The pandemic is more than a year old now, and Ontario drivers are still feeling its economic effects and will likely continue to for some time. As the province navigates its third stay-at-home order, many residents’ vehicles have been parked since the pandemic started and will continue to stay parked for the foreseeable future. This reality is driving much of the COVID-19 insurance relief measures offered by many insurers to their policyholders and putting a lid on insurance prices in the province.
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Ontario auto insurance rate-filing decisions in Q1 2021
In Ontario, every insurance company must have changes to their auto insurance rates approved by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Once approved, FSRA publishes the rate changes they’ve green-lighted to proceed.
In Q1 2021, Ontario auto insurance rate changes amounted to a weighted average of 0.0%. Granted, a 0.0% change in auto insurance rates is usually nothing to get too excited about, but there may be lower rates forthcoming in Q2. FSRA notes in its rate approvals publication that:
“In March, the largest auto insurers comprising more than 90% of the Ontario market voluntarily committed to additional rate reductions for their customers.
“Most reductions are expected to be in the market by May 1, 2021.”
|Insurer||Approved Rate Change||Renewal Effective Date|
|Aviva General Insurance Company||0.00%||January 1, 2021|
|Gore Mutual Insurance Company||-4.96%||January 1, 2021|
|Heartland Farm Mutual Inc.||-0.42%||January 1, 2021|
|Belair Insurance Company Inc.||-1.85%||January 15, 2021|
|Federated Insurance Company of Canada||0.00%||January 15, 2021|
|TD General Insurance Company||0.00%||January 15, 2021|
|Security National Insurance Company||0.00%||January 15, 2021|
|Primmum Insurance Company||0.00%||January 15, 2021|
|Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance Company (The)||-0.03%||February 1, 2021|
|Co-operators General Insurance Company||0.34%||February 7, 2021|
|Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group (The)||-0.10%||March 1, 2021|
|Allstate Insurance Company of Canada||0.00%||March 15, 2021|
|Pembridge Insurance Company||0.00%||March 15, 2021|
These approved rate changes reflect the average the insurer’s policyholders may see upon renewal. However, these are averages, and some policyholders will see their premiums change more or less than what’s listed, or not at all.
Ontario auto insurance rates in 2020
In 2020, FSRA switched tactics in reporting the rate changes they approve; they moved to publishing them shortly after they happen. When the pandemic hit, auto insurers filed emergency applications to delay, change, or withdraw pre-pandemic approvals that involved raising prices. Insurers also filed emergency applications to be able to offer clients rebates and rate reductions.
As a result, FSRA says it approved 83 rate applications between March 17, 2020, and December 31, 2020, of which 81 were for an average change of 0% or less.
A brief history of Ontario auto insurance rates pre- pandemic
Before 2020, FSRA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, made their decisions known quarterly and would highlight the average increase or decrease when applied across the total market. The chart below gives you an idea of how auto insurance rate changes trended between 2015 and 2019.
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