Insurance premiums are a mixed bag in Canada. Depending on whether you are in public (government) system or a private system, rates vary hugely between provinces. Barbara Wellensiek got quite the shock recently for her son’s driving record.

Her son’s insurance bill would be steep because of his driving record, but when the renewal notice arrived she was shocked to see the annual premium was $104,566.63.

“I thought it was a typo,” Wellensiek said today. “I didn’t panic – I thought it was a mistake.”

When she phoned her insurance broker, Access Insurance Group, she got confirmation that the figure on the notice was accurate, the rate having been hiked from $1,300 per month.

“I just about fainted – how could this be?”

How could it be? Let’s see…

He got his first car at age 16. His licence was suspended twice. Since May 2005 he has received 10 speeding tickets, and has been in two minor “fender benders” and a rear-ender that totalled his car.

He’s going to start riding his bike. For research sake, here’s a little article on the differences between the public rate and the private rate in Canada. Why was I brought up believing that the private system is cheaper?



  1. Froggmann says:

    Ummm… yea 3 years of driving, 10 speeding tickets, 3 accidents one of which is major and 2 suspensions. Yea I can totally see this. Here in California your licence gets revoked when your record gets that bad.

  2. Dorksters says:

    That kid has a great future waiting for him, doesn’t he?

  3. MikeN says:

    If she has been paying $1300 a month in insurance rather than take away the license, then she can afford to pay $104566.63

  4. Jeanne says:

    Yep, I had always heard that private industry made things better and cheaper. I guess whoever I had heard this from forgot about the inherent need for industry to make as much money as possible –> not a requirement for government.

  5. BryanP says:

    #4, they do make it cheaper. Part of the way they do so is by booting out morons who won’t drive responsibly. They can give them the boot either by refusing to insure them or just by raising their rates to a stupidly high amount as a hint that maybe you should try the bus.

  6. Jägermeister says:

    #4 – Yep, I had always heard that private industry made things better and cheaper.

    Yes, hopefully this premium will keep this bastard off the road and it will be cheaper for the rest of us.

  7. the answer says:

    Enjoy that bicycle, it WILL become your friend Whether you like it or not. Look on the bright side, your helping the environment.

    $1300 a month? I pay 1300 a YEAR for full coverage.

  8. Mike Wills says:

    HOLY SHIT!!! My house is almost worth that!

  9. StinkyPete says:

    Does the comparison also take into account subsidies and any kind of price regulation (like how the us post office is the only carrier legally capable of offering first class mail unless the amount paid “is at least $3 or twice the applicable U.S. postage for First-Class Mail (including Priority Mail), whichever is greater.”)

    Not to say that government cant do some things ok if they throw enough money at it (like blowing things up or tazing people) (or moving papers around with little thought, which may well be the majority of insurance work, i dont know), but it usually gets rid of competition by force as it steps in to help.

    “I guess whoever I had heard this from forgot about the inherent need for industry to make as much money as possible –> not a requirement for government.”
    Yeah, we should put the government in charge of food too, seeing as how its something that you cant go without and the evil corporations will just gouge you to make as much money as possible (whats a few breadlines in exchange for fairness in food distribution).

  10. Stunt Driver says:

    Just pay the uninsured motorists fee.

  11. Phillep says:

    Wrong computer again, I don’t have some relevant links. Anyhow, a gov bureaucrat has status according to how much money he spends and how many subordinates he has, and he has problems if he takes work away from the other bureaucrats. He has to encourage ineffeciency in order to boost his boss’ status, too.

    So, overall, a government program costs a lot more than a private industry would. Taxpayers make up the difference, and we hardly ever get to see what it costs and what we (collectively) actually get.

    My car insurance is about $650USD per year.

  12. PoliticallyVeryCorrect says:

    he must have had good lawyer 🙂

  13. Balbas says:

    Well hey! The kid is making $105,000 a year, so i don’t see the big deal here.

    After all, at his age $433 or so a month goes a long way.

    A car is a priviledge, not a right.

  14. Don says:

    The government system would be charging the Punk Kid $1000 a year like everyone else, and just passing the cost for this dipshit on to everyone else. And when the premiums collected from the users was not enough to cover the payouts, they would simply make up the difference from “other” revenue sources.

    A private system is not neccesarily cheaper in every case, but overall, it is generally more efficient than the government running something.

    Don

  15. Mister Paul says:

    The government system would be charging the Punk Kid $1000 a year like everyone else, and just passing the cost for this dipshit on to everyone else.

    Wha? Where did you get that idea? I don’t think you understand the public systems that are in place. They aren’t flat rate.

