Bryan Passifiume | Toronto Sun
After Thursday, your address may no longer impact your car insurance bill.
All three major parties have expressed varying degrees of interest in eliminating location-based insurance rates that use your postal code to determine premiums.
Data from insurance aggregator Kanetix says north Brampton boasts Ontario’s highest rates, with an average premiums topping $2,398 annually.
That’s a bit less than Toronto’s most expensive rates, $2,384 a year in north Scarborough.
Kanetix.ca insurance expert Anne Marie Thomas attributed the high rates to previous claim histories in the area.
“It’s how often do they happen, and how big they are when they do happen,” she said.
In some cases, motorists could pay hundreds more than those living across the street.
Homeowners living at Lawrence Ave. and Scarlett Rd. pays $600 less annually than those a block east at Weston Rd.
In Brampton, living north or south of Mayfield Rd. translates to a $1,234 difference in your policy.
Twenty kilometres northwest of Brampton in Erin, that gap increases to $1,380.
The NDP and Liberals have incorporated a pledge to eliminate location-based ratings, while the Progressive Conseratives talked about it last year. A PC spokesman could not be reached for comment.
“It’s not right that someone living in Brampton should have to pay much, much more than someone living in neighbouring Caledon for the exact same insurance,” the Ontario NDP said in a statement to theToronto Sun.
“The NDP plan reduces auto insurance rates by 15%, and ends neighbourhood discrimination.”
Pete Karageorgos, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), said companies don’t arbitrarily set rates — they’re regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO.)
Thomas said eliminating location-based rates would mean relief for some, but pain for others.
“It means that Brampton rates would go down, but Ajax would go up,” she said.
Reducing fraud is a better way to reduce rates, she said — a $1.6 billion-per-year problem according to the IBC, adding $246 annually per auto insurance policy.