Car Insurance in Ontario: What’s Happening with Rates?

By InsuranceHotline.com Team
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Auto insurance rates to increase an average 3.35 per cent 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 fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, approved rates increased on average 3.35 per cent. 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 1.65 per cent, while others could see their rates increase as much as 34.87 per cent. It all depends on who you have your coverage through, and the rate change your insurer has been given the green light to apply.

Of the 23 insurers who had rate changes approved this quarter, not one lowered their rates.

A recent history of Ontario’s auto insurance rates

This is the fifth time in a row that rates have increased. In Q3, auto insurance rates increased 2.06 per cent on average, in Q2 they increased 1.11 per cent, in Q1 2.23 per cent, and in Q4 2017 they increased 1.03 per cent. 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 per cent.

With more than 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 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review (released in November) included plans to address auto insurance in the province. Specifically, the province says they set out to:

  • Debate whether where a person lives should factor into the auto insurance rate they pay.
  • Conduct a review of how auto insurance rates are regulated to potentially identify opportunities for increased efficiencies and competition in the industry.
  • Create a regulatory framework that will foster innovation in the industry. Electronic proof of insurance, usage-based insurance technologies, as well as full electronic commerce capabilities, are mentioned.

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.

This article is updated quarterly to reflect the latest FSCO announcement results.