Recently, a Progressive Conservative MPP in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) introduced “Private Members Bill 42, Ending Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Act, 2018”. The aim of the bill is to stop insurance companies from charging different rates based on where a driver lives. Rural Ontarians should be very concerned.
Progressive Conservative MPP Parm Gill advised his bill would ensure that all drivers would be evaluated based on their driving record and not where they live. “This bill, if passed, will promote personal responsibility,” he said. “A good driver in my riding in Milton should pay the same rates as a good driver anywhere else.” Pete Karageorgis, IBC director of consumer and industry relations for Ontario, disagrees and he points to historical auto claims statistics that show a higher frequency of accidents in urban areas compared to rural areas. He also points out that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) determines how insurance rates are set, including various rating factors used to determine premium.
“They are the ones that set those rules in place in terms of using things like a person’s driving record, the type of car they drive, even where they live,” he said. “Geography is something that’s used and it’s used not just here in Ontario; but in every insurance market across the country.”
Should this bill be passed in parliament, drivers in urban areas - especially in the GTA - would see lower annual insurance premiums. In order to offset these reduced premiums, rural drivers would most likely see rate increases that could be hundreds of dollars per year.
Now is the time to write or call your local MPP and voice your concerns before this bill is passed into parliament.