January 10, 2019 9:10 am

Bill Kelly: Don’t hold your breath waiting for lower auto insurance rates

York University professor Fred Lazar said Tuesday companies providing auto insurance to Ontarians have seen profits jump 57 per cent in seven years despite a decline in the number of claims.

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Forgive me if I don’t get too excited about the Ford government’s announcement to review Ontario’s auto insurance system.

I’m sure they have the best of intentions, but the fact is, we’ve seen this show before from previous governments of all stripes, and it doesn’t end well for consumers.

READ MORE: Ontario government launches public consultations on auto insurance system review

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There will be yet another round of public consultations, but we all know it’s really a dog and pony show to create the illusion that the public has a say in how the system works.

For the record, Ontario has one of the lowest collision rates in the country, but we pay some of the highest insurance rates in Canada.

How does that happen?

Because the insurance companies complain to the government about stories of massive fraudulent claims and skyrocketing costs, and every time they tell their tale of woe, the government caves in and essentially lets the insurance industry write its own regulations.

WATCH BELOW: Lawyers file series of class action lawsuits against Ontario’s large auto insurance companies

That’s why we have outlandishly high rates and punitive policies like postal code discrimination, where rates are determined by where you live and not by your driving record.

At the end of this process, there might be a slight reduction in premiums, but the price for that will likely be higher deductibles and less coverage on policies, because the end game for the insurance companies is to protect their profit margins.

I’d love to see this government call B.S. on the insurance industry and put the consumer first, but, I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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