Ontario Government Taking Steps to Reduce Costs, Fight Fraud and Protect Consumers
Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, passed second reading today demonstrating the Liberal government’s commitment to strengthening consumer protection and reducing auto insurance rates, announced David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
“Our government is working to make auto insurance rates more affordable for drivers in Ontario, and the measures included in this legislation will build upon our efforts to continue to drive down costs,” said Orazietti. “We are committed to reaching our target of a 15% average decrease in insurance rates for Ontario drivers, and I was disappointed to see the NDP vote against these important measures today.”
The Act is a combination of the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act and the Roadside Assistance Protection Act. Both pieces of legislation died on the Order Paper when the NDP forced the June election.
The Ontario government has already achieved on average a 6% reduction in auto-insurance rates for Ontario drivers.
The legislation will help to reduce insurance rates tackling fraud and protecting drivers by:
Transforming Ontario’s auto insurance dispute resolution system (DRS) to help injured Ontario drivers settle disputed claims faster. Administrative changes would help reduce financial and administrative pressures, which can increase costs and cause rates to increase as well
Regulating the towing and vehicle storage industries through measures to address unfair consumer practices
Giving the province authority to change the current 60-day period that a vehicle can be stored after an accident, accruing charges, without notice to the owner
Part of this legislation is proposing to regulate the towing and vehicle storage industries. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services will include tow trucks in the province’s existing Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration system to improve road safety through government monitoring and enforcement measures.
The government is also exploring the establishment of a special investigation and prosecution unit on serious fraud, including auto insurance fraud. The proposed changes and additional oversight will contribute to lower costs in Ontario’s auto insurance system.
The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) has vocalized their support for the province’s initiative.
“On behalf of the six million policy holder’s our brokers represent province-wide, IBAO is happy to see Bill 171 and 189 combine into one piece of legislation,” said IBAO CEO Randy Carroll. “Since this process was delayed due to the election, we look forward to seeing it pass so implementation can get started as soon as possible. This is a good step towards further reductions in insurance costs by fighting fraud.”