Ontario to allow for auto insurance rebates

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the winner of the North American Truck of the Year award, is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 15, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Ontario has opened the door for pandemic-affected consumers to get rebates on auto insurance.

The province has created an amendment to the Ontario Insurance Act to authorize auto insurance companies to provide premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Minister of Finance Rod Phillips said on Thursday that with many Ontarians feeling a financial pinch in the wake of a faltering economy, the rebates will provide peace of mind.

“We are in an unprecedented time and people are experiencing extraordinary financial pressures,” said Phillips. “My message to insurance companies has been clear: they should provide relief that reflects the financial hardships their dedicated customers are facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Under the amended act, insurance companies can provide auto premium rebates to consumers for up to one year after the declared emergency has ended. Ontario is the first Canadian province to lift restrictions on auto insurance rebates.

With most insurance policies lasting 12 months at a time, the amendment will allow consumers to get a rebate regardless of when their new policy takes effect.

Any response from the auto insurance industry will be monitored by the provincial government and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).