9.6% Increase Seen In First Quarter, according to online comparison site
TORONTO: Q1 2019 Auto Insurance Price Index has reported that car insurance rates are up across Ontario, Alberta, and Atlantic Canada in the first quarter of 2019, with drivers in Alberta seeing the steepest increase in the country—11.22% since last year.
The report by LowestRates.ca, an online comparison site for personal finance products like insurance, mortgages, loans and credit cards, uses proprietary data to track the average cost of car insurance in Canada each quarter.
In Atlantic Canada, rates have seen the least severe increase in the past year; up 6.52%, while in Ontario the average cost of auto insurance is up 9.06%.
“Auto insurance rates have been on the rise for more than a year now, and this happens for a number of reasons that are typically outside of the average driver’s control—more instances of fraud and a greater number of accidents, for example,” said Justin Thouin, Co-Founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca. “While overall rate increases won’t affect every driver, if you are affected, this is a great opportunity to shop around for more competitive insurance plans. Most drivers could save quite a bit on their auto insurance if they spent more time comparing rates.” Breakdown by sex:
• Men are paying 8.73% more than in Q1 2018 and 9.46% more than last quarter
• Women are paying 11.03% more than in Q1 2018 and 6.35% more than last quarter
• Men are paying 11.40% more than in Q1 2018 and 4.70% more than last quarter
• Women are paying 11.68% more than in Q1 2018 and 2.16% more than last quarter
• Men are paying 4.52% more than in Q1 2018 and 0.70% more than last quarter
• Women are paying 10.41% more than in Q1 2018 and 4.17% more than last quarter
The rise in prices has also been exacerbated by the exit of several insurers from two of the largest markets in Canada — Ontario and Alberta. Esurance and AIG Insurance both announced departures from Canada in the past year. More insurers have recently sounded the alarm on the growing cost of doing business in certain provinces.
“We’ve heard from our partners in both Alberta and Ontario that caps on pricing in those provinces have led to instances were insurers are paying out more in claims than they were taking in from premiums,” said Thouin. “These pricing pressures have resulted in some insurance companies and brokers doing less business in these provinces or exiting altogether, leading to less competition and higher prices.”
How does the Auto Insurance Price Index Report work?
The index works by looking at the lowest auto insurance rates available on LowestRates.ca each quarter, getting an average and then comparing it to past quarters. The LowestRates.ca Auto Insurance Price Index tracks the percentage change in the average car insurance quote received by individual drivers insuring only one vehicle in either Ontario, Alberta or Atlantic Canada.
A benchmark quarter, in this case Q1 2018, is used to create a baseline (a reading of 100) for the index. Each point on the index above or below 100 represents a roughly 1% change in prices. For instance, a 104 index reading would mean the price has increased by 4% since Q1 2018.
Each market has seen the following increases on LowestRates.ca’s Auto Insurance Price Index:
• Ontario increased from 100 on the index in Q1 2018 to 109 in Q1 2019
• Alberta increased from 100 on the index in Q1 2018 to 111 in Q1 2019
• Atlantic Canada increased from 100 on the index in Q1 2018 to 107 in Q1 2019
LowestRates.ca says its mission is to help Canadians become more financially literate, with the goal of saving them $1-billion in interest and fees.