  16. Not moranized says:

    Hey lady… don’t be pissed off at the insurance company for them considering your son a proven risk… be pissed of at your son for being such a jerk.
    But if you were willing to pay $1,200 / month for insurance at all, your son is probably a spoiled brat anyway.
    The kid will grow up to be a real a-hole… we can see that already. My hope in this case is that he drives uninsured and drives off a tall cliff.

  17. GF says:

    It’s still a good deal cause when he kills someone and the insurance company has to cough up at least 500,000 he’ll make out like a bandit.

  18. Mike Voice says:

    You could Google “assigned risk”

    or check Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assigned_risk

  19. Angel H. Wong says:

    This is what happens when you don’t spank your children.

  20. BertDawg says:

    Appropriate picture of the immediate aftermath of Hulk Hogan’s son’s reckless driving, which put his friend (the passenger, and a Marine) in a coma. This after previous arrests for reckless driving…

  21. EJmcn says:

    hi I live in the Niagara region and I am 26 and want to drive a car. I have to pay at least $150 a month to have insurance on a car with my parents. This is the only way to start driving I bet that the $1,300 per month was the lowest that he could pay to just be on the road. I bet that his parents where paying it so that he could be able to drive (have lower insurance when he was older) but he messed that up really good. This is the reason I drive a moped $430 a year for insurance and not a car. Yes I am still driving it in the winter.

  22. >>Part of the way they do so is by
    >>booting out morons who won’t drive
    >>responsibly.

    Hey, just like the health-care system in the US! Only the way they keep costs “low” {koff, koff} is by booting out the morons who are stupid enough to get sick. Or be run over by a bus. Or be born with a congenital medical condition.

  23. Mister Catshit says:

    I’m wondering with a record like that why he still has a license. Most jurisdictions would have suspended him by now.

  24. Dave says:

    While Manitoban’s may pay less for insurance on average in the public system there are issues which do not make it an ideal system.

    We have been fighting with MPI for years to payout an accident my parents had while visiting. The private insurers payed out within 2 weeks of the accident. We are not the only ones to have this issue either.

  25. Mike Potter says:

    What all the people slagging the kid seem to forget is that no matter how bad his driving is the insurance company will to more harm to all of us than the kid could killing a person a day. It’s what happens when companies work under a complete lack of ethics and are willing to screw anyone for a penny

  26. Thomas says:

    Is is difficult to know whether some of the people actually believe that public car insurance is a good idea or know better.

    There is no question that private companies will be cheaper *overall* than government managed companies. What you are missing from this article is the consequence of someone making a $100K claim on their third or fourth car. The first rule of economics is that there are no free lunches so clearly the cost is coming from somewhere. So, let’s see. It’s not coming from the insured since their rates are clearly lower than what private insurance companies would accept. That means it is either coming from the tax payer’s pocket or the government tells the victim to pound sand and it comes from their pocket. Most governments solve the problem by taking the person’s license before they get into this situation. Most private companies solve the problem by denying coverage. The most perverse scenario is to allow the person to continue to drive and require that someone provide them coverage.

  27. Ryan says:

    “The government system would be charging the Punk Kid $1000 a year like everyone else, and just passing the cost for this dipshit on to everyone else”

    Bull crap. Your rate in the public systems are based on your driving record, the car you drive, where you live and how far you drive/what you drive for (work or not). Unlike the private systems that are based on your sex, age, relationship status, all of the above and whatever else they can think of.

    In the public system this guy would be paying more than a normal driver. Not 105k a year but still more than the rest of us.

    And for the person who is waiting for MPI to pay out, I waited almost two months to have my car fixed after someone rear ended me. The insurance comp wouldn’t pay for a rental because the weather of bad and it was an “act of god” That was over 3 years ago and I’m still fighting money for the rental and time I missed at work. The private system is no better in anyway and worst in most ways. I’ve lived in both systems.

  28. Docred says:

    I’m not sure what the rates are elsewhere in the country/continent or under private insurance conditions. Here in Saskatchewan, we pay approx. $1800/year total for two vehicles insurance and registration, a 1993 4 door car, and a 2002 mini van. This includes a package policy that gives us a $350 deductible on each vehicle. My wife and I have very clean driving records, however. (I haven’t had a problem since my misspent youth…)
    That is SGI, or Sask Government Insurance. As far as I am aware, we are extremely fortunate to be paying so little.

  29. Rick says:

    Switch to a motorcycle. I live on Vancouver Island and I only pay $750 a year to insure my bike. There is no reason to own a car here, unless you just can’t be bothered or you have 3 or more children. Even with 2 kids you can get a Honda trike. Oh, and I wear a suit and tie with a long coat so don’t tell me you lawyers can’t ride because of your wardrobe, you’re full of yourselves and that’s the bottom line.


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