A bill to change New Brunswick’s auto insurance system has been tabled by Justice Minister Brad Green, offering more than 18 reforms to the current system. One move bound to be poorly received by insurers is removal of the province’s file-and-use rating system, to be replaced by regulation of increases above 3% by a new “Automobile Insurance Review Board”. It also adds more government regulation to insurer underwriting practices, such as has been proposed in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland recently. However, it does lift the ban on insurers’ rating by territory with plans to review such a rating system to determine the benefits of allowing insurers to establish their own territories. Insurers have received a cap on non-economic damages, i.e. “pain and suffering” awards, for minor injuries. Insurers have long argued that small tissue and non-permanent injuries such as whiplash are the driving force behind insurer losses and rising rates. At the same time, the bill preserves tort access in the case of major injuries. The reforms will also allow for regular market insurers to offer group rates. And the province plans to look at whether credit unions and caisse populaires should be allowed to sell their own auto products. Minister Green calls the reforms “reasonable and balanced”.