The Insurance Bureau of Canada wants to help consumers better understand their car insurance policies, with a plan to open a discussion on reforms.

As a result, the IBC has launched a radio, TV and newspaper campaign, and is hosting mall displays in several cities.

Some of the information in the campaign explains that Ontario currently has one of the richest car insurance benefits system in North America, with an average annual premium of $1,500. This compares to $800 in the Maritimes.

“I think people really need to understand how their policies work, how the claims process works, and why they charge what they are for insurance in this province,” IBC’s Steve Kee explained.

The hope of the campaign is to stimulate feedback from drivers and other stakeholder groups on how to bring down insurance costs. The Insurance Bureau points out that premiums are based on claims costs, which are being driven through the roof as a result of abuse in the system.

“There are also many people who take advantage of the system in Ontario. We’ve seen a large element of fraud in Ontario, and that drives costs up,” Kee said.

“I think understanding what’s in your policy, understanding what you should do in the event of an accident goes a long way to keep costs under control.”

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of collisions dropped by seven per cent but no fault benefits rose 118 per cent.