May 6, 2005
(Government Services)

Government releases Public Utilities Board report on auto insurance review

Government Services Minister Dianne Whalen released today the report prepared for government by the Public Utilities Board out of the auto insurance review and public consultation process.

As part of its auto insurance reform measures, government directed the Public Utilities Board to review and report on a number of issues affecting automobile insurance. The issues included the impact of using a cap or deductible to limit pain and suffering awards, and the elimination of rating based on age, gender and marital status.

The board invited input from consumers, the industry and other interested parties and held public sessions across the province earlier this year. The board submitted its report to government March 31, 2005. This report, as well as the department�s own review of a number of related issues, will form the basis of government�s additional auto insurance reforms to be announced shortly.

"The work completed by the board provides us with valuable information and feedback on a number of issues of concern to consumers and other interested parties and I am pleased to share this report with the people of the province and with the industry," Minister Whalen said. "We will be bringing forward legislation this session to give affect to a number of additional auto insurance reforms in the best interest of consumers as a result of this review."

Shortly after taking office, government unveiled a comprehensive plan for reviewing and reforming automobile insurance. Last August, government�s initial auto insurance reform package was implemented, providing consumers with an overall average savings of 15 per cent on their premiums. At that time, government committed to a public review of other possible cost-saving measures. A consumer advocate was also appointed to represent consumers in this process.

"We laid out a plan and we have delivered on that plan," Minister Whalen said. "We committed to providing consumers with adequate coverage at reasonable rates and this is what we have done and continue to do. I look forward to introducing additional reforms the House of Assembly over the next few weeks."

The report can be found on the department�s Web site at

Media contact: Tracy Barron, Communications, (709) 729-4860, 690-6157

2005 05 06                                    2:30 p.m.

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