FSRA Says $1B Available to Ontario Drivers Due to COVID-19

By Liam Lahey
Female wearing green top, looking out the side window while in the driver's seat

Ontario drivers are eligible to receive nearly $1 billion in car insurance rate relief from insurers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).

That’s a 45% increase (or more than $300 million) provided by 13 of the largest insurers since May 2020, and is equivalent to 7.1% of total annual auto insurance premiums made available to the 6.6 million drivers in Ontario.

That may be good news for consumers. An InsuranceHotline.com survey in May asked Canadians if the pandemic is affecting their finances, and about half of the survey’s respondents said they are, with 36% saying they are somewhat impacted and 12% significantly impacted.

Insurance companies’ pandemic relief measures vary. They may include rebates, rate reductions, waiving non-sufficient fund fees for nonpayment, risk re-ratings, and premium deferrals.

Of Ontario’s 13 largest insurers, Allstate, Gore Mutual, RSA Canada and TD Insurance say 100% of their auto policy customers are receiving relief initiatives. Many auto policyholders of other large insurers are also receiving relief, including customers of Aviva (96%), CAA (83.4%), The Co-operators (86.9%), Desjardins (91.8%), Economical (82.4%), Intact (89.9%), Northbridge (62.1%), Travelers Canada (96%) and Wawanesa (88%).

According to FSRA, the average savings for 93% of policyholders as of July amounts to $162 per policy, which represents an 8% increase from the $150 of savings per policy that was available to 66% of Ontario drivers in May.

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How to Save on Car Insurance During the Pandemic

A second wave of COVID-19 may be upon us, further frustrating Canadian consumers who may be struggling to get by because of the virus’s impact on the economy.

If you are seeking ways to reduce your premium whether your car insurance provider has offered relief measures or not, contact your insurance company or broker to find out how they can assist you. Here are a few things you may wish to ask them about:

  • What savings relief payments or refunds are available during the pandemic?
  • Are there coverages that I can reduce since I am driving less?
  • Will increasing my deductible provide me with cost savings?

There are other ways you can lower your auto insurance bill, including signing up for usage-based insurance, updating your vehicle classification, and if you have two vehicles, storing one and temporarily suspending the road coverage on it.