Ontario drivers overpaying for car insurance, report says

A new report claims what many Ontario drivers already know – they pay too much for car insurance. 

“Drivers in this province definitely have paid too much for auto insurance," according to Dr. Fred lazar, an associate professor at York University Schulich School of Business and author of the report. 

The report claims that Ontario drivers have overpaid billions of dollars in premiums and are subsidizing lower insurance rates for the rest of Canada. 

The study was written for the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. According to the Association, Ontario drivers have made premium overpayments since 2011 of $ 5.6 billion dollars and insurance rates have increased 20 per cent since 2017. 

The Association’s President Allen Wynperle said that the liberal government had previously cut the benefits available on auto insurance 17 times over eight years and yet drivers are still paying more.

“The public needs much better transparency to understand why they are paying way more now and getting way less coverage," Wynperle said.

The report comes at a time when auto insurance premiums are set to rise again in Ontario as rate increases have just been approved for about 20 insurance companies. In fact, some drivers could see a jump in their premiums by as much as 11 per cent.

Following the release of the study, the Insurance Bureau of Canada—which represents insurance companies—issued a statement saying the report was “flawed” and an “inaccurate representation of industry revenues.”

Wynperle says the insurance industry doesn't want Ontario drivers to see just how much money it's making. 

“Open up the books let’s see what they have to show us. They will never do it. They have never done it in the past and they won't do it, because they don't want the people of Ontario to know the truth," Wynperle said.

CTV News Toronto has done stories on drivers who say their insurance premiums have jumped dramatically even though they have had no accidents, claims or tickets. 

Trevor Boelter said he was shocked when his annual insurance premium jumped by more than $1000 last year. “I haven't had a single ticket, a single claim against me, nothing," Boelter said at the time.

Marcus Zaum also told CTV News Toronto that his insurance premium increased to $902—a hike of 62.5 per cent. Zaum said that like Boelter, the increase came even though his driving record had not changed.

The trial lawyer association is calling for greater transparency and clearer reporting of auto insurance profits as well as reforms to ensure fairness for accident victims.