FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2003
Consumers' Association Study Confirms Auto Insurance Rates In Nova Scotia Are As Much As 500% Higher Than Provinces With Public Auto
HALIFAX, July 17 /CNW/ - "Auto insurance rates are outrageously high in Nova Scotia compared to what consumers pay in the three western provinces with public auto systems", said Mr. Mel Fruitman, President of the Consumers' Association of Canada. The Consumers' Association at a press conference in Halifax today released the first results of its soon to be completed national study of auto insurance rates in ten provinces.
The study shows that consumers pay, on average, about 100 % more in Nova Scotia than in Saskatchewan, for example. "We decided to release the rate comparison results to inform consumers in Nova Scotia about what they would pay for auto insurance if they lived in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or British Columbia", said Mr. Bruce Cran, national secretary of the Association. While the average rate in Nova Scotia is $1778 vs. $835 in Manitoba this average number also doesn't tell the whole story about rates in Nova Scotia.
"It is ridiculous that drivers with clean driving records have to pay up to $6000 for auto insurance in Halifax," said Mr. Cran, "If that same driver lived on the other side of Canada in Victoria they would only pay $800 per year". "It's not only young drivers who pay sky high rates it's also people who live in small communities", said Mr. Cran. Many consumers in communities like Yarmouth, Sydney and New Glasgow Nova Scotia are paying thousands more than if they lived in public auto insurance communities like Brandon, Manitoba, Yorkton, Saskatchewan or Prince George, BC.
The Nova Scotia Government is following New Brunswick by trying to reduce auto insurance rates on the backs of consumers by capping benefits for victims of crashes. To date, only 4 of 70 auto insurers in New Brunswick have reduced rates as a result of that Government capping benefits. "It's been proven that capping benefits is not bringing down rates in New Brunswick, and this same approach also won't work in Nova Scotia", said Mr. Cran.
Consumers want auto insurance that will give them the best protection at the lowest possible price. The Consumers' Association is confident that a public auto system in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick would serve consumers well. Auto insurance would be a much lower price, rates would be more stable and fairer, and there would be almost no uninsured drivers on the road.
NOTE TO MEDIA:
The Press Conference is on July 17th at 10 AM Halifax time. Media can attend the press conference in person at the Westin Hotel in Halifax. Media outside Halifax can also participate by telephone by calling 1-888-241-3857,then entering the conference call code number 151200, then pressing the pound key #. The conference call will start at 10:30 AM.
For further information: Mr. Bruce Cran, (604) 454-7827