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Nova Scotia report advocates lower auto rates and public education


September 24, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter


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While pushing for limits on auto insurance rates in Nova Scotia, a new report also suggest the public needs to become more educated about how to shop for insurance.
The provincial government’s “consumer advocate”, George Jordan, released his final report following about six months of research on rising auto insurance premiums in Nova Scotia.
Jordan wants to see more controls on the insurance industry, including in rate setting, and encourages looking further into the potential for setting up a scale of policy options for consumers to choose from. He praises the cap on “pain and suffering” awards for victims of minor accident injuries.
“I believe that government must do something to provide Nova Scotians with rate relief, since it has become virtually unaffordable for some drivers,” Jordan says, but adds, “I believe there are other things consumers can do to help curb the rising cost of auto insurance.”
Safer driving and learning how to shop for insurance better are among the strategies consumers should employ, he says. In the report, he notes that many consumers do not “shop around” for the best rates and are not completely aware of what coverage they are buying.
The Minister of Environment and Lands for Nova Scotia, Ron Russell, who is responsible for auto insurance, praised the report and said many of Jordan’s ideas have already been used to shape the government’s auto insurance reform package. This includes setting up an independent body to review rates and implementing the cap on pain and suffering awards. The government did not indicate if it would address the consumer education or road safety proposals in Jordan’s report.