Private Passenger Automobile Insurance Rates Decline During First Quarter 1998

April 28, 1998 (NORTH YORK, Ont.) -- Ontario private passenger auto insurance rates decreased during the first quarter of 1998, marking the seventh successive quarterly decrease since 1996 and continuing a downward trend in rates for a second consecutive year, the latest rate information published by the Ontario Insurance Commission (OIC), shows.

The rates approved by the OIC during the first quarter ending March 31, 1998 indicate a decrease in auto insurance rates of 2.73%, when weighted by market share.

The average cost of auto insurance in Ontario at the end of the first quarter of 1998 was 4.16% below the price a year earlier. This is 9.24% lower than at the end of the third quarter of 1996, preceding the introduction of Bill 59 (the Automobile Insurance Rate Stability Act, 1996). Bill 59 was passed on June 22, 1996, and was proclaimed on November 1, 1996.

Of the 20 company filings approved in the first quarter of 1998, 16 dealt with rate reductions, one with a rate increase, while the remaining three dealt with other matters that had no impact on the overall rate level.

In reviewing rate filings, the OIC looks for actuarial soundness and ensures that an insurance company's projected rates are based on solid and verifiable information. These rates must be able to sustain the company's long-term capacity to meet its claim costs. The OIC also scrutinizes company filings for inefficiencies in the claims management process to prevent such costs from being passed on to consumers.

The OIC publishes rate information to help consumers make better choices among insurers. The information is available in OIC's Rate Guide or through the OIC's Internet website at www.ontarioinsurance.com. Consumers who are unclear about what prices they are paying for specific coverages should check with their agent or broker and/or shop around to see how their policy compares in the marketplace.

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Media contact: Willie Handler, OIC (416) 590-7230

ONTARIO PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATE FILINGS APPROVED

January 1, 1998 to March 31, 1998

Company
Market Share
(1996)
Effective New Business Date
Effective Renewal Business Date
Approved Rate Change
Allianz Insurance Company 0.72% Feb 1, 1998 Apr 1, 1998 -6.80%
Axa Insurance (Canada) 2.20% Mar 1, 1998 Apr 1, 1998 -1.86%
Canadian Surety Company 0.87% Feb 16, 1998 Feb 16, 1998 -0.30%
CIBC General Insurance Company Limited 1.14% Apr 1, 1998 May 1, 1998 0.00%1
Co-operators General Insurance Company 7.20% Feb 23, 1998 Apr 1, 1998 -0.20%
GAN General Insurance Company 0.26% Apr 15, 1998 Jun 15, 1998 -4.05%
Gore Mutual Insurance Company 0.71% Feb 15, 1998 Apr 15, 1998 -0.20%
Gore Mutual Insurance Company 0.71% Apr 15, 1998 Apr 15, 1998 -3.20%
Halifax Insurance Company 3.47% Apr 1, 1998 Jun 1, 1998 -1.64%
Loyalist Insurance Company 0.00% Feb 10, 1998 n/a 0.00%2
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company 1.32% Mar 24, 1998 May 23, 1998 -11.00%
Royal Insurance Company 4.02% Jan 15, 1998 Mar 15, 1998 -0.30%
Scottish & York Insurance Company Limited 0.77% Apr 1, 1998 Jul 1, 1998 -3.59%
Security National Insurance Company 1.89% Apr 1, 1998 Apr 20, 1998 -6.40%
Traders General Insurance Company 1.95% Feb 1, 1998 Mar 1, 1998 -7.74%
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company 2.69% Apr 1, 1998 Apr 1, 1998 -3.40%
Western Assurance Company 0.62% Feb 1, 1998 Mar 15, 1998 0.00%3
Western Assurance Company 0.62% Mar 1, 1998 Apr 15, 1998 -0.70%
Zenith Insurance Company 0.00% Apr 1, 1998 Apr 1, 1998 2.63%
Zurich Insurance Company 5.89% Feb 16, 1998 Apr 3, 1998 -3.00%
Total Market Share 35.72% a a a

1 This filing dealt with the introduction of CLEAR.
2 This filing dealt with the introduction of a rate program for a newly licensed automobile insurer.
3 This filing dealt with territorial changes with no overall impact.

Ontario Insurance Commission
April 1998