Auto Insurance in Ontario like much of Canada is private. BC auto insurance is provided by ICBC, a crown corporation, owned by the government. Last year it was reported that private insurance companies raked in over 4.5 billion dollars in profits. Calls for lower insurance rates were made and the governments' in some provinces directed the companies to lower rates.
In one example the study received quotes from 31 insurance companies on a 40 year old male in Ontario with a clean driving record, insuring a 2000 Honda Civic would pay between $1,250 up to $5,000 a year.
"Consumers in Ontario have been clearly harmed by outrageous price increases for auto insurance over the past three years. Victims of crashes have also been impacted by the Ontario Government’s actions of imposing a $30,000 deductible on benefits paid to them. Innocent victims of crashes have suffered at the hands of the insurance industry while this industry continues to put billions of dollars of profits in its pockets", Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association, Media release, July 19, 2005.
One aspect that consumers may be unaware of is the financial arrangements between some brokers (the people that sell you the insurance) and the insurance company. They often carry only a couple of insurance companies which limits your access to the cheapest possible rate.
You need to shop around for insurance, you may save substantially by doing so. The Consumers Association recomends you call as many as you can. You can also check out http://www.insurancehotline.com/ where you can get quotes from up to 30 different companies.
The study again highlights the differences between public and private insurance, something that will be watched with a great deal more interest in BC with the re-election of Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals and their connections with the private sector insurance companies.
This space will have more on public vs private insurance and the potential to open the door in BC to expansion of private auto insurance.
You can download the Consumers’ Association of Canada study (in PDF format), click here.
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Tags: ICBC, BC Liberals, Insurance, Canada, BC