The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) revealed that only 42% of auto insurance customers in Ontario are aware of reforms that will be taking effect on June 1, 2016.
The IBAO 2016 Consumer Survey was conducted in cooperation with Bond Brand Loyalty and featured 1,000 Ontarians as respondents.
In 2014, the province passed the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act to counter fraud and abuse within the system. In 2015, various changes to Ontario’s auto insurance were outlined in the provincial budget. These measures were instituted to provide greater choice for consumers and help meet the government’s promised rate reductions.
“Insurance brokers want consumers to know auto insurance is changing,” said Doug Heaman,
IBAO president. “Consumers have choice. An insurance broker factors in lifestyle and health elements to ensure clients have the right coverage for themselves and for their family. Given these changes to the auto insurance product, it’s crucial consumers understand the significance and the cost to buy-back enhanced Accident Benefit limits.”
The survey also revealed that approximately half of consumers think rates and premiums are the most important aspect of insurance, followed by the amount of coverage.
“While premiums are decreasing on average, rates come into effect June 1st, so it’s early to determine trends,” said Heaman. “Given that the amount of coverage is the second most important feature to consumers in Ontario, it’s important they understand the implications of this auto insurance reform and use their insurance broker for guidance. The cost to increase benefit levels is relatively inexpensive.”
Around two-thirds (67% for home, 64% for auto) of Ontarians seek the advice of a broker when obtaining insurance, while the top three services customers want from their brokers are: providing great customer service, matching policies to their needs, and helping with paperwork.
“The guidance insurance brokers provide consumers is a crucial component of the insurance purchasing process,” said IBAO CEO Jim Murphy. “The results of this survey prove consumers seek advice from community-minded brokers who are dedicated to consumer protection.”
Murphy also added that the top feeling Ontarians associate with insurance is ‘security’. He added: “We want this to continue throughout Ontario auto reform. We encourage all Ontarians to seek advice from an insurance broker in light of recent product reforms.”