February 3, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
In his annual “state of the province” address, New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord took a shot at auto insurers and hinted at further reforms to come for the province’s system.
While Lord noted that almost $23 million in rebates have been handed out to new Brunswick drivers since last summer, he says, “Insurance companies are not moving far and fast enough to respond to reforms we have made to the auto insurance system.”
He adds the province will be introducing further changes to the system in 2004.
And while Lord says he supports a free, competitive market, he also noted his anticipation of the final report by a committee looking into a public auto insurance system for the province, expected by the end of February. That committee is headed by provincial NDP leader Elizabeth Weir, whose party publicly advocates government-run insurance.
However, Lord is also working with fellow Atlantic premiers on possible harmonization of maritime insurance systems. That group commissioned a study which came out against public insurance, saying that it would provide no cost savings to consumers.
Lord did highlight positive changes in the province, including the movement of 8,000 drivers out of the Facility Association, the industry’s pool for high-risk drivers. He also cited growth in the number of brokers operating in the province.