More accidents can lead to higher insurance rates
Thunder Bay has better insurance rates than Toronto, thanks to fewer accidents, less fraud
The president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Northwestern Ontario says more accidents on the road could eventually lead to higher insurance premiums and, if one area has more claims, the rates could go up.
Jeff Jones says insurance companies want to make a specific profit on the regions they serve.
"For rates overall, all accidents would have an impact," he said. "The accidents … would affect the rates to determine the profitability of that territory."
A spokesperson for the Insurance Brokers of Ontario says drivers in Thunder Bay pay between 30 and 50 per cent less for insurance than drivers in Toronto — and the reason for that is Thunder Bay drivers have fewer accidents.
"On an industry-wide basis, if Thunder Bay were to start to experience much poorer results, and it was becoming a definite trend, statistically the industry would pick that up and start to rate for it," Rick Orr said.
"That takes a much longer timeframe and they're not going to base that on one bad winter up in Thunder Bay."
Orr said it's not just location that determines insurance rates. Age, driving record and vehicle type makes a difference.
A low accident rate for a specific postal code does help keep insurance premiums down, he added.
Another factor that keeps rates down in Thunder Bay is a lower rate of insurance fraud.