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Ontario NDP promises to lower auto insurance rates by 40% if elected

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An Ontario NDP government would lower auto insurance rates by 40% and end “postal code discrimination,” Leader Andrea Horwath says.

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The party is also promising to set up an Ontario Auto Insurance Fair Pricing Commissions that would be tasked with exploring a full public no-fault insurance system, a hybrid public-private model or a private no-fault system.

“Our auto insurance system in this province is broken,” Horwath said Wednesday at an announcement in Brampton. “Together, we can fix it and put $660 a year back into people’s pockets and in places like Brampton, that number is around $2,000, and we can do it by banning increases in auto insurance for the next 18 months, by banning postal code discrimination , and by putting together a commission that can provide us with a pathway to reduce auto insurance rates with a public system or a combination of public and private system, by 40%.”

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Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said the auto insurance system in Ontario is complicated, making it difficult for motorists to understand how rates are set.

“We’ll continue to look for ways to make auto insurance accessible and affordable and fair for people regardless of where they live in this province,” Del Duca said. “But I think on balance, it’s about the totality of the affordability crisis that hardworking Ontario families are facing and the Ontario Liberal plan, a Place to Grow, has a very clear set of ideas that we will implement many of them urgently in order to confront the affordability crisis.”

Progressive Conservative spokesperson Ivana Yelich said in a statement that the Doug Ford PCs have been helping drivers by providing more choice, fairness and cracking down on fraud within the auto insurance, and also by building roads and highways and eliminating license plate sticker renewal fees and tolls on Hwys 412 and 418.

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“Andrea Horwath and the NDP proposed up the Del Duca-Wynne Liberals when they promised to lower auto insurance rates by 15%,” Yelich said. “This broken promise was later defended as a ‘stretch goal.’”

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Horwath said broad reform is needed in the auto insurance industry, noting Ontarians paid more in 2020 despite a drop in claim and $3.63 billion in profits for insurance companies.

The former Ontario Liberal government didn’t achieve a promised 15% reduction in rates “because the insurance industry was in their pockets. That’s why they couldn’t get to 15 because they had no intention of getting to 15. We remember, Kathleen Wynne wasn’t telling the truth. She called it as a stretch goal herself.”

Asked how the NDP would achieve a 40% reduction in rates, Horwath said she would immediately upon being elected to govern free insurance rates and ban postal code discrimination where people are charged higher rates due to where they live.

The Commission would be given 18 months to recommend a model for the industry that would achieve the promised savings in premiums, she said

“And in two years time, we’ll be reducing people’s auto insurance rates and getting that 40% reduction,” Horwath said.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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