FSRA Encourages Ontario's Auto Insurers to Explore Further Relief Measures as COVID-19 Continues to Impact Consumers
TORONTO, June 17, 2020 - The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) today announced that Ontario auto insurers reported that Ontario consumers are receiving $685M in total premium relief in the form of premium deferrals, rebates, refunds, rate reductions and other means during the COVID-19 emergency.
“At the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, to help ensure that auto insurance rates are just and reasonable, FSRA strongly encouraged insurers to provide customer relief that reflected the change in driving patterns and reduced costs and which would help offset financial hardship their customers were facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak” said Tim Bzowey, Executive Vice President, Auto/insurance Products.
“FSRA also released guidance that is aimed at ensuring there are no regulatory barriers to consumers being treated fairly, and which outlined that insurers have a number of options for providing customers with financial relief during this temporary declared emergency period.”
Ontario insurance companies began offering relief measures since the emergency began, particularly for customers seeking payment relief due to job loss or other reasons so their insurance coverage could continue. Many insurers responded by sending more than a quarter billion dollars back to Ontario auto insurance consumers in rebates and rate reductions.
FSRA issued a consumer relief survey to Ontario auto insurance companies to determine the amount and type of relief being provided to Ontario drivers. Survey results showed that Ontario auto insurance consumers received $220M in total premium relief from March 1 – April 30, with an additional $465M in planned relief from May 1 onward.
This $685M represents consumer relief equal to 4.9% of annual premiums benefiting 70% of Ontario auto insurance customers. However, there are divergent levels of relief being provided by insurers. A graph showing relief provided by Ontario’s 14 major insurers representing over 95% of the Ontario market is available. FSRA is continuing to assess the appropriateness of the relief provided.
As the economy begins to re-open, FSRA is monitoring how insurers are responding and working to ensure Ontario consumers are being treated fairly by encouraging insurers to offer their customers all available forms of relief that give credit for less driving and lower loss claim costs.
To assist FSRA in considering whether auto insurance rates are just and reasonable during the COVID-19 disruption, FSRA plans to conduct a follow-up survey in July 2020 to assess the consumer relief provided to the end of June. Company and industry wide consumer relief results may be made public following analysis and evaluation.
Ontario Consumers who have questions about their insurance provider’s approach to relief are encouraged to contact their Broker, Agent or Insurance Company.
For more information about Auto Insurance Consumer Relief, please visit: FSRA: Consumer Relief Provided by Ontario Auto Insurers
To learn more about how FSRA is supporting the public interest in the sectors that it regulates during the COVID-19 Outbreak, please visit: FSRA Announces Changes to Regulatory Requirements due to COVID-19.
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Senior Communications Officer, Corporate Communications
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario