Auto insurance premiums in Canada were lower in fourth quarter 2020 than in the same period in 2019.  

This trend was reported by brokerage management system (BMS) provider Applied Systems in its latest Applied Rating Index. This is the first year-end decrease in more than two years.  

Premiums were down 2.6%, the report states.  

For personal property, premiums rose by 3.6% nationally in the fourth quarter, Applied notes.  

To estimate the quarterly change in premiums, the BMS provider gathers data from some 30 million quotes from Canadian brokers. The company uses the average of "the three best final premiums of each risk quoted.”  

In Quebec, automobile insurance premiums increased by 1.6% compared with fourth quarter 2019. In the third quarter, the trend was quite the opposite: premiums edged downward 1.6% in the province.  

Alberta recorded the largest increase, at 8%. The only province where auto insurance premiums declined was Ontario, with a 3.2% decrease from 2019.  

Applied Systems did not track for British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In all three provinces, automobile insurance, including vehicle damage and personal injury, is available through a government program.  

In personal property, all provinces except Alberta saw premiums climb since 2019.  

In Quebec, insurance premiums rose by 13.6%. This is the highest increase among the Canadian provinces surveyed.