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Auto insurance rates in Ontario up 2% in first quarter of 2018

The numbers released Friday show an average increase of just over two per cent compared to the end of 2017.
The numbers released Friday show an average increase of just over two per cent compared to the end of 2017. Zoran Milich / File / Getty Images

TORONTO – Auto insurance rates in Ontario increased in the first quarter of 2018, putting the Liberal government further away from its promise to cut rates by 15 per cent.

The numbers released Friday by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario show an average increase of just over two per cent compared to the end of 2017.

In 2013, the Liberal government promised an average decrease of 15 per cent by August of 2015, but when that self-imposed deadline passed, Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted it had been what she called a “stretch goal.”

READ MORE: Auto insurance rates in Ontario increased in last quarter of 2017

Ontario’s finance ministry says the latest figures amount to nearly a 3.3 per cent average decrease in rates since August 2013.

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The Progressive Conservatives slammed the rate increase Friday, saying the government has broken its promise.

A government-commissioned report last year found that Ontario has the most expensive auto insurance premiums in Canada, despite also having one of the lowest levels of collisions and fatalities.

READ MORE: Ontario’s auto insurance system ‘one of the least effective’ in Canada, report says

Wynne said Friday that her government recognizes the need to take further costs out the system and will move forward with changes, but did not say what those changes would be.

Late last year, the government announced a package of auto insurance changes, including standard treatment plans for common collision injuries such as sprains and whiplash, independent and neutral examination centres to provide medical assessments for more serious injuries, and ensuring that contingency fees set by lawyers are fair and transparent.

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