NL review should lead to public auto insurance argues union

Published: April 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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More people are continuing to discuss the ongoing review into the Newfoundland and Labrador auto insurance system. The latest is the provinces Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) was part of Phase II of the review, which is being carried out by the Public Utilities Board.

The employee-focused trade union has offered the review “provides a valuable opportunity to explore the possibility of creating an improved automobile insurance system for the province.”

“Premiums for automobile insurance in Newfoundland and Labrador are among the highest in the country,” commented CUPE NL president Wayne Lucas. “The provincial government requires drivers to purchase automobile insurance. Therefore, it must make sure that costs are reasonable and benefits are fair.”

In a submission to the review, CUPE says it wants to see the formation of a “publicly owned, non-profit system with fair non-discriminatory rates and high-quality coverage for all licensed drivers including private-passenger drivers, independent commercial owner-operators, and drivers for fleet companies.”

CUPE says such a public automobile insurance company for NL would be an ideal solution for reducing escalating auto insurance rates. The submission also included reference to other provinces, such as British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, which already have such a system.

It is worth noting the success of public models in those provinces has varied, but CUPE says the public companies “offer good insurance products at lower premiums and generate capital to re-invest in their respective provinces.”

“There are ample experiences in other jurisdictions to help create a ‘made-in-Newfoundland-Labrador’, full-service system that will meet the vehicle insurance needs of the people of our province,” Lucas said.