Ontario auto insurance rate freeze not unexpected — further reforms welcomed: IBC

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2003 – The insurance industry will cooperate fully with the Ontario government in respecting today’s auto insurance rate freeze.

“Today’s rate freeze following the swearing in of the new government was not unexpected,” says Mark Yakabuski, Ontario Vice President, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “The government campaigned on this promise and now they are following through on that commitment. Our industry will respect that,” he adds.

Insurance Bureau of Canada would advise the new government to avoid introducing legislation to achieve this objective. “Taking this through the Legislative Assembly is not needed at this time and could delay the process. Because the Financial Services Commission of Ontario must approve all rate changes, a policy statement from government to the Superintendent of Financial Services concerning the rate freeze should be sufficient in light of the industry’s co-operation,” says Yakabuski.

“It’s equally important to recognize that not all insurers in Ontario have adequate premiums to cover claims costs at this time. We have to be mindful in implementing a rate freeze to avoid solvency problems that were highlighted recently by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions,” adds Yakabuski.

The industry looks forward to further reforms also promised in the government’s recent election platform. “It’s important to proceed with the new government’s commitment to reform auto insurance,” says Yakabuski. “The industry wants to meet at the earliest opportunity with the Honourable Greg Sorbara, the new Minister of Finance, to discuss how we can assist the government in reducing auto insurance rates by an average of 10 per cent from current approved rates,” adds Yakabuski.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada.