Automotive Trades Association of Atlantic Canada
Autobody Repairs
Mechanical Repairs
Suppliers
Specialized Services
Consumer Info
Insurance
Training
Pricing
News / Events
Parts Trader
Discussion / Forum
Publications
Contact Us /Questions
Join / Membership
Members Only
Links to Sites
Environment
Employment
Insight CANADA
 
CCIF
UPCR
   

 

New Brunswick

 

Collision Associates Network Adds Two in New Brunswick

Collision Associates/CSN announced that G&M Chev Cadillac Collision Center In Edmundston & Toner Pontiac Collision Center in Grand Falls, New Brunswick have become part of the Collision Associate/CSN network.

G&M Chev in Edmundston has been in business for over 30 years. Luc Ruest Collision Center Manager states that they are on a continuous improvement that includes a new 5000 sq ft facility built in 2002.

Toner Pontiac in Grand Falls was founded in 1960 as a family owned business. Gerald Toner, President of Toner Pontiac is committed to the community with involvement in the Rotary club, Knights of Columbus, and is a founding Member of Mad-Vic Crime Stoppers. The company's 3200 sq ft collision center is managed by Richard Toner.

Gerald Toner President of Toner Pontiac in Grand Falls along with his business partner Maurice Lafrance, (General Manager of G&M Chev Cadillac in Edmundston) states, "We have many goals including putting service above self, going the extra mile to provide reliable service and quality workmanship to their customers. "

Collision Associates/CSN is a Network of independent & dealership collision centers in the Maritimes & Ontario. The objective of the Network is to help independent shops and dealership collision centers improve their operation in terms of image customer service & process management.

 

New Brunswick reforms working, says Co-operators

10/29/2003


Reforms to limit compensation for minor injuries are paying off in New Brunswick, says Co-operators General Insurance Co., one of the province's largest insurers.

The company made the statement in a release to announce that 9,00 cheques are being sent to its policyholders reflecting reimbursement for an overall rate decrease of 20.6% effective July 1 of this year. Another 12,000 customers will see the reduction reflected in monthly premiums.

The reimbursement is just one sign that auto insurance reforms are working in the province, says Terry McRorie, region vice president for the insurer. Progress is also noted in depopulation of the Facility Association, the industry pool for high risk drivers, and in increased competition in northern New Brunswick, which has suffered from severe availability problems.

"The province controls the wordings on your auto policy and sets the rule for insurance companies. They are definitely on the right track," says McRorie. "There is more than the government can be doing in tightening up the auto policy that would result in further savings," he adds.

The statement refers to a report by the Atlantic Insurance Harmonization Task Force, which notes that increasing bodily injury costs are the root cause of rate increases, and these costs must be controlled if rates are to be maintained.

(courtesy Canadian Underwriter)

 

Co-operators customers receive refunds

MONCTON, NB, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Co-operators General Insurance Company, one of New Brunswick's largest auto insurers, says reimbursement cheques reflecting a 20.6% overall rate decrease effective July 1st for private passenger vehicles are in the mail.

"It's just one of the signs that auto insurance reforms are working," said Region Vice-President Terry McRorie. The refunds are directly linked to the province's restrictions on pain and suffering payouts for sprains and strains."

Other signs the recent reforms are working include more clients coming out of Facility Association and increased competition in Northern New Brunswick.

"The province controls the wordings on your auto policy and sets the rules for insurance companies. They are definitely on the right track. We are eager to pass savings along to our clients," McRorie said. "There is more that the government can be doing in tightening up the auto policy that would result in further savings.

The Atlantic Insurance Harmonization Task Force, prepared for the Council of Atlantic Premiers, indicated that "the core problem of increases in premiums is and has been consistently identified as the increase in bodily injury loss costs...The evidence in support of these conclusions is unassailable. Independent and detailed studies in British Columbia as early as 1968 and as recently as 1996, in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta clearly and
unequivocally state that bodily injury loss costs escalation are the core problem in automobile insurance compensation models and must be contained if premium rates are to be controlled (p.19)."

The Co-operators was the first insurer to file for a rate reduction in June 2003 and was the first insurer to promise reimbursements. While the company had hoped to have cheques processed by the end of the summer, the Public Utility Board required the company to appear at its hearings in September. To date, almost 9,000 refund cheques have been sent and over 12,000 premium adjustments made for clients on monthly pay plan.

