Time to finally end auto insurance gouging: NDP MPPs

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TORONTO – Ontarians pay some of the highest rates of auto insurance in the country. For over a decade, NDP MPP Tom Rakocevic (Humber River – Black Creek) has been fighting to end postal-code discrimination and price gouging; he retabled a bill to put a stop to the practice with co-sponsors MPPs Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) and Marit Stiles (Davenport).

“Families are paying sky-high auto insurance premiums while big insurance corporations make record profits. GTA drivers with clean records continue to be gouged by this unfair practice, which makes life unaffordable in places like Brampton, Scarborough and Vaughan. Drivers need relief now,” said Rakocevic.

This is the third time the Ontario NDP has introduced this bill to end postal-code discrimination and price gouging. In 2018, Conservatives blocked the bill only to introduce lacklustre measures that failed to address postal-code discrimination. In 2022, the bill was voted on unanimously, but the government did not pass it into law. Rakocevic hopes the Ford government will finally do the right thing for Ontarians and support the bill when he reintroduces it this afternoon.

“New Democrats have been fighting to end auto insurance postal code discrimination that forces families to pay thousands more per year because of the neighbourhood they call home,” said Rakocevic. “The Ford government must follow the NDP’s lead by making auto insurance fairer for Ontario families. That means finally putting an end to postal code discrimination.”

“People in Ontario pay the highest for auto insurance – we know this way too well in many of our postal codes –  including in Scarborough Southwest,” said Begum. “Ontarians are already living paycheck to paycheck especially in the face of skyrocketing cost of living and an affordability crisis. We need to take action against price gouging and postal code discrimination that is putting more financial burden on hardworking Ontarians and only benefiting big corporations. This bill will make sure Ontarians pay a fair and practical rate for auto insurance and eliminate harmful practices like postal code discrimination.”

Stiles said ending postal code discrimination is long overdue. “I’m proud to add my support to this bill to make insurance rates fairer, to ensure that your driving record, not your address, determines your rates.”

Quotes

Yavuz Selim Topbas:

“Coming from a working-class background, every dollar counts for me and my family, including insurance rates. Unfortunately, the current policies and regulations on auto-insurance creates an accessibility and class barrier to automotive transportation, which has led me to forego owning a car as the associated insurance rates are cost-prohibitive. Honest, law-abiding citizens are discriminated by virtue of their geographical and financial backgrounds due to postal-code discrimination, without accounting for individual factors. Insurance equality means that people can travel more and explore more economic opportunities. If insurance costs were less cost-prohibitive I would also have more of an opportunity to work in different localities.”

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