Leadership and Cooperation - A fresh start for Ontario auto insurance

TORONTO, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Don Forgeron, President and CEO of Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), today called for true leadership to help lower auto insurance premiums because Ontarians deserve a better auto insurance system – one that is free of fraud and rewards safe driving.

Forgeron told the Economic Club of Canada, "For more than 20 years, our auto insurance system has been the victim of politically motivated change. With each new government, came a commitment for enhanced benefits without appropriate attention to costs...costs that are borne by drivers who, in the vast majority of cases, never collect these benefits but continue year after year to pay the bills. Without bold and collaborative leadership, this is not going to change any time soon."

In his remarks, Forgeron pledged that IBC will do its part to work with all parties – the government, provincial regulators, insurers, lawyers and Ontario drivers to create bold but realistic solutions to lower auto insurance rates.    

One underlying issue facing the insurance industry is the cost to provide the product.  Forgeron spoke about the required balance between costs and necessary benefits, and the current market which sees Ontario drivers pay more in premiums than drivers in other provinces in Canada.  "Car accident victims who live in Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and other provinces in this country recover just as quickly from their injuries as Ontario drivers do and they pay far less for their insurance. Why? Because the benefit packages are under control...because they are linked to the science of recovery and there are logical limits in place."

IBC will use consumer feedback along with input from various stakeholders to develop a plan for improving Ontario auto insurance.  "We have been to shopping malls and university campuses. We have spoken to Ontario drivers in a myriad of languages. And their message to us never changed...Do something to fix the auto insurance system in Ontario. Premiums are too high," said Forgeron.

Forgeron said the industry has heard the messaging and is exploring how to provide meaningful incentives for safe driving including:

  • how to close down the many opportunities for abuse and fraud in the system;
  • how we can put an end to distracted driving and,
  • how we can help consumers better understand that they have options when they buy their car insurance.

With the provincial election now over, the Government has a clear mandate from the people and the mandate is to create a better, more prosperous Ontario. Forgeron says, "We believe a more sustainable, affordable auto insurance system is an integral part of the story to be written. Ontarians, we believe, voted for both."  

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the P&C insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: Steve Kee, Director, Media & Digital Communications, Insurance Bureau of Canada?, 416-362-2031 ext. 4387, skee@ibc.ca

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