Province Finalizes Terms for Auto Insurance Review

The provincial government has finalized the terms of reference for a review of automobile insurance in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We pay the highest rates in Atlantic Canada for auto insurance, so the provincial government has asked the Public Utilities Board to do a review to find out why, and to make recommendations.

Minister Eddie Joyce announced this morning that the review will be done in two phases: one for the masses—which would be private vehicles—and the other for the taxi industry.

The PUB has also been directed to look at introducing a cap on soft tissue claims, as is done in some other provinces. Other provinces have a cap of between $7,500 to $9,000. The review will also look at adopting minor injury diagnostic and treatment practices like those happening in Alberta and Nova Scotia, and consider an offer of compensation up front instead of after the process.

They will also look into coverage for uninsured vehicles, the financial profitability of the auto insurance industry, and how to improve highway safety.

Public hearings will take place after the review. There are 20 insurers in the province but eight or nine of those have 90 per cent of the market and three or four have about 70 per cent.

Taxi Industry Alliance Encouraged by Review

Government hopes to bring legislation to the house of Assembly in the fall of 2018. Minister Eddie joyce says the first thing they have to find out is why the auto rates are higher in NL than in the Maritimes.

The Taxi Industry Alliance has been calling for such a review for four years and is happy to finally see it emerge. Spokesman and cabbie Doug McCarthy says rates have been going up faster than taxis can pick up passengers.

He says at the current pace, there won’t be any cabs left in Newfoundland and Labrador by 2018.

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