 

NEW BRUNSWICK AND NOVA SCOTIA FORCE RATE CUTS

High auto insurance at issue in election race

July 31, 2003

Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm conceded yesterday that he might introduce a law to force insurance companies to lower soaring auto rates after insisting for weeks his plan of voluntary compliance will work.
The admission, made with less than a week to go in a tight election race, came a day after New Brunswick said it would penalize insurers that don't comply with new legislation also aimed at reducing premiums.
"If legislation is required to ensure the rates, we'll do it, but right now we did not foresee that that will be necessary", Hamm said while campaigning for the August 5 election.
Hamm's healthy majority could dwindle to a minority if the latest opinion polls hold true. Rates have risen about 65% in the last year. Hamm has promised to cut rates by 20% this fall by introducing a $2,500 cap on insurance awards for pain and suffering. He had argued the insurance industry, which asked for the cap, would respond by voluntarily lowering premiums.
A similar plan in New Brunswick failed when only a few of the province's 70 insurance firms lowered their rates by the July 1 deadline. New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord was nearly tossed from office in July by voters angry about soaring rates. He made companies cut rates or pay up to a $5,000 a policy holder in penalty.

(The Canadian Press)

 

N.B. consumers deserve rate reductions: Insurers want to comply

HALIFAX, July 25 /CNW/ - To date, companies that insure almost half the motoring public in New Brunswick have filed rate reductions with the province's Public Utilities Board (PUB) and still more have rate reductions ready to be submitted and implemented. Nothing can happen to make these new and lower rates a reality for consumers until the PUB has concluded additional hearings on the reductions.

"Insurance companies are more than willing to comply with the government's rate reduction policy," said Don Forgeron, VP Atlantic, IBC.

"Unfortunately, it appears that these reductions must wait for the PUB hearings to conclude and the first hearing date isn't until August 11." said Forgeron. "We understand the need for these hearings, but consumers want and deserve relief now."

The proposed hearings have essentially stalled the momentum toward further rate reductions. IBC stresses that more companies would have filed rate reductions but now will be forced to wait until the PUB process plays out.

"Going through the rate filing process is an expensive process and to do so now would be wasteful without knowing the outcome of the PUB hearings," says Forgeron. "We hope that this bottleneck is cleared soon so insurers can respond to the needs of their customers," Forgeron added.

 

Pain and suffering cap a good step - IBC

HALIFAX, July 9 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraged by the Nova Scotia government's move to cap pain and suffering awards for less serious injuries at $2500, as announced today.

"This model appears to be moving in the direction of the model just implemented in New Brunswick and we are already seeing positive results there," said Don Forgeron, Atlantic Vice-President, IBC. "Consumers of New Brunswick are seeing rate decreases and more available insurance as a result of caps in that province."

Mr. Forgeron explained that since the cap was announced four companies in New Brunswick have applied for rate decreases and one has appointed a large broker network in the northern part of the province where consumers have in the past had trouble accessing affordable insurance.

"The government of New Brunswick implemented legislation to address the escalating claims costs and insurers in that province responded," he added. While the Hamm government has indicated the cap on pain and suffering awards for minor, non-permanent injuries will translate into a 20% rate reduction for all drivers, IBC cannot confirm that prediction at this point.

"Our actuaries are currently studying the plan to see if the change can translate into the savings projected by the government," said Mr. Forgeron.

"But we are encouraged by the fact that the government is headed towards a solution for Nova Scotia consumers.

However, according to IBC, two areas of concern remain in Nova Scotia - new regulations introduced in June and the current rate freeze. "While rates have been frozen, the cost of claims have not. That poses a problem for insurers in this province," said Mr. Forgeron. "And adding regulations adds more expense to the system."

Although encouraged by the pain and suffering cap, Mr. Forgeron stressed
that IBC would continue to work with government to develop a concrete, long-lasting solution to the price pressures being experienced by Nova Scotia consumers. "As an industry we welcome product reform that benefits all consumers. Addressing compensation awards is an important step to accomplishing that," he said.

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. Visit the media section of IBC's web site at www.ibc.ca for more news releases and information.

 

Stop discriminating against old cars, N.B. insurers warned

By Canadian Press Jan 24, 2003

By Chris Morris
FREDERICTON (CP) -- The New Brunswick government says it has warned insurance companies to stop discriminating against drivers of old cars.

Premier Bernard Lord's Conservative government is under fire from opposition politicians and angry drivers about skyrocketing insurance rates and coverage refusals, especially on cars 10 years of age and older.

A growing number of people in New Brunswick, where old cars are common, are being told insurance companies want nothing to do with aged vehicles no matter what kind of shape the cars are in and despite clean driving records.

Justice Minister Brad Green told the legislature Jan. 24, 2003 the government is trying to convince insurance companies to end the practice.

"There are insurance companies doing business in New Brunswick who are not following good, sound business practices and who are not, in fact, performing as good corporate citizens," Green said.

"We have been delivering the message, very firmly, to the largest companies doing business in New Brunswick that practices such as that are unacceptable. We have delivered that same message to the Insurance Bureau of Canada."

Green said the government will introduce comprehensive legislation by the end of March designed to bring rate stability and ensure fair access to coverage for New Brunswick drivers.

