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Auto insurance prices increase in Alberta, Ontario and Atlantic Canada: report

It’s getting more expensive to drive for some Canadians.

A report from LowestRates.ca, an online comparison site for insurance, mortgages, loans and credit cards, found that drivers in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada saw auto insurance prices go up in the first quarter of 2019.

The steepest increase happened in Alberta, where auto insurance prices increased by 11.22 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 when compared to the same time a year earlier. According to LowestRates.ca, insurance companies are blaming the price hikes on a government-imposed cap that limits the amount that auto insurance rates can go up.

“Several of our auto insurance partners we have spoken to in the province say they have been limiting the number of new clients they’re taking in Alberta because the caps are hurting them financially,” the report said.

“Naturally, this scenario has led to fewer options for consumers when they go to sign up for auto insurance.”

In Ontario, auto insurance prices increased 9.06 per cent in the first quarter when compared to the same time in 2018, while Atlantic Canada saw a slightly more marginal increase of 6.52 per cent.

The jump comes as the Ontario government looks to fix what it calls the “broken” auto insurance system, with a multi-year plan introduced in the 2019 budget earlier this month.

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government unveiled a blueprint to to change Ontario’s auto insurance system. The strategy will focus on lowering costs, finding efficiencies, reducing regulations, increasing competition, and fighting fraud, the government said.

“Regardless, it will take some time to see all of these changes go into effect – during which time prices in the province could move even higher,” the report said.

When it comes to Atlantic Canada, LowestRates.ca said prices in Newfoundland and Labrador have driven the increase.

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