Private Passenger Automobile Insurance Rates Decline During Fourth Quarter 1998

TORONTO -- Ontario private passenger auto insurance rates decreased during the quarter ending December 31, 1998, according to the latest rate information published by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). This is the 10th successive quarterly decrease since 1996.

The decrease was 2.49 per cent for those companies with rate changes approved during the quarter when weighted by market share.

Of the 22 rate filings that were approved, 21 dealt with rate changes. The individual rate changes ranged from a decrease of 7.81 per cent to an increase of 5.12 per cent.

The average cost of auto insurance in Ontario at the end of the fourth quarter of 1998 was 11.06 per cent lower than at the end of the third quarter of 1996 (the last quarter prior to the implementation of Bill 59, the Automobile Insurance Rate Stability Act, 1996).

FSCO regulates insurance in Ontario. Companies selling automobile insurance are required to
submit rate filings which FSCO reviews for actuarial soundness. Projected rates must be based on solid and verifiable information, and be able to sustain a company's long-term capacity to meet its claim costs.

FSCO recently published the Shopping for Car Insurance booklet which includes insurance rate profiles that can help consumers make better choices among insurers. Consumers who are interested in getting the best value for their money should check with an agent, broker or insurance company and/or shop around to see how their premium compares in the marketplace. Consumers should also find out about the level of claims services offered by an insurance company before they buy. The publication features the results of the Commission's first claims satisfaction survey that revealed how satisfied the customers of 51 insurance companies were with the way their claims were handled.

Booklets are available by calling 1-800-263-7965 (English); 1-800-668-5821 (French) during normal business hours. The rate information is also available at FSCO's Website at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.

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Media contact: Kathleen Harford, FSCO (416) 590-7230

ONTARIO PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATE FILINGS APPROVED

October 1, 1998 to December 31, 1998

Company
Market Share
(1997)
Effective
New
Business
Date
Effective
Renewal
Business
Date
Approved Rate Change
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada 3.90% Dec 1, 1998 Feb 1, 1999 -3.60%
Axa Insurance (Canada) 2.08% Dec 1, 1998 Jan 1, 1999 -4.04%
Belair Insurance Company Inc. 1.36% Dec 21, 1998 Feb 1, 1999 5.12%
Canadian Group Underwriters Insurance Company 0.18% Mar 1, 1999 May 1, 1999 -2.30%
CIBC General Insurance Company Limited 1.89% Dec 7, 1998 Jan 7, 1999 -1.47%
Citadel General Assurance Company 0.81% Feb 1, 1999 Mar 1, 1999 -7.81%3
Farm Mutual Reinsurance Plan Inc. 0.83% Jan 1, 1999 Jan 1, 1999 -3.60%
Farmers' Mutual (Lindsay) 0.23% Feb 1, 1999 Feb 1, 1999 -3.50%
Federation Insurance Company 0.74% Dec 1, 1998 Jan 1, 1999 -3.10%
Federation Insurance Company 0.74% Dec 1, 1998 Jan 1, 1999 -2.00%
General Accident Assurance Company 4.69% Nov 1, 1998 Jan 1, 1999 -4.47%*
Gore Mutual Insurance Company 0.66% Jan 1, 1999 Mar 1, 1999 -0.41%
Guarantee Company of North America 0.78% Dec 1, 1998 Feb 1, 1999 -6.10%
Halifax Insurance Company 3.54% Jan 1, 1999 Jan 1, 1999 -1.30%**
Hartford Canada 0.09% Oct 15, 1998 Nov 1, 1998 -6.80%
Lombard Canada Ltd. 2.01% Nov 15, 1998 Jan 15, 1999 -0.06%1
Lumbermen's Mutual Casualty Company 1.34% Jan 1, 1999 Feb 15, 1999 2.00%
Pilot Insurance Company 5.53% Jan 1, 1999 Mar 1, 1999 -2.31%
RBC General Insurance 0.00% Oct 13, 1998 Oct 13, 1998 -6.00%
Unifund Assurance Company 1.44% Jan 1, 1999 Feb 1, 1999 -2.40%3
Wellington Insurance Company 0.00% Jan 1, 1999 Jan 1, 1999 0.00%2
York Fire & Casualty Insurance Company 0.48% Jan 1, 1999 Jan 1, 1999 -7.50%
Total Market Share 32.58% a a a

1 These filings dealt with group rate program changes.
2 These filings represents a new company entering the market.
3 These filings dealt with the introduction of Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system.
* Includes market share for Commercial Union.
** Includes market share for Guardian Insurance.

Financial Services Commission of Ontario
February 1999