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Don’t let government run auto insurance

Guthrie Insurance

Re: Put option on table — March 16

Union leader David Black is apparently just doing his job — trying to increase the number of unionized workers — when he suggests looking at a government-run auto insurance system in Ontario.

But what is best for his union is not what is best for Ontario drivers or taxpayers.

A government monopoly would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to set up and many more millions to run, with no guarantee of lower premiums. He might not know that in Ontario alone, 63,000 people were directly or indirectly employed by the property and casualty industry in 2009 and insurers contributed more than $2.2 billion in taxes to the provincial government in 2011, including a health care levy to pay for the medical needs of collision victims.

A public run system would be an expanded bureaucracy, a higher cost of government, no choice for consumers and the kind of poor claims service you can expect when consumers don't have the option to take their business elsewhere.

The problem with Ontario auto insurance is not who is providing the product but rather with the system itself. Ontario drivers pay the highest premiums in Canada because of the high costs, fraud, abuse, red tape, legal backlogs and outdated rules.

Handing that broken system to government won't fix it. Only real reforms will give Ontarians the fair, affordable auto insurance they deserve.

Ralph Palumbo
Vice president, Ontario
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Toronto

Source: The Record.com

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