Auto in­sur­ance review wants to hear from you

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Ed­i­tor,

If you want good re­sults, lis­ten to those who will be im­pacted by the change. That is what In­sur­ance Bu­reau of Canada (IBC) is do­ing in an ef­fort to work to­ward fix­ing the auto in­sur­ance sys­tem here in New­found­land and Labrador.

We need to fix the cur­rent sys­tem be­cause it now costs driv­ers in this prov­ince more in pre­mi­ums than their coun­ter­parts pay else­where in At­lantic Canada. In fact, on av­er­age, pre­mi­ums are 40 per cent higher here.

Driv­ers in this prov­ince are un­happy with their high pre­mi­ums, their lim­ited choice and the pres­ence of unin­sured driv­ers on the road.

N.L.’S gov­ern­ment is lis­ten­ing, too. Led by Ser­vice NL Min­is­ter Sherry Gam­bin-walsh, the gov­ern­ment will con­sider how best to en­cour­age more in­sur­ers to com­pete in the mar­ket­place.

The gov­ern­ment has stated that it will work to de­liver a sys­tem that works for all driv­ers — ac­ci­dent vic­tims and in­ci­dent-free alike. This lead­er­ship role is ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause the auto in­sur­ance prod­uct and its price are reg­u­lated by gov­ern­ment.

N.L.’S Pub­lic Util­ity Board will also be seek­ing pub­lic in­put. They, too, will be lis­ten­ing. Specif­i­cally, the PUB’S process will in­clude an in­de­pen­dent study of auto in­sur­ance claims that have al­ready been set­tled.

This an­tic­i­pated con­sul­ta­tion process pro­vides N.L. driv­ers with an op­por­tu­nity to be part of the process. It is an invitation to get in­volved, to join the con­ver­sa­tion. It is a good first step to­ward a good re­sult.

It has been 14 years since a review of the auto in­sur­ance sys­tem was held in this prov­ince. It is long over­due. What’s more is that other prov­inces have found a bal­ance for claims pay­outs, sus­tain­able pre­mium amounts and the abil­ity to get ac­ci­dent vic­tims bet­ter quickly, while re­tain­ing all of their rights, in­clud­ing the right to sue. It’s about time N.L. joins them.

If you have an opin­ion on what is wrong with the auto in­sur­ance sys­tem, or if you have ideas on how to fix it, we would like to hear from you: nlauto@ibc.ca.

Amanda Dean,

Vice-pres­i­dent, At­lantic In­sur­ance Bu­reau of Canada

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