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Ontario to introduce legislation to combat auto insurance fraud

The provincial government is introducing legislation aimed at curbing auto insurance costs by combating fraud, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said on Tuesday.

At a news conference, Sousa said the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Insurance Rates Act will make it easier to settle disputes by moving the dispute system to the attorney general’s Licence Appeal Tribunal, which he said will help cut down on consumer frustration.

The legislation — which will be introduced late Tuesday afternoon at Queen’s Park — is the next step in the government’s Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy.

One of the measures, Sousa said, is to establish a special investigation and prosecution unit for serious fraud, including auto insurance fraud.

He also said the government will work to allow only licensed health service providers to bill insurers directly.

Sousa also said the province is on track to lower car insurance rates by 15 per cent over the next two years.

The Liberal government agreed to an NDP demand for a 15 per cent cut in car insurance rates over two years in order to get last year’s provincial budget passed, including an eight per cent cut in the first year.

Auto insurance rates have dropped a total of 4.66 per cent since August 2013, according to latest figures provided by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario in mid-January.

Click here for an interactive insurance rate comparison tool.