Issues and Activities

Consumers Will Get Less Auto Insurance Coverage and Pay More Under Nova Scotia’s New Plan

Press Release



June 26, 2003

Consumers Will Get Less Auto Insurance Coverage and Pay More Under Nova Scotia's New Plan

OTTAWA, June 26 /CNW/ - "No matter how they try to position it, the Nova Scotia Government's announced program of fixing the problem of high auto insurance rates rides on the backs of consumers by capping benefits to victims of accidents," says Mel Fruitman, President of the Consumers' Association of Canada.

"Consumers want auto insurance that will give them the best protection at a price they can afford. Reducing rates by reducing coverage is not a solution. And to make it worse, the government hasn't even told us what the reduced coverage would be."

"The Nova Scotia plan can be described as a two-step dance," says Mr. Fruitman. "The first step is to force consumers to receive fewer benefits from their auto insurance coverage in the hope private insurers will bring prices down by 20%. The second step is that consumers will now have the right to pay more to get back to the same coverage level they had before the Government plan took effect. This is a great opportunity for private insurers to actually raise prices to those consumers who want to have full coverage to protect their families."

The Nova Scotia Government has said that if the announced program doesn't work, then it will consider other options such as a publicly run system. "Why wait," he added. "Consumers want to and need to know now about such alternatives, before the government commits them to a program that may not be beneficial to them."

"Victims of crashes in British Columbia aren't having their rights or benefits reduced as they will by the system being introduced in Nova Scotia, yet they pay auto insurance rates that are dramatically lower than in that province," said Bruce Cran, CAC National Secretary. "If you are a good driver with a clean driving record in Nova Scotia why should you have to pay much more for auto insurance than if you live on the other side of Canada?" "Consumers want to know why the Nova Scotia Government isn't having a hard look at the public auto option as a way to protect their interests," added Mr. Cran.


For further information: Bruce Cran, (604) 454-7827