Ontario Chamber of Commerce Endorses Major Changes to Auto Insurance Rate Regulation

TORONTO, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Ontario's leading business organization, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), is calling on the provincial government to put an end to its existing auto rate filing system, a system the chamber describes as "one of the most costly, onerous, and restrictive in North America". The OCC, which represents 60,000 businesses from across the province, officially endorsed auto rate regulation reform after a unanimous vote by local chamber of commerce delegates at the OCC's AGM in Sarnia, Ontario.

"Ontario's antiquated rate regulation system no longer works for consumers and businesses," said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "We're pleased to see the Ontario Chamber network join leading voices like David Marshall in calling on the Province for change."

The OCC's endorsement is aligned with the 2016 findings of the Province's Expert Panel that reviewed the mandate of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). The Panel noted that a variety of studies suggest that strict rate controls could limit competition and consumer choice and thus lead to higher prices. The Panel recommended that the province review the rate approval process as a first step in implementing a less costly, less time-consuming, and more transparent process.

Echoing the findings and recommendations of the Province's Expert Panel, the OCC argues that the transition from FSCO to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) provides a window of opportunity for Ontario to adopt a more efficient approach to regulating automobile insurance. The OCC suggests that a "file and use" approach or a government review of alternative approaches to rate regulation is highly preferable to the current model.

"We will continue to work with government to ensure that FSRA's Board of Directors is empowered to review and ultimately find alternatives to our existing rate regulation system," added Donaldson.  "As both the chamber and government's Expert Panel noted, the transition to FSRA provides a unique opportunity to create a transparent and accountable rate regulation process – a process that benefits consumers." 

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Andrew McGrath, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 416-550-9062 (after hours), amcgrath@ibc.ca

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