January 18, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter
Nova Scotia’s government is moving ahead with its promised review of the province’s $2,500 minor auto injury cap.
The government has issued a nine-page discussion paper on the cap, entitled Concerning the Cap on Pain and Suffering Awards for Minor Injuries, and is calling for public input on the paper by Feb. 15, 2010.
“The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance will conduct the review over the next few months with a target completion date of spring 2010,” the discussion paper says.
The paper includes sections about the history of the cap, damage awards that are not subject to the cap and the minor injury definition.
It also has a page outlining ‘Issues With the Cap,’ which acknowledges the following: “Since the introduction of the cap, there has been a measurable decrease in average premiums for private passenger vehicles. Premiums have also been relatively stable.”
Even so, the discussion paper goes on to say, “the precise impact of the cap, if any, is difficult to determine.”
“Fortunately, most Nova Scotia automobile insurance consumers have not been involved in an automobile accident or sustained injuries where pain and suffering awards were limited by the cap,” the discussion paper goes on to say. “However, over the past six years, some automobile accident victims who have been injured and subject to the cap on pain and suffering awards have expressed concerns about fairness.”
These and other expressed concerns “have prompted the decision to proceed with this focused review to develop and analyze alternatives to the cap.”
The full paper is available at: www.gov.ns.ca/finance/en/home/insurance/