Province shakes up Insurance Act to allow companies to offer COVID-related rebates to drivers

Change to Act means companies are allowed, but doesn't mean they must

Queen’s Park is pushing auto insurance companies to offer customers a break amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Ontario has amended some regulations within the Insurance Act to allow insurance firms to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers. The change allows companies to provide these rebates to consumers for up to 12 months after the emergency has ended.

“We are in an unprecedented time and people are experiencing extraordinary financial pressures,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “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.”

The amendments to the Insurance Act permit insurance companies to offer rebates, but does not compel them to; it remains optional for these companies. “All of us will remember how companies treat us during these unprecedented times. I often remind business leaders that their customers from the past five years are likely to be their customers for the next five years,” said Phillips. “Insurance companies indicated that the regulation preventing rebates was a barrier to providing relief to their customers. That barrier has now been removed so auto insurance companies can step up and do the right thing for the people and families of Ontario.”