Average auto insurance premium in New Brunswick is $921: IBC

TORONTO, March 24 – In response to conflicting and misleading reports in recent days concerning New Brunswick auto insurance premiums, Insurance Bureau of Canada today provided accurate information. The industry has been deeply concerned about an insurance survey and subsequent correction from the opposition Liberal party.

“The survey conducted for the Liberal party is a farce and it’s baffling that it has received so much attention and so little scrutiny,” said Don Forgeron, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Asking 255 people what they expect to pay in 2006 is no way to determine what the average premium in the province actually is.

“And the results speak for themselves — a wildly inaccurate number one day followed by a correction and another inaccurate number the next day. What will the number be tomorrow? At the same time, they ought to retract yesterday’s release, which was riddled with obvious errors concerning insurance financial data.”

As Consumer Advocate Ronald Godin said yesterday, determining the average auto insurance premium in the province is a simple calculation based on real and available data — the total premium paid in the province, divided by the number of insured vehicles.

That calculation, using the latest available industry data (January 2006), produces a result of $921. That figure is different from the New Brunswick Insurance Board’s number of $851 for two reasons: It includes every policy, including those issued to high-risk drivers; and it does not yet factor in substantial rate reductions approved by the Board in the fall of 2005. The Board’s figure was a projection to the end of 2006.

“Clearly, the private sector is delivering cheaper auto insurance in New Brunswick. Don’t take our word for it,” said Forgeron. “Ask the New Brunswick Insurance Board. Sensational reports of grossly exaggerated premium numbers make for good headlines, but they do not give consumers the information they need.

“The question is why didn’t the Liberals go to the Board? Why did they choose to release grossly inaccurate information instead? Had they been more interested in actually serving the people of New Brunswick, they would have urged them to take advantage of the competitive marketplace here in New Brunswick.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car, and business insurance in Canada. For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.