Consumers’ Association Challenges New Brunswick Government’s Position On Auto Insurance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2003
Consumers' Association Challenges New Brunswick Government's Position On Auto Insurance
OTTAWA, July 31 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada today challenged New Brunswick's Minister of Justice, the Hon. Brad Green to provide the real story to the people of New Brunswick on auto insurance rates. "The Consumers' Association study released last Monday, which concluded that New Brunswick consumers pay exorbitant auto insurance rates compared to provinces with public auto systems, is based on over 1,500 rate quotes from the province of New Brunswick alone", said Mel Fruitman, President of the Consumers Association of Canada.
"The Minister has publicly stated that he believes the figures in the Association's report are wrong," said Bruce Cran, National Secretary of the Association. "This just shows how ill informed he is. If the Minister had taken the time to get at the truth and ask us, we would have told him that all the rate quotes used in the study come directly from major private companies selling auto insurance in New Brunswick."
"The Consumers' Association national auto insurance rate comparison study was undertaken in direct response to consumer anger about skyrocketing rates and the failure of Governments in provinces like New Brunswick to act," said Bruce Cran. "The study clearly shows that in side by side comparisons consumers in New Brunswick pay a lot more for auto insurance than if they lived in the three western provinces with public auto insurance systems."
"The Minister should explain to the people of New Brunswick why he supports a system that requires a younger driver with an older car and a clean driving record to pay up to $2000 more each year for auto insurance than does an older driver with a luxury car who has convictions." The CAC study shows that in public auto provinces good drivers pay less and bad drivers pay more.
The New Brunswick Government is trying to reduce rates by reducing benefits paid to victims of crashes. "Minister Green should stop meeting with private auto insurers and start meeting with car crash victims to ask victims what they think of the Minister's idea of reducing benefits," said Mr. Cran. "Based on feedback we have received from consumers the Minister's approach would get a strong two thumbs down."
"Consumers buy auto insurance for one purpose - to be protected in case they are in a crash," said Mr. Cran. "Now the New Brunswick Government is coming along and saying to consumers that benefits are going down and that they are legislating a rate reduction of 20% - after they have gone up by 70%. This is ridiculous. No wonder consumers are upset."
The New Brunswick Government needs to get on with the job of fundamental auto insurance reform and stop just tinkering with the existing system. Consumers can provide the Association with their auto insurance horror stories by going on the CAC website.
For further information contact Mr. Bruce Cran: (604) 454-7827