Ontario Brokers Shed Spotlight on Soaring Insurance Rates

Website launched to educate Ontario consumers on the controversial use of credit scoring in home and other personal property insurance

(Toronto, Ontario) – May 16, 2011 – Today, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) launched its consumer website, www.SoaringInsuranceRates.ca, as part of the association’s public consumer protection campaign to ban the use of credit scoring in home and other personal property insurance. Currently, a growing number of insurers are using a person’s credit score to measure their insured risk. This has led to an increase in insurance premiums or an outright denial of insurance to many Ontario consumers.

The current use of credit scoring to measure a person’s insured risk is affecting those who can least afford it. This includes retired seniors, newcomers to Canada, the unemployed, single income families and small business owners utilizing lines of credit.

IBAO has been working diligently with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to have this practice banned in the province of Ontario. In 2005, the Ontario government banned the practice of using credit scoring in auto insurance policies and further enforced the ban this year as part of the new auto regulations that came into effect on September 1, 2010. IBAO is asking the Ontario government to follow its own precedent and ban the practice entirely.

“Credit scores are a factor that consumers have very little control over – most are unaware what their score is,” said Randy Carroll, IBAO CEO. “The use of credit scoring in measuring a person’s personal property insurance rate is a deceptive and unfair practice to Ontario consumers. This new website will educate Ontarians on the issue while providing them with all of the necessary tools required to reach out to their local MPP and demand that this practice be banned.”

This interactive site provides consumers with background information on the issue, a press room complete with recent media clippings, an online petition and the ability to send a personalized letter directly to their MPP.

MPP Mike Colle introduced a private member’s bill in November, 2010 entitled Bill 130: The Homeowners Insurance Credit Scoring Ban Act, 2010 which asks the government to ban the use of credit scoring on personal property insurance. Consumers are also encouraged to visit his website www.mikecolle.com and sign his support petition for the Legislative Assembly.

“IBAO has always been an advocate for our customers and consumer protection,” continued Carroll. “www.SoaringInsuranceRates.ca is a valuable educational resource for Ontario consumers and Parliamentarians alike.”

About The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is a ‘not for profit’ association that represents and serves the interests of over 11,500 independent Property & Casualty Insurance Brokers in the Province of Ontario. For information about IBAO, visit www.ibao.org or www.ibao.org/blog to receive timely news and information updates. You can also follow IBAO on Twitter or join the IBAO Facebook Fan Page.