Issues and Activities

“No Frills” Auto Insurance In New Brunswick Fails To Deliver

Press Release



June 17, 2003

OTTAWA, June 17 /CNW/ - "New Brunswick's "No Frills" auto insurance fails to deliver what consumers' need", said Mr. Mel Fruitman, President of the Consumers' Association of Canada. "No Frills should be renamed the "Blame the Victim and protect the private auto insurance industry" plan.

Consumers want two things from auto insurance, the best protection and a price they can afford. "The New Brunswick Government's solution", said Mr. Fruitman, "is to legislate a $2500 cap on benefits paid to innocent victims of crashes". And the best guess by the New Brunswick Government is that rates will, maybe, go down by 20%.

"Consumers haven't asked for a reduction in insurance protection," said Mr. Fruitman. "The New Brunswick Government should do a poll of innocent victims of crashes and ask them what they think of this latest idea. The answer would be two thumbs down".

"Auto insurance rates are now dividing the country into the "have's and have nots", adds Mr. Bruce Cran, national secretary of the Association. "The "have" provinces are those in which consumer protection is being fully maintained, where rates are low and stable, and there are strong road safety programs. These provinces have public auto systems. The "have not" provinces are those in which rates continue to skyrocket, consumer protection is declining, consumers' rights are under attack, and people's ability to use their vehicle or earn a living with it is threatened." These rely solely on private auto insurance.

Mr. Cran noted that in those provinces which have public auto insurance like British Columbia rates are 50 - 70% less than in New Brunswick and there is no cap on the benefits received by victims of crashes.