October 8, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
A new survey by the Insurance Bureau of Canada suggests Quebec’s drivers may not be quite so pleased with possible reforms to their auto insurance system.
The survey comes as Quebec’s government considers changes to its auto insurance system such as reinstating the right to sue and limiting benefits for drivers who are found criminally responsible for an accident.
There is general support for the reforms, the IBC admits, but when asked about specific examples where the reforms would be applicable, support dropped dramatically.
One examples is 77% of respondents favoring limits to payouts for “criminal drivers”, but given a specific scenario, were far less supportive of the proposal. And while 69% support reinstating the right to sue, the support dropped similarly when a specific example was given.
Using three actual cases to exemplify the outcome having criminal drivers reimburse accident victims, support dropped significantly. Part of the survey involved pointing out potential reasons accident victims might not pursue compensation from a criminal driver, such as the cost of representation, long waits, possible insolvency of the criminal driver or having to relive the accident in court.
“A review of this data shows that the actual implication sof the government’s plans,” says Jacques Valotaire, chair of IBC Quebec.
Perhaps most telling, 87% of respondents said that public hearings should be held before the proposed changes are pursued.
“The survey confirms that, while the public may find the government’s intentions commendable, the means used seem inappropriate,” he adds. The IBC supports maintaining the current no-fault system in Quebec.