New auto insurances changes that kicked in yesterday are rankling the opposition, but Premier Dalton McGuinty says premiums have to rise at some point.

The Liberals say some of the new rules help the government crack down on fraud, but opposition critics say those changes leave honest drivers paying more.

The new insurance rules include a $2,000 cap on assessments after costs of exams and assessments skyrocketed 258 per cent over five years.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said the number of claims and accidents has remained fairly stable, and he blames the jump on abuse of the system.

But the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP say Ontario drivers will have to pay more under the new rules.

McGuinty said the new system is “just about as good as you can get it” in terms of managing cost pressures.

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job at holding the line on insurance premiums for drivers for about six years now, but, you know, you can’t keep that down forever,” he said yesterday.

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