 30 competing insurance companies. Don’t wait until you get your renewal in the mail to see what’s in store for you. Compare your rate now and see how much you could save.

For more car insurance information, check out other car insurance articles.