Auto insurance in New Brunswick push for largest premium hike in 16 years

Published: October 2, 2018

Updated: November 1, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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New Brunswick is among Canada’s most affordable auto insurance markets but motorists in the province may soon have to pay more for their coverage. Indeed, the largest auto insurance companies in New Brunswick are seeking the largest premium increase in 16 years.

It seems even the affordable system in New Brunswick is not immune to problems facing auto insurance markets across Canada. In all provinces, insurers, both public and private, are being hit by increasing collisions and rising repair costs and claims payouts.

Canada’s General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA) says collisions in New Brunswick cost the insurance industry $376.9 million in claims during 2017. This data shows claims costs have risen $144 million (62 percent) compared to five years ago. During that half a decade, there have been no premium increases.

That has been fantastic for customers as the average premiums paid in New Brunswick was $803.15 per vehicle from 2012 to 2017. However, insurance companies are now seeking to make up some of the ground with a steep increase. Sure, drivers in the province will still be paying a low premium compared to the rest of Canada, although they will also feel a sharp increase in cost.

Election Push

The news comes just before New Brunswick enters an election cycle. However, ahead of the end-of-month vote, one official does not believe the news will affect campaigns because any increase requests will not happen until after the election.

Michele Pelletier, consumer advocate for insurance says, “increases will be significant” and “They [insurers] say, ‘OK, we’re having some really big losses,’ that’s what they’re telling us and they’re asking for bigger increases.”

“None of us want to have higher premiums. I’m the first one to say I’m paying enough,” said Pelletier.

“But there were signs, we could see signs.”