Green said he has been assured by the insurance industry that not all companies are refusing coverage on beaters, although many have tightened up their underwriting practices on older cars.

Insurance officials say old cars are considered a bigger risk because it's believed they are not driven as carefully as newer, more valuable cars.

As well, owners of old cars generally want only liability coverage.

The industry maintains it is taking huge losses on liability insurance because of the increase in payouts for soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash, strains and sprains.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada also says the theft of older vehicles is on the rise, largely because they have none of the sophisticated anti-theft devices found on newer models.

Older cars can be sold for parts to black-market chop shops for huge profits.

Opposition Liberal Leader Shawn Graham said there is a growing chorus of consumer complaints about unfairness in the insurance industry -- complaints that are landing on the desks of politicians.

In addition to the problem of insuring old cars, he said he has heard from people who have been sent to the high-cost Facility Association, the insurers of last resort, because they have missed a payment.

The Facility Association was just granted a 46 per cent increase in the province.

"We need action by the government," he said. "This is having a serious impact on people."

 

Select Committee ignores consumers in auto insurance report

SAINT JOHN, NB, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - The insurance industry is disappointed with the results contained in a report on how to control automobile insurance costs in New Brunswick.
The Select Committee on Auto Insurance has produced 15 recommendations to help control auto insurance rates in New Brunswick. But industry officials warn that, if implemented, such changes will place an even greater burden on consumers and insurance companies.

Don Forgeron, Insurance Bureau of Canada's (IBC) Atlantic Vice President, says the report does not address the huge financial awards for soft-tissue injuries - the major factor affecting insurance costs.

"The committee results are extremely disappointing," Forgeron says. "The reasons for high rates are crystal clear, but the committee has chosen to focus on the symptoms of the problem instead of solving the larger issues behind the increases, namely, soft-tissue injury awards.

Forgeron maintains that none of the 15 recommendations will reduce rates. In fact, many of them will only add costs. One recommendation calls for the elimination of "file-and-use" for rate approvals. Under the current system, insurers can request rate adjustments from the Public Utilities Board. Unless the proposed rate is considered excessive, unreasonable or unfair, it can be implemented immediately. With the recommendation to add more bureaucracy to the system, the costs to insurers will increase significantly.

"The recommendations in this report will add to the regulatory burden already experienced by the province's auto insurers and more regulation means less competition - and that's bad for consumers," says Forgeron. "Instead of moving forward, the committee is taking a backward step. The "file-and-use" recommendation alone will delay the ability of the insurance industry to respond quickly to market forces."

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the home, car and business insurance industry. It represents the insurance companies that provide more than 90 per cent of the home, car and business insurance in Canada. For more information, please visit our web site at www.ibc.ca.

 

New Program Provides Inspiration to Young Women The Learning Partnership and Lieutenant Governor host launch event

FREDERICTON, NB, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - The Learning Partnership today officially launched WOW! Words on Work - Women's Speakers Bureau, an educational program aimed at helping female students learn about the diversity of career options. New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor Marilyn Trenholme Counsell hosted the event at Old Government House, 1st Floor, at 4:00 pm-6:00 pm.

"We are excited to be in New Brunswick to launch this unique program," said Veronica Lacey, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. "The Learning Partnership is committed to creating learning opportunities for each student in the public school system and WOW! Words on Work - Women's Speaking Bureau is helping to achieve those objectives. We hope the involvement of these speakers help motivate students to achieve and reach their goals."

WOW! Words on Work is a program in which a variety of dynamic women speakers are invited into schools to inspire and motivate students about career options. Teachers search an on-line database, www.wordsonwork.ca, for speakers to visit their classrooms. Over 1200 speakers are currently registered across Ontario, while over 120 women speakers have already registered in the New Brunswick area.

"This program adds strength to women's voices in the 21st Century," says The Honourable Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. "I am proud to host this exciting launch at Old Government House". "This program will go a long way toward promoting educational and career opportunities for women," said New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Margaret Ann Blaney, also Minister responsible for the Status of Women. "When female students meet positive role models from the Women's Speakers Bureau and
discover the career options that are available to them, they will be better informed, more prepared for planning their own occupational paths and more encouraged to take on non-traditional work. Post-secondary education and jobs for women in non-traditional roles are important in narrowing the wage gap.

This program can help improve the earning power of women in the future." Education Minister Dennis Furlong welcomed the introduction of the WOW! program in the province's anglophone schools, noting this is the second joint venture between the Department of Education and The Learning Partnership. The first project, Take Our Kids to Work, was introduced six years ago and has been very successful, he said.

"Given the tremendous success of Take Our Kids to Work, we are very pleased to have this latest opportunity to work with The Learning Partnership," said Furlong. "The WOW! program will give all our students - female and male - an opportunity to hear first-hand from New Brunswick women who have made their mark in all fields of endeavour."

