October 21, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter
Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, has vowed to crack down on fraudsters working in the auto insurance system should he become premier.
Hudak addressed the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario’s 90th Annual Convention in Niagara Falls on Oct. 21, 2010.
“I believe if you want to achieve real savings with auto insurance premiums, you need to first start cracking down on the cheaters and clean up our system,” he said. “If the Dalton McGuinty government won’t do it, the PC government will.”
Ontario personal auto premiums are the highest in the country, 34% higher than Alberta’s (the second most expensive province in the country) and 91% higher than Prince Edward Island, he noted. Yet, the average cost per claim in Alberta is $4,000 and the average cost per claim in Ontario is $53,000, a figure that has ballooned from $30,000 only five years ago, he continued.
In spite of the increased premium, Ontario auto insurers lost a total $390 million in 2009, the only province to not turn a profit in the line.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Ontario’s drivers,” Hudak told delegates. “I don’t think it’s the condition of our roads. I just think it’s a problem with our system.”
Hudak said southern Ontario has become a “virtual haven for fraudsters at a time when many states and provinces are cracking down on fraud.
“The current government had a choice,” he said. “It could have gone after the con artists that are trying to game the system, but instead a series of half-measures and inaction have punished Ontario families by making honest drivers pay more in order to get the same or even less coverage.”
Hudak was referring to the fact that the current round of reforms reduced the mandatory coverage limit for medical-rehabilitation benefits from $100,000 to $50,000, although consumers do have a choice to buy back up to the previous limit or higher.