Are Ontario drivers suckered with unfair insurance rates?

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image: www.lestdarknessfall.com

As an avid automotive enthusiast, one thing that really broils me is the amount of money I pay for insurance in Ontario. Also, it seems that in this province the insurance companies have the industry and us, (the consumer) in a strangle-hold, a sort of death grip that we can’t do anything about.

Why is it that I can insure a vehicle in Georgia, with the same amount of liability as required in Ontario, for a fraction of the price? At one point I had a 1969 Chevy shortbox insured in Georgia and paid only 28$ a month. I also had a 1966 Chevy C-20 insured in California for 6 months at only 50$ a month. I want to point out that at this time on similar vehicles in Ontario (due to my younger and more “adventurous” driving days) I was getting quoted, like, 1300-1400$ a month!

What really gets me is the company my wife has her car insured through (we have our house and shop insured with them too) has made me sign an exclusion form for the last 5 years stating that I will not drive her vehicle. They tell me that when my (young and foolish) driving record is wiped clean, meaning that I do not get a single ticket or demerit point for 4 years, I won’t have to sign this form anymore. Well, I have my full G licence, and I now have a clean driving record. I have proof of prior insurance, and I have the house and shop insured there. They still send my wife an exclusion form. I call them and let them know that I now have a clean record and a full licence, and that I am looking to get insurance on my own vehicle. As well, I let them know that I’m not going to sign the exclusion form because I now don’t have to. So I get an insurance quote from them for my own vehicle. It seems high considering that I get multiple policy discounts due to our other accounts with them.

 

[ The fishing metaphor- Catching suckers in Ontario is easy. All you need is a big net, a bunch of obstacles like rapids and the schooling instincts of “dumb fish” CP ]

[ United Kingdom car insurance rant? Yep, they’re not happy “across the pond” : http://happyasamonkey.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/the-promised-rant-about-car-insurance/ CP ]

 

So, I call around. Most other companies were cheaper even without said discounts. I end up going with a family run business in Port Dover, Ontario. They are not the enemy, rather a middleman. As a broker, they talk to different companies and find you the best price and coverage. The co-owner was the nicest and most helpful person I talked to, and they had good policies available for classic and secondary vehicles. This company has been great.

So, back to the main point: my original and local insurance company. After informing them that I didn’t have to sign that form anymore, they checked into it and it didn’t seem like a problem. Then my wife got her next bill. Even though I don’t drive her car and I now hold my own policy that covers me, and my own vehicle, her bill went up 48$ a month. Which is more than I payed per month as a high risk client in the United States. The company justified this, telling me that because I am one insurance bracket down from my wife, her record is bumped down as well. Unless I sign the exclusion form. I explain that I now carried my own policy. They told me that because I didn’t get it through them, they can’t prove that I keep up my own policy, and therefore they assume that I’m driving her car….

 

I don’t know about you, but this to me is crazy. Guess what? I can’t do anything about it. They make their own rules. I told them that I would write about it. Well, here it is. As much as I would like to tell you who this company is, I won’t. I will just use them as my example of what is wrong with insurance in this province. Why do we pay more than EVERYBODY else? It just isn’t fair, but I guess, in this life, what is? This is something that infuriates me. Just like everybody else I hate getting ripped off. I figured that I had not written a rant yet, so why not? It’s a topic that really ticks me off so it’s quite easy to vent about. All I can say is that it is good to call around, and brokers seem to be a good idea.  Robb Price is a regular automotive writer for the Silo and runs WC Kustoms in Windham Centre, Ontario.

Supplementalhttp://www.ontariofishing.net/news/april2005-3.html

1 Comment to Are Ontario drivers suckered with unfair insurance rates?

  1. Toby Barrett

    Real solutions are needed for auto insurance. NDP Leader Andrea Horwarth made headlines earlier this week, calling for a 15 per
    cent reduction in automobile insurance rates as a bargaining chip with the Liberals.

    While I’m not against a reduction in rates, I was being more cautious saying Horwarth didn’t outline how a reduction in rates can be achieved.

    Consider the three key factors driving up auto insurance rates – fraud,
    excessive government red tape regarding rate regulation, and the 36,000 backlog in mediation reform.

    Saying you will lower rates without addressing the structural problems is nothing more than an empty promise. We can’t forget the Liberals promised a 10 per cent reduction within 90 days of being elected in 2003 and a further 10 per cent reduction over time. Instead insurance premiums have increased 65 per cent in the past 10 years. This type of approach doesn’t work.

    The Official Opposition is conducting consultations to provide structural reforms that will not just lower premiums today but keep them stable well into the future.

    We will offer reforms in the near future to deliver premium savings through more competition and encouraging innovation on new premium saving insurance products,we will reduce the contentious nature of the claims process that drives up costs that get passed on to consumers.
    MPP Toby Barrett
    1-800-903-8629 or 519-428-0446

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