Car Insurance in Ontario: Rates Increase in April FSCO Announcement

By InsuranceHotline.com Team
Heavy traffic along the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto with a GO Training in the background.

Auto insurance rates to increase an average 2.70 percent in Ontario, with many drivers seeing increases that are significantly higher.

In Ontario, every insurance company must have changes to their auto insurance rates approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and each quarter, FSCO publishes these rate changes. The latest rate changes have been released and, as expected, it’s not good news for drivers in the province.

Ontario auto insurance rates are set to increase

FSCO reports that in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, approved rates increased on average 2.70 percent. While this increase reflects the average drivers may see upon renewal, the actual range in approved rate increases is significant: some Ontario drivers could see their rates increase only 0.02 percent, while others could see their rates increase as much as 11.40 percent. It all depends on who you have your coverage through, and the rate change your insurer has been given the green light to apply.

These increases are smaller than the increases seen in Q4 of 2018, where the highest approved rate increase was over 30 percent.

Of the 23 insurers who had rate changes approved this quarter, only one lowered their rates, 0.03 percent.

A recent history of Ontario’s auto insurance rates

This is the sixth time in a row that rates have increased. In Q4 of 2018, auto insurance rates increased 3.35 percent on average, in Q3 they increased 2.06 percent, in Q2 1.11 percent, in Q1, 2.23 percent and in Q4 2017 they increased 1.03 percent. In fact, over the course of the last two years, Ontario auto insurance rates have increased every quarter except one (Q3 2017) when rates decreased on average 0.1 percent.

With more than a full year of consecutive approved rate increases on the books, it’s especially prudent that Ontario drivers heed FSCO’s advice to "shop around for auto insurance."

FSCO to monitor claims costs in Ontario

In its quarterly rate publication, FSCO noted two trends that may be affecting auto insurance rates in Ontario which they plan to continue to monitor: increased claims costs for repairing technologically advanced vehicles, as well as more collisions due to distracted driving. Both have previously been cited as being a driving force behind the Canada-wide increase in premiums.

Could changes be coming to Ontario auto insurance?

Ontario auto insurance rates have been increasing for a while now, so it’s no surprise the government’s 2019 Budget (released on April 11) included plans to address auto insurance in the province. Specifically, the province says they set out to:

  • Help insurance companies offer more options and discounts such as a proposed discount for drivers who agree to undergo a credit check.
  • Allow for pay-as-you-go insurance plans.
  • Charge higher penalties to reduce court-related activities and fraud.
  • Provide drivers with electronic proof of insurance. This step will replace pink slips as proof of coverage.
  • Move to end postal codes factoring into the premium paid.
  • Simplify the claims process and reduce legal fees

Find your best price at InsuranceHotline.com

FSCO encourages consumers to shop around for their Ontario car insurance coverage and you can do this easily online at InsuranceHotline.com. Compare car insurance quotes today as it’s the best way to lower your car insurance rate and find a policy that fits your needs and budget.