October 3, 2003 — Atlantic premiers today released the three-volume report from the Atlantic Canada Insurance Harmonization Task Force, mandated by the premiers on June 27. The Task Force was directed to examine a common Atlantic regulatory framework for private automobile insurance, study the public insurance option, and complete an Atlantic Canada “model act” for all other types of insurance.
Atlantic premiers thanked the Task Force Chair, Fred Morash, and the Task Force members appointed by the premiers.
Atlantic premiers will consider regional approach options and these will be discussed at the next meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers following the Newfoundland and Labrador election.
The report can be downloaded from the Council of Atlantic Premiers website at www.cmp.ca under Reports and Publications or by contacting any Atlantic provincial government.
Some of the Findings:
The Task Force concluded that not only is the argument not persuasive but rather the weight of the evidence is against the proposition that the implementation of a sole supplier for all or any of the Atlantic provinces would produce effective long term reduction of auto insurance premiums for Atlantic Canada motorists.
The Task Force conclusions were consistent with comprehensive studies in other jurisdictions from 1968 to 1996 of costs of compulsory automobile insurance which results were found by the Task Force to be as valid and applicable to the unique economic, social and political history of Atlantic Canada today as they were for the time and circumstances of those jurisdictions considered in those studies.
The Task Force concludes that the low levels of premiums in the public models in Canada with the pure or nearly pure no fault benefits plans are primarily due to the nature of the benefit plans rather than the nature of the supplier.
The Task Force found the evidence overwhelmingly in support of the conclusion that the primary, long term and core solution to the problem of rising automobile insurance rates does not lie in the issue of who supplies the product but rather, in the characteristics of the product and its design features.
The observation of the Task Force is that no matter what type of automobile insurance model is considered, the core problem of increases in premiums is and has been consistently identified as the increase in bodily injury loss costs.
The real issues are two: how the majority of traffic injured can come to terms with reasonable reduction of their compensation so that Atlantic Canadians can afford the cost of basic mandatory automobile insurance and how motorists can come to acceptance of the realistic and reasonable cost of insurance to pay for the injuries caused by insured motorists?
The Task Force finds that collectively, the Atlantic Provinces could achieve meaningful economies of scale for the motoring public and traffic injured by consolidating their automobile insurance rating processes and personnel into a centralized force.
In May 2000, the Council of Atlantic Premiers (CAP) was formalized by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in which all four premiers expressed their common desire to cooperate for the benefit of the residents of Atlantic Canada. The work of the Council of Atlantic Premiers builds on the ongoing work of the Council of Maritime Premiers (CMP) and the Conference of Atlantic Premiers.