April 2, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The adoption of a new territories automobile insurance rating system last year was a highlight cited by Ronald Godin, consumer advocate for insurance, in his report for the 2008 calendar year, released today.
The new system replaced the old model that had been in place for many decades. The new system is a much more accurate method of assessing risk and setting premiums across the various areas of the province. Godin said his office received few complaints about it.
In 2008, Godin's office handled 1,309 files, compared to 1,739 in 2007 and 1,848 in 2006. Automobile and home insurance files accounted for 84 per cent of the 2008 total, while life and health files accounted for slightly more than 15 per cent.
Automobile insurance files alone accounted for 64 per cent of the total number of files, compared to 73 per cent in 2007 and 82 per cent in 2006.
Enquiries / complaints about insurance premiums decreased by 25 per cent over the past two years: by 11 per cent in 2008 and by 14 per cent in 2007. Concerns about on-going claims took the lead, at 47 per cent of all files in 2008.
For the fourth year in a row, Gloucester had the most enquiries among the 15 counties to Godin's office, accounting again for almost 30 per cent of the total, followed by Westmorland with 14 per cent, York with 11 per cent and Saint John with 10 per cent.
In only its second year of operation the office's website again proved popular, receiving more than 200,000 hits and more than 18,000 visits for 2008.
Godin expected that the challenge to the minor injury cap legislation would be one of the main concerns for the automobile insurance industry in 2009.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ronald Godin, consumer advocate for insurance, 506-549-5555.