TORONTO - The Ontario Liberal government wants to reduce auto insurance rates by 15% in the next two years, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Friday.
The ambitious goal, initially indicated in the 2013 budget, includes achieving an 8% rate reduction by August 2014, he said.
Sousa announced the strategy, calling it a “practical plan to protect consumers and help them save money on auto insurance.”
The ministry’s steps include providing the Financial Services Commission of Ontario with the “authority to require insurers to file new rates,” crack down on fraud by licensing health clinics that bill auto insurance companies, and look at options such as provincial oversight of the towing industry.
“FSCO will now have the power to bring (insurance companies) in, to make certain that those rate reductions occur and pass on those savings,” Sousa said.
Ontario has over 100 companies offering auto insurance for nine million drivers province-wide.
Ralph Palumbo, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said Sousa’s plan is “realistic so long as we remember that this strategy involves cost reductions and rate reductions.”