WOW! is generously supported by Manulife Financial and the Ontario Women's Directorate.

"Manulife Financial is delighted to support the WOW! program, and we are excited to see its national expansion," said Diane Bean, Senior Vice President Corporate Human Resources, Manulife Financial said, "This partnership gives Manulife the opportunity to assist in the development of education support services in communities throughout Canada."

About The Learning Partnership

The Learning Partnership is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together business, education, labour, policy makers and the community to develop partnerships that strengthen public education in Canada. More than one million students and teachers have participated in one or more TLP programs since its inception in 1993. As champions of public education in Canada, we strengthen our programs through research on best practices and policy discussions. Visit us at www.tlp.on.ca

 

IBC calls on select committee to reform auto insurance to benefit drivers in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON, NB, June 12 /CNW/ - The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is urging the provincial government to make changes to auto insurance in New Brunswick. In its submission to the Select Committee on Private Passenger Automobile Insurance today in Fredericton, IBC has provided various models for auto reform to maintain an affordable and available product for New Brunswick drivers.

The role of the select committee is to study auto insurance issues in New Brunswick, including availability and pricing, and possible improvements to the current system. The committee will make recommendations for change to the government.

"Research shows the main reason for rising auto rates is soft tissue injury claims. Even though accident rates have dropped in each province in the region, the number of bodily injury claims continues to rise," says Don Forgeron, IBC's Atlantic vice president.

"There needs to be a balance between auto insurance premiums and compensation provided to accident victims. If the insurance industry pays out increasingly higher amounts in claims under the current system, people could end up facing higher premiums," says Mr. Forgeron.

"Car insurance premiums in each province in the region have increased for a reason - the growing practice of hiring a lawyer after every car accident," says Forgeron. "It's no longer simply about helping people get well following an accident. Now, it's about how much extra money a person can receive for even the most minor of injuries - such as a sore neck or sore back."

IBC has told the committee that one model for auto reform is not necessarily better than another model - that each option has unique characteristics that should be considered before changes are made to the current system.

"Those opposed to any type of reform have suggested that our industry is proposing a 'no fault-only' solution. The reality is that we've been encouraging a broader discussion at every opportunity - one that should involve the citizens of New Brunswick - not just single interest groups," says Forgeron.

"Consumers in New Brunswick deserve a type of auto insurance that will ultimately benefit them through cost-savings, and it's important for the select committee to make recommendations that would provide such a product." "We have to get back to the real reason for insurance - to return injured persons, as nearly as possible and as quickly as possible, to their condition before an accident," Forgeron says. "We have to find a way to do this at the lowest possible cost to all consumers."

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents about 200 companies that provide more than 90 per cent of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. For more information or to view IBC's submission to the select committee, visit the media section of our web site at www.ibc.ca.

 

IBC calls on select committee to reform auto insurance in New Brunswick
June 13, 2002

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is urging the provincial government to make changes to auto insurance in New Brunswick. In its submission to the Select Committee on Private Passenger Automobile Insurance in Fredericton, IBC has provided various models for auto reform to maintain an affordable and available product for New Brunswick drivers.
The role of the select committee is to study auto insurance issues in New Brunswick, including availability and pricing, and possible improvements to the current system. The committee will make recommendations for change to the government.
"Research shows the main reason for rising auto rates is soft tissue injury claims. Even though accident rates have dropped in each province in the region, the number of bodily injury claims continues to rise," says Don Forgeron, IBC's Atlantic vice president.
"There needs to be a balance between auto insurance premiums and compensation provided to accident victims. If the insurance industry pays out increasingly higher amounts in claims under the current system, people could end up facing higher premiums," says Forgeron.
"Car insurance premiums in each province in the region have increased for a reason - the growing practice of hiring a lawyer after every car accident," says Forgeron. "It's no longer simply about helping people get well following an accident. Now, it's about how much extra money a person can receive for even the most minor of injuries - such as a sore neck or sore back."
IBC has told the committee that one model for auto reform is not necessarily better than another model - that each option has unique characteristics that should be considered before changes are made to the current system.
"Those opposed to any type of reform have suggested that our industry is proposing a 'no fault-only' solution. The reality is that we've been encouraging a broader discussion at every opportunity - one that should involve the citizens of New Brunswick - not just single interest groups," says Forgeron.
"Consumers in New Brunswick deserve a type of auto insurance that will ultimately benefit them through cost-savings, and it's important for the select committee to make recommendations that would provide such a product."
"We have to get back to the real reason for insurance - to return injured persons, as nearly as possible and as quickly as possible, to their condition before an accident," Forgeron says. "We have to find a way to do this at the lowest possible cost to all consumers."

(thanks to Canadian Underwriter)