The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) says Ontario drivers have been eligible to receive nearly $1 billion in car insurance rate relief from insurers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That number represents a 45% increase (or more than $300 million) from 13 of the largest insurers since May 2020, and is equivalent to 7.1% of total annual auto insurance premiums and made available to over 90% of the 6.6 million drivers in Ontario, an increase of more than 1.5 million drivers since April. Here’s how the rate relief measures offered by Ontario’s largest insurers breaks down in alphabetical order:

Insurance Company Percentage of Relief Measures
Allstate Canada 100% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 8.9% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Aviva 96% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 7.5% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
CAA 83.4% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 13% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
The Co-operators 86.9% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 4.9% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Desjardins 91.8% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 7.4% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Economical 82.4% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 5.4% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Gore Mutual 100% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 9.2% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Intact 89.9% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 8.4% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Northbridge 62.1% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 5% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
RSA Canada 100% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 6% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
TD Insurance 100% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 7.2% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Travelers Canada 96% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 4.9% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers
Wawanesa 88% of policies receiving relief initiatives; 5.8% of 2019 premiums returned to consumers

Auto insurance rate relief, which varies by insurer, is available through several measures including rebates, rate reductions, waiving non-sufficient fund fees for nonpayment, risk re-ratings, premium deferrals and other means.

"Our government took immediate action to make the required regulatory changes so that consumers could benefit from the change in driving behaviour during the pandemic," says Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance. "We made it very clear to insurers that drivers deserved more, which resulted in auto insurers making available almost $1 billion in relief for Ontario drivers. I have asked FSRA to continue monitoring how insurance companies are providing relief to ensure consumers' needs are being met as the pandemic continues to evolve."

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Making it easier for drivers to understand car insurance

FSRA also says it launched an enhanced consumer information hub on its website. The goal is to create greater transparency for consumers, who in turn, will be better informed, have access to average premiums and be able to search rate filings easily. These measures, the regulator says, will help drivers make informed decisions about their policies and the insurers they choose.

"Our focus is on the fair treatment of consumers and helping them make choices by sharing information and resources," said Tim Bzowey, Executive Vice President, Auto/Insurance Products at FSRA. "We will continue to monitor whether the promised relief is provided and evaluate whether insurers' rates remain just and reasonable."

Several insurers introduced a variety of relief measures last April to help consumers struggling to pay their monthly premiums after government restrictions were announced to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Countless drivers were at risk of missing their monthly insurance payments as unemployment numbers spiked.

How to lower your premium during the pandemic

It appears a so-called second wave of COVID-19 is affecting Ontario and other parts of the country. Canadian consumers may be continuing to face financial hardship because of the pandemic.

If you are concerned about paying your car insurance bill due to the COVID-19 pandemic or are seeking ways to reduce your premium, contact your insurance company or broker to find out how they can assist you.

RATESDOTCA Team

The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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