Fredericton, New Brunswick – Auto insurance premiums have dropped by 35 per cent since the implementation of a cap on pain and suffering awards for minor injuries sustained in traffic collisions, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
In New Brunswick, auto insurance rates are reviewed and approved by the New Brunswick Insurance Board. IBC said that it is a very competitive marketplace, with 67 auto insurers competing for business. Thanks to the minor injury cap, which sets a reasonable limit on the right to recover damages for pain and suffering in specific circumstances, consumers in New Brunswick have some of the lowest auto insurance premiums and among the best benefits in the country. Claimants unhappy with their claims service have numerous avenues for recourse, including complaint mechanisms, mediation and court.
“Prior to the minor injury cap’s introduction, significant pain and suffering court awards for minor injuries were driving up claims costs and destabilizing the entire system,” said Bill Adams, vice-president Atlantic for IBC. “Premiums shot up and the affordability of auto insurance became a serious issue. Today, on the other hand, New Brunswickers enjoy one of the most stable and competitive auto insurance systems in Canada.”
The cap does not apply to the compensation victims receive from their own insurer to heal from their injuries, including lost wages, regardless of who caused the collision; court awards for medical and/or other economic losses that victims may recover in court when suing an at-fault driver, even if the injury is classified as minor; or pain and suffering awards victims may recover from the at-fault driver for permanent or long-term injuries.