Hamilton Spectator: Auto insurance must improve

Mar 09, 2015


Auto insurance


Ontarians pay far too much for auto insurance. It's time Ontario has a publicly-owned enterprise to provide auto insurance.

In Quebec, where insurance costs the least, the Crown corporation SAAQ regulates car insurance and licensing. It provides public auto insurance to all citizens involved in road collisions, at fault or not. However, coverage is limited to personal injury. Like Ontario, private insurers cover all property damage.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan has been using Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) since 1944, a public-enterprise with a monopoly on the province's auto-insurance. Not only does Saskatchewan pay less for insurance, but coverage is better: All drivers are covered whether at fault or not; all drivers pay the same $700 deductible when at-fault for an accident; a licence costs $100$ for five years; and no PST is paid when buying a used car. SGI's revenues are added to the provincial budget. For a provincial population of 1.2 million, SGI netted a profit of over $80 million in 2013.

Should Ontario create a public corporation to compete on the private auto-insurance market? Or create an entity like Quebec's SAAQ which covers personal injuries? Or perhaps full-out nationalization of the auto-insurance industry, like Saskatchewan, would be a better bet for Ontarians? Regardless, we ought to do something. Auto insurance here couldn't get any worse.


Jeremy Campbell, Hamilton

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