Driving ahead to save us money

By Sean Delaney

I caught up with Tom Rakocevic MPP Humber River-Black Creek at another of his Town Hall series on auto insurance. It is a timely topic as I just read an article in the Toronto news, that the owner of a house where Canada Post had recently changed a long term existing postal code had their insurance rates substantially increased as a result. No, the house did not move location nor did the community composure change. Just the simple three digits of the postal code.

It doesn’t seem fair to me. Actually, it’s downright ridiculous for a logical thinker.

Driving in Ontario means one must purchase auto insurance. What is most frustrating is that while Ontario drivers have the least accidents per capita, we pay some of the most expensive premiums in the country. This is especially true for our community.

Rakocevic has continued to passionately fight this issue for many years, hosting town halls, writing articles and conducting research that demonstrated that the roads of our community do not have the highest rate of collisions or vehicular crime. On April 18, 2019, he tabled a bill entitled “The Lower Automobile Insurance Rates Act.”

MPP Rakocevic brought forward to the legislature the proposal crafted in consultation with Dr. Fred Lazar of the Schulich School of Business, an economist and expert on auto insurance. Lazar’s widely publicized research demonstrated that Ontarians were overpaying insurance companies by an estimated $1 billion a year.

This bill would have reduced the excessive profit margin auto insurance companies seek when setting premiums, reduced their operating costs (which includes their marketing, commercials and legal fees when fighting against paying out claims), and increased transparency, especially in the area of setting rates based on postal code. On April 3, Rakocevic hosted a packed town hall update meeting at Driftwood Community Centre to share the details of the bill and received strong support from those present.

Unfortunately, the bill was voted down.

“The issue of auto insurance reform is not going away, and I will continue to keep up the pressure because Ontario’s drivers deserve respect,” Rakocevic said.

We too, will keep an eye on future developments.