Ontario enables auto insurance companies to provide rebates to drivers amid COVID-19 pandemic

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The Ontario government says it has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to allow auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The province says the amendment ensures insurance companies would be able to provide rebates to drivers for up to 12 months after the declared emergency has ended.

“We are in an unprecedented time and people are experiencing extraordinary financial pressures,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, in a statement. 

“My message to insurance companies has been clear: they should provide relief that reflects the financial hardships their dedicated customers are facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The province says the government and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) will continue to work together to monitor how the auto insurance sector is responding.

“All of us will remember how companies treat us during these unprecedented times. I often remind business leaders that their customers from the past five years are likely to be their customers for the next five years,” said Phillips. 

“Insurance companies indicated that the regulation preventing rebates was a barrier to providing relief to their customers. That barrier has now been removed so auto insurance companies can step up and do the right thing for the people and families of Ontario.”

The province says it's the first jurisdiction in Canada to remove existing restrictions on rebating so auto insurers can provide additional consumer relief.

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