An Ontario driver was “shocked” that his insurance company threatened to increase his premiums unless he installed a certain security device in his vehicle.
Arwinder Kalsi of Mississauga, Ont., owner of a 2020 Toyota Tundra pick-up truck said he recently got a letter from his insurance company, TD Insurance, that said he must install an anti-theft tracking device by the end of the month or his insurance premiums would go up.
“I was looking at the letter and I was pretty shocked,” Arwinder Kalsi of Mississauga, Ont. said
The Canadian insurance industry lost more than $1-billion to auto-theft last year – it’s why some companies have started informing customers they must install anti-theft devices or their premiums will be raised.
The letter Kalsi received from TD Insurance said, “your car is at a high-risk of theft” and “without a tag anti-theft tracking system installed on your vehicle, you can expect a significant premium increase as of your renewal.”
The letter offered to cover the cost of the installation up to $399.95 plus tax. Kalsi said he was told to pay for the device up front and he would be reimbursed.
“My renewal will be pretty much higher if I don’t install these tags. I feel like the consumer is being held hostage. It’s like if you don’t do this we will raise your premium,” he said.
A spokesperson for TD Insurance told CTV News Toronto it prioritizes offering its customers “the best protection, advice, and support.”
“As auto theft rates continue to rise we are strongly encouraging customers with vehicles that have been identified as being at a high risk of theft to better protect themselves with an approved Anti-Theft Tracking Device, and providing support for the installation cost at this time,” they said. “With an approved tracking system customers will have greater peace of mind with a trackable device anywhere in North America, 24/7, and a higher rate of recovery in the event their vehicle is stolen.”
TD Insurance is not the only company asking its customers to install tracking devices. Aviva, Intact and Desjardins are also asking customers with high risk vehicles to install the Tag tracking system.
Freddy Marcantonio with Tag Tracking said the Tag system is widely used in Quebec and has helped reduce auto theft within the province.
“The only reason the thieves have moved into Ontario is because the majority of vehicles the thieves want to steal are protected by the Tag system in Quebec,” Marcantonio said.
According to the company, the Tag system has wireless tracking and recovery, no signal jamming, quick and efficient tracking, and a proven recovery rate. They also claim their logos are an instant theft deterrent,
As an example, Marcantonio said that in the last 24 hours in the Greater Toronto Area, there were 15 vehicles stolen that have the Tag Tracking system – 12 of which have been recovered.
“We are waiting on the other three for the police to come, and then they should be recovered as well,” Marcantonio said
Kalsi still has concerns but said he will likely get the Tag Tracking system as he doesn’t want his insurance premiums to go up.
“I might as well get it installed because right now I don’t see any other option,” the Mississauga resident said.
Auto theft is driving up rates as the Insurance Bureau of Canada says $125 of every premium goes to pay for stolen vehicles.