November 20, 2003

Ontario’s vehicle insurance rate freeze an “empty gesture” says insurance spokesperson

Toronto, Ontario – The 90 day insurance rate “freeze” instituted by Ontario’s new premier, Dalton McGuinty, at the end of September is an “empty gesture” says Lee Romanov, President of The Consumer’s Guide to Insurance, an internet-based insurance ratings service.

“Consumers won’t get lower rates because of Mcguinty’s freeze,” said Romanov. “Insurance companies can only raise their rates when they file every quarter, or every 90 days. The last time insurance companies filed their rates in Ontario was at the end of September. Upon coming to office at the beginning of October, Mr. McGuinty froze rates for 90 days – effectively “freezing” them for the period they would stay the same even without his grand gesture,” Ms. Romanov pointed out.

An insurance rate freeze doesn’t mean that rates won’t go up when companies file again in January of 2004 when the “freeze” will be “lifted”, said Romanov.

“If Mr. McGuinty really wants to take the heat off consumers, he’ll let the insurance industry look after its own house. Let the industry regain control over its own losses, and the consumer will win,” she said.

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