Car insurance hike 19%; HST adds to consumer woes

under water woman

“Middle class families are forced to work longer and harder than ever, just to keep their heads above water.” — PC Leader Hudak

Canada’s province of Ontario and British Columbia are setting the stages to introduce harmonized sales taxes across the board in their respective provinces. The several next few paragraphs outline the HST.

Ontario plans a major tax reform that will combine both the provincial and federal sales tax on products and services. The combined tax of five per cent GST and eight per cent Ontario sales tax won’t change the price on most items. But many items that used to be exempt from sales tax will no longer be so.

Consumers are most likely to notice an increase in the price of gasoline and heating fuels. Electricity will no longer be exempt from provincial sales tax, nor will tobacco, personal services like haircuts, membership fees for clubs and gyms, newspapers and magazines, taxi fares and the professional services of lawyers, architects and accountants. Real estate commissions will also be taxed.

If the HST were not enough of a hassle for the everyday working Canadian, private car insurance companies in the province of Ontario, Canada, are planning on implementing a monstrous 19 per cent fee increase across the board. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario recently approved rate changes for a number of insurance companies. According to the commission’s report, the average rate increase over the first three quarters of 2009 was 6.2 per cent.

But a report in the Toronto Star says that rates could actually increase by an average of 9.1 per cent across Ontario, with premiums increasing by as much as 14 per cent in the Toronto area. Insurance companies said increasing physiotherapy and rehabilitation costs for people who have been injured in collisions are driving the premium increases.

The report from the Toronto Star doesn’t tell the whole story, however, because there is reportedley going to be an estimated increase in insurance rates of 19% and the amount of money allotted for soft tissue injuries and so on that one claims through accident benefits on one’s own policy is being looked at as dropping from $100,000 to $25,000; thus jeopardizing the full recovery or other needs required by an individual when injured in an accident.

Just in the past few months there have been eHealth scandals, Cancer Care scandals, OLG scandals, on and on. Canadian tax money just being wasted. Insurance companies are now taking advantage and Premier McGuinty says “just deal with it” and this just shows how much he cares about the people. This is not only a pure case of greed but demonstrates what happens when provincial governments cut health services, The Insurance Board always approved higher payments for their clients and the removal of physiotherapy and occupational therapy from OHIP eligibility saw the huge growth of private for profit clinics where costs have increasingly gone up. This is a Made in the Unites States model and has no place in Canada. The cap on insurance premiums and payments should be required since insurance is mandatory.

These increases, along with other scandals, might force future governments to consider a public insurance model for the automobile driving industry. A sort of ‘bare bones’ insurance, that incorporates the basic liability that is required, offered at a reduced monthly premium. This would allow responsible drivers to opt for a plan that suits them and not have to pay the ever increasing rates that are a result of irresponsible nut jobs who put everyones’ lives at risk. Indeed, there are Canadian provinces that have had mixed results with the public insurance model as in the case of Manitoba where it appears to be working well — with a few exceptions — but no system is perfect.

Hudak drew attention to Dalton McGuinty’s record of fiscal incompetence. Since taking office Dalton McGuinty has increased Ontario’s net debt by a staggering $53 billion dollars. This equates to more than $11,000 in new debt for every single household in Ontario. Dalton McGuinty has managed to rack up these historically bad debt numbers despite imposing record income and business tax increases.

“To raise taxes so massively but still pile up such massive amounts of debt is a once-in-a-generation example of incompetence. As the architect of both largest tax increase and largest debt increase in Ontario’s history -Dalton McGuinty’s time as Premier is already one for the history books.” – Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak

“Middle class families are forced to work longer and harder than ever, just to keep their heads above water. At the end of those long hours, they have nothing to show for it except for less time with their children, less time at home, and less money left on their paychecks. To pay for Dalton’s Debt they will now be forced to work even longer and even harder still.”

Drivers in Ontario face large insurance rate hikes, but McGuinty says rates still low

Tue. Oct 20 – 3:36 PM

TORONTO — Millions of Ontario drivers may soon face double-digit premium hikes, but Premier Dalton McGuinty says insurance is lower today than it was when he was first elected six years ago.

He says when compared to the cost of living, it’s a “pretty good place to be” for drivers in the province. McGuinty says cost pressures have been mounting for insurers, some of whom have increased their premiums.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is expected to announce changes to auto insurance policies as part of the government’s five-year review.

There are reports that insurers serving more than a quarter of the province’s drivers are being allowed to raise rates a second or third time in about 12 months, which translates into increases averaging between 11 and 19 per cent.

NDP critic France Gelinas says it is a wrong time for a double-digit increase in auto insurance when many families are still struggling through the recession.

Original story appears at Chronicle Herald

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *