Where you choose to live could be costing you thousands of dollars in auto insurance premiums, Ontario’s auditor general has found, leading to a renewed push to eliminate postal code discrimination in the province.
In her annual value-for-money audit, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found that a Brampton resident who drives the exact same vehicle as a London resident would pay more than twice as much to insure the car based on postal code.
In the example provided by the auditor, the London resident would pay $1,200 per year for auto insurance, while someone driving the same car in Brampton would pay $3,350.
The audit also found the average auto insurance premium increased almost 14 per cent between 2017 and 2021 leading to the “highest private passenger automobile insurance premiums in Canada.”
It found that neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) had “done significant work to address past recommendations to reduce costs” for drivers in Ontario.
NDP MPP Tom Rakocevic reintroduced a bill in August that would “prevent residents of the Greater Toronto Area from paying different rates for automobile insurance based solely on the municipality or area in which they reside. It’s the third time that the party has introduced such legislation.
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The bill has yet to move past first reading in the Ontario Legislature, the rules of which are controlled by the government party.
Lysyk’s 2022 report outlined a number of actions that the AG believes could help reduce rates, such as allowing the province to directly pay for auto-accident injuries, rather than insurance-funded cash settlements for people who are injured and then seek their own treatment.
The auditor general also suggested Ontario could license repair shops “to protect consumers against poor repairs and fraud.”
— with files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca