MPP Moving to Tackle Sky-High Auto Insurance Rates in Mississauga
High insurance rates in Mississauga (and even more so in its northern neighbour, Brampton) have been a prevailing problem in the city for years, and now a local politician has decided to take some action.
NDP MPP Gurratan Singh (Brampton East) held a press conference at Queen’s Park this morning with some of his colleagues from the NDP to announce he is tabling a bill to end that discrimination for auto insurance.
This is simply wrong. Auto insurance postal code discrimination is a shameful practice that is hurting drivers.— Gurratan Singh (@GurratanSingh) October 15, 2018
But it doesn’t have to be this way
That is why today I’m tabling a Bill that will end automobile insurance discrimination in the GTA pic.twitter.com/Pofsn7i3Yn
The bill would amends the Insurance Act to prevent insurance companies from charging GTA residents different insurance rates solely because of where they live within the region, or face the penalties set out by the Act.
Singh’s bill will require the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to refuse to approve risk classification systems that don’t consider the GTA as a single geographic area, and prohibit insurers from entering into contracts with insurance rates based on such a risk classification system.
If passed, this bill will “end years of Liberal and Conservative government policies that have put the interests of private auto insurance companies ahead of the people of Ontario,” as stated in the Ontario NDP’s press release.
“Drivers in Peel region and other parts of the GTA pay significantly higher auto insurance rates than others in the same region, for no good reason,” Singh said. “In the last year alone, my community of Brampton has seen premiums increase at a rate nearly five times higher than the provincial average, and the average Brampton driver’s annual premiums are nearly $1,000 more than the average driver in much of Toronto.”
Singh brought up an example of a Brampton man named Tom Levac on how wrong the gouging is.
“Tom is a Brampton teacher who has lived in Brampton his whole life. He has a clean driving record with no accidents. When Tom moved away from Brampton to Orangeville, he saw his monthly rate drop immediately to $76 from $325. That’s $2,988 a year,” cited Singh.
Ending postal code discrimination in auto insurance was part of the NDP platform during the June provincial election, and other parties had also mentioned looking to ending postal code rating as well.
And while high auto insurance rates have been a big topic in Brampton, drivers in Mississauga don’t fare much better.
According to recent data released by online car insurance marketplace Kanetix.ca, of all the cities with the most expensive car insurance, Mississauga is number three on the list, sitting just behind Brampton (number one) and Vaughan (number two).
In Brampton, premiums sit around $2,268. In Vaughan, drivers pay an an estimated $1,825. In Mississauga, drivers pay about $1,788. Mississauga is followed by Markham at $1,785.
Mississauga boasts a more expensive premium than Toronto, where the estimated premium is $1,743, according to Kanetix.ca.
Fortunately for Peel residents, Singh has some support.
Even though Singh’s not an MPP from the government benches, PC MPP Parm Gill from Milton also put forward legislation to do the same thing, so this issue does have bipartisan support.
Eventually this could force the Ford government’s hand into doing something on auto insurance. It would look good “for the people” after all.