Monday, 23 September 2013

Mike Colle Introduces Bill For New Drivers And Minor Accidents

Liberal MPP Mike Colle who is familiar with the auto insurance file while Parliamentary Assistant to former Finance Minister Greg Sorbara introduced a Bill, the Insurance Amendment Act (Minor Accidents and New Drivers), 2013 on September 18, 2013.   

Bill 100 if passed with require that a risk classification system used by an insurer to determine rates for auto insurance could not consider minor accidents and would provide for lower rates for new drivers by crediting new drivers, in certain circumstances, with additional years of driving experience.

Minor accidents are accidents that result in $2,500 or less in damages, no injuries or death, and that did not result in an insurer making any payments that were not fully reimbursed by an insured driver.

A new driver is disqualified from receiving additional years of credit in a number of circumstances, including if the driver has been found to be more than 25% at fault in a claim arising from an accident, has been convicted of certain driving offences or has had his or her driver’s licence suspended for non-payment of certain fines.  The Bill is similar to an amendment passed in New Brunswick for new drivers called "First Chance" as part of reforms in 2005.

The Bill would reduce rates for new drivers and would prevent rate increases for anyone at-fault in an accident and paid the cost of repairs out of pocket as long as the repairs are less than $2,500.

On August 24, 2013, the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Charles Sousa, issued a policy statement that directed FSCO to review ways to “treat first-time drivers fairly” and to study the mandatory collision reporting threshold as a “potential cost reduction” initiative. 

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