Canadian Underwriter

IBC corrects reports on N.B. insurance premiums

March 24, 2006   by Canadian Underwriter

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Recent misleading reports from the opposition Liberal party regarding New Brunswick auto insurance premiums has incited the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) to release accurate information.
The IBC is concerned about an insurance survey and subsequent correction from the opposition Liberal party.
“The survey conducted for the Liberal party is a farce and it’s baffling that it has received so much attention and so little scrutiny,” Don Forgeron, vice-president, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada, says. “Asking 255 people what they expect to pay in 2006 is no way to determine what the average premium in the province actually is.
Forgeron says that the results show “a wildly inaccurate number one day followed by a correction and another inaccurate number the next day.”
He adds that the Liberal Party should retract the release as it contains numerous errors concerning insurance financial data.
Consumer Advocate Ronald Godin says that determining the average auto insurance premium in the province is a simple calculation based on real and available data – the total premium paid in the province, divided by the number of insured vehicles.
That calculation, using the latest available industry data (January 2006), produces a result of CDN$921. That figure is different from the New Brunswick Insurance Board’s number of $851 for two reasons: It includes every policy, including those issued to high risk drivers; and it does not yet factor in substantial rate reductions approved by the board in the fall of 2005. The Board’s figure was a projection to the end of 2006.
“Clearly, the private sector is delivering cheaper auto insurance in New Brunswick,” Forgeron says. “Ask the New Brunswick Insurance Board. Sensational reports of grossly exaggerated premium numbers make for good headlines, but they do not give consumers the information the need.”
Forgeron relays confusion as to why the Liberals did not go to the Board. “Had they been
more interested in actually serving the people of New Brunswick, they would have urged them to take advantage of the competitive marketplace here in New Brunswick,” Forgeron says.

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