October 28, 2013: "I've spoken to a number of brokers, insurers, and regulatory
staff and they've confirmed that, as part of the government's auto insurance 15%
premium reduction pledge, the companies that insure Ontario's most dangerous drivers
are being directed to lower their rates first," said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP
By law, high risk drivers cannot be refused insurance coverage. Many insurers set
up subsidiary companies dedicated solely to insuring these drivers. These non-standard
companies insure those with speeding tickets, demerit points, multiple accidents,
and drunk driving offences.
To achieve reductions, the industry regulator - the Financial Services Commission
of Ontario (FSCO) - has been given the authority to direct insurers to lower premiums.
Because non-standard companies have higher premium levels, FSCO has prioritized
these companies first. Given the government has stated the 15% target represents
a market-wide average, industry experts speculate non-standard insurers - along
with the bad drivers they insure - will have some of the largest reductions.
PC MPP Jeff Yurek rose in the legislature today to ask the Minister of Finance whether
he's pleased that his auto insurance premium reduction effort is rewarding bad drivers.
"We're seeing a perfect storm of a politically motivated NDP party extorting a power-hungry
Liberal government to move forward on a policy that has absolutely no plan to back
it up," said Yurek. "I've said from the get-go that without a plan to reduce costs,
Ontario drivers will ultimately suffer. We all want premium reductions, but this
is quite simply bad policy. What else can you say about a policy that rewards drunk
drivers who endanger our roads while snubbing good drivers that help make our roads
Yurek has made every attempt to get the Minister of Finance to act on the Ontario
PC Auto Insurance Action Plan to reduce red tape and bureaucracy, reform the dispute
resolution process, implement the recommendations of the Anti-Fraud Task Force,
and increase accountability for senior insurance executives. The plan outlines four
practical measures to reduce costs and inject accountability into the auto insurance
system. "The Minister is welcome to steal our ideas but so far he has gone out of
his way to pander to the NDP. I can't understand why this government thinks bad
drivers deserve the biggest reward," Yurek concludes.