Auto insurance hearings set for Brampton

Auto insurance hearings. Brampton is scheduled to be one of the community sites for public hearings being held on Ontario’s auto insurance industry. Photo courtesy Ministry Transportation

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Brampton is scheduled to be one of the community sites for public hearings being held on Ontario’s auto insurance industry.

The provincial government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is conducting a study of the auto insurance industry’s practices and trends to develop recommendations on how auto insurance rates could be made more affordable.

The Committee, composed of MPPs from the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties, is scheduled to hold public hearings in Brampton, Toronto, Windsor and Thunder Bay during the week of July 9. Hearings in Brampton are scheduled for July 10, a location and time is still being determined.

Anyone interested in making an oral presentation at the hearing should contact the committee clerk by noon on Wednesday, July 4.

Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation, but still want to comment on the study, can send written submissions to the Clerk by 4 p.m. Thursday, July 12.

Requests to appear before the committee and written submissions should be addressed to Valerie Quioc Lim, Clerk, Room 1405, Whitney Block, Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1A2. She can also be reached by telephone at 416-325-7352, by Fax at 416-325-3505, TTY at 416-325-3538 or email: [email protected].

Bramalea-Gore-Malton New Democrat MPP Jagmeet Singh said he and his party pushed for the hearings. Singh introduced a private member’s bill designed to stop the insurance industry from increasing insurance rates based on where a driver lives, instead of a person’s driving record.

However, earlier this month members of the legislature rejected Bill 45 by a vote of 52-16 during second reading. It was harshly criticized by lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Singh said the proposed bill was only “one piece of the puzzle” and there are many other issues that need to be addressed in the auto insurance industry.

“The consumers are being neglected in all of this,” he remarked.

These hearings will allow politicians to get insight, directly from those consumers, on the insurance issues facing Ontario drivers and Singh hopes to hear from Brampton residents and families.

“We want to hear from the people,” Singh said.

The hearing locations are intended to give the committee a relative cross-section sampling of the province.

Mississauga-Brampton South Liberal MPP Amrit Mangat has also introduced a private member’s bill intended to lower insurance costs for drivers.

Her bill seeks to lower costs by trying to combat insurance fraud. Reducing fraud would lower industry costs associated with covering fraudulent claims. Mangat is hopeful insurance companies would pass on the those savings to consumers through lower rates.

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