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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Does Nova Scotia’s automobile insurance industry need reform?

The effort to improve automobile insurance is an ongoing battle.

Regulations across the country state that every vehicle owner must purchase a standard insurance policy which includes third party liability, uninsured automobile coverage, direct compensation-property damage, and accident benefits. Though these coverages have had the same names for years, the coverages themselves have evolved with time. Automobile insurance reforms look at increasing certain benefits and coverages, while others are reduced, modified, or simply eliminated altogether.

Nova Scotia’s two-phase reform

The automobile insurance industry in Nova Scotia—worth over $549,220 million dollars in 2013—has been reformed twice over the course of the last decade. In 2011, in a goal to strike the balance between fairness, stability, and affordability, the provincial government introduced certain changes providing better coverage for Nova Scotians. This was considered the first phase of a two-phase reform.

The second phase of the reform appeared in 2013. This reform offered greater advantages to individuals suffering from injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents. The following changes included:

  1. Those injured can now get physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment without waiting for approval from an insurer or a physician’s referral—making it easier for people to access better care sooner and start on the road to recovery.
  2. Direct Compensation for Property Damage coverage (DCPD) was amended, allowing individuals to recover damages caused by a collision from their own insurer.

The effort to improve automobile insurance is an ongoing battle. In February 2016, the Department of Finance and Treasury Board announced changes to our legislation, allowing individuals involved in minor at-fault accidents to reimburse the insurance company for the pay-out occurred. In turn, their rates wouldn’t be affected. We will undoubtedly continue to see such changes in automobile insurance coverages as the time passes. Optimistically, most changes would be made with an aim to create a fair balance between the insurer and the insured.

Impacts on personal injury claims

A reform in the automobile insurance industry can have great impacts on personal injury claims. For example:

  1. Simplifying the claim process allows the insurance company to save on costs. This allows them to have more resources to compensate victims of personal injury.
  2. Better coverages help ease the claim process for those injured. For example, proper accident benefits coverages will allow the victim of personal injury to receive reimbursement on several medical bills.

What can we do?

Both the government and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) continue to seek out how to address the downfalls in automobile insurance coverages. Three key factors that must be addressed include:

  1. There must be an attempt to eliminate fraudulent automobile insurance claims.
  2. We must find opportunities to offset increasing costs of physical damages claims in order to reduce a rise in premiums.
  3. Insurers must shy away from amending accident benefits coverages. These benefits must remain intact in order to assist those suffering from injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

If you are struggling with getting coverage from your insurance company, a personal injury lawyer can help. At MacGillivray Law, we deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. We will fight for you and ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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MacGillivray Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We serve clients all across Canada.

If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we will accommodate your circumstances and travel needs. We can provide a consultation by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, or travel to meet you in your home when required.

If you would like to learn your legal options at no obligation, contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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