QUEEN’S PARK – PC MPP Jeff Yurek rose in the legislature today to ask the Minister of Finance whether he’s pleased that his auto insurance premium reduction effort is rewarding bad drivers.
“I’ve spoken to a number of brokers, insurers, and regulatory staff and they’ve confirmed that, as part of the government’s 15% premium reduction pledge, the companies that insure Ontario’s most dangerous drivers are being directed to lower their rates first,” said Yurek.
By law, high risk drivers cannot be refused insurance coverage. Many insurers set up subsidiary companies dedicated solely to insuring these drivers. These non-standard companies insure those with speeding tickets, demerit points, multiple accidents, and drunk driving offences.
To achieve reductions, the industry regulator – the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) – has been given the authority to direct insurers to lower premiums. Because non-standard companies have higher premium levels, FSCO has prioritized these companies first. Given the government has stated the 15% target represents a market-wide average, industry experts speculate non-standard insurers – along with the bad drivers they insure – will have some of the largest reductions.
“We’re seeing a perfect storm of a politically motivated NDP party extorting a power-hungry Liberal government to move forward on a policy that has absolutely no plan to back it up,” said Yurek. “I’ve said from the get-go that without a plan to reduce costs, Ontario drivers will ultimately suffer.
“We all want premium reductions, but this is quite simply bad policy. What else can you say about a policy that rewards drunk drivers who endanger our roads while snubbing good drivers that help make our roads safe?”
Yurek has made every attempt to get the Minister of Finance to act on the Ontario PC Auto Insurance Action Plan. The plan outlines four practical measures to reduce costs and inject accountability into the auto insurance system. The plan includes:
- Reducing red-tape and bureaucracy;
- Reforming the dispute resolution process;
- Implementing the recommendations of the Anti-Fraud Task Force; and
- Increasing accountability for senior insurance executives.
“The Minister is welcome to steal our ideas but so far he has gone out of his way to pander to the NDP. I can’t understand why this government thinks bad drivers deserve the biggest reward?”
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