Graham Steele, the Minister responsible for Nova Scotia’s Insurance Act announced new legislation today to improve automobile insurance coverage in Nova Scotia: The Fair Automobile Insurance (2011) Act.
I was part of the Review Committe that provided advice to the province regarding what improvements needed to be made to Nova Scotia’s Insurance system: McKiggan Appointed to Provincial Insurance Review Committee.
Highlights of Changes
Overall the changes improve the insurance coverage avaialable to consumers in Nova Scotia.
Repair Claims Covered By Drivers Own Policy
Persons involved in a collision caused by another party can deal with their own insurance company to get repairs done or get compensation for property damage. This was change was implemented in order to simplify and speed up the process that car owners have to go through so that they can get their car back on the road as fast as possible.
No Claim – No Premium Increase
It has become commonplace for parties involved in an accident to pay for claims themselves rather than being hit with massive premium increases after an accident. Even if the accident wasn’t there fault. However insurers who become aware of the accident have still imposed rate increases, regardless of whether a claim was made against the policy.
The changes to the Insurance Act prevent auto insurers from increasing premiums for collisions where no claim is made and the driver paid for the damage, even if the driver was at fault.
Speed Access to Treatment
The legislation proposes to introduce treatment protocals that are designed to help injured victims get proper treatment faster.
Increase Medical Benefits
The legislation increases the minimum mandatory Accident Benefits found in Section B of the Standard Auto policy. This section of the policy covers things like medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral costs, death benefits and income loss covereage for injured drives and passengers.
The changes increase the level of "no-fault" benefits to the same level as New Brunswick.
Optional "Full Tort" Coverage
The most interesting change will allow drivers to buy optional (additional) insurance coverage that will give consumers the right to receive full compensation over and above Nova Scotia’s so-called "Minor Injury" Cap.
Finally, the legislation commits the province to conducting a review of automobile insurance laws in Nova Scotia every seven years.
Want More Information?
If you would like more information about Nova Scotia’s Automobile insurance system and how it effects car accident victims, contact us for a free copy of Crash Course: The Consumer’s Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia.