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FSRA claims many car insurance companies in Ontario unfairly withholding quotes to some customers

A regulatory body is taking issue with some auto insurance companies that have been allegedly withholding quotes to certain prospective customers.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) issued a report Thursday, noting companies have not been complying with the “Take-All-Comers” rule. That law makes sure companies accept the business of anyone who applies for and qualifies for car insurance.

The authority notes the province’s 12 largest auto insurance companies will delays or hold off on sending quotes to customers.

The regulator says it uncovered practices that made it harder for certain types of consumers to get quotes, such as customers who had prior claims, who weren’t also buying property coverage, who lived in certain municipalities, and who had less than a year of previous auto insurance coverage in Canada.

It says it found insurers at times slowed quotes, refused to offer coverage for those who met their approved underwriting rules, or simply didn’t respond to consumers.

“The ‘Take-All-Comers’ requirement is a cornerstone of ensuring Ontario consumers have access to auto insurance at the lowest available rate,” wrote FSRA CEO Mark White. “It is very hard for consumers, and it’s even hard for a regulator to identify when insurance quotes for qualifying customers are withheld or delayed.”

“Our eventual success in rooting out this non-compliance required perseverance and the use of governance, controls and processes within the insurance companies themselves to self-identify and remediate these consumer harms,” added White.

The FSRA claims two insurers, both within the Aviva group, did not follow orders to identify and fix its own transgressions of the rule. As a result, the insurers wound up paying $600,000 in penalties.

If you find you are not getting an insurance quote in a timely manner, you can report it to the company’s complaint office. If it continues to be a problem, you can report it to the TSRA.

To learn how to file a complaint, click here.

If you work for an insurer and notice unfair sales practices, you can check out the FSRA’s whistleblower program.

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