IBC position reaffirmed by UARB findings

HALIFAX, May 14, 2003 – “Government now has the proof it needs to support substantive changes to the automobile insurance system in this province,” said Don Forgeron, Atlantic Vice-President, Insurance Bureau of Canada, responding to yesterday’s release of the Utility and Review Board (UARB) report on insurance rates.

The UARB, an independent review board using independent actuarial analysis, found that insurance rates in the province are “not excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory or otherwise unreasonable.” The report confirms that the industry is experiencing increased claims costs and soundly attributes the increases to “claims for compensation for bodily injuries and that the increase in the average cost of a bodily injury claim over the last five years has been dramatic”.

Mr. Forgeron described these claims as awards for minor, non-permanent injuries. “The Board’s findings very clearly show that in order to control or reduce the cost of auto insurance, the cost of bodily injury claims must be reduced or controlled.”

“These findings should put to rest, once and for all, the accusation that insurance companies are charging higher premiums solely to compensate for lower investment returns,” added Mr. Forgeron.

“We respect the government’s reliance on the independent process,” continued Mr. Forgeron. “But now we — and the policyholders in the province — need government to take action. The consumers of this province deserve a long-term solution to the problem.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents the companies that provide more than 90 per cent of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of our web site at www.ibc.ca.