McKiggan Appointed to Provincial Insurance Review Committee

by John McKiggan

Nova Scotia’s NDP Government has acted on one of its campaign promises to ensure that the Province’s Insurance Act is updated.

Graham Steele, Minister responsible for the Insurance Act, has announced that former Deputy Minister Ron L’Esperance will chair a committee that will examine six areas relating to automobile insurance and recommend changes:

Section B Benefits

This covers reimbursement for medical expenses incurred for necessary treatment and indemnity for income loss suffered when injured persons are unable to work;

Treatment Protocols

In some provinces in Canada there is a defined plan of treatment for persons who have suffered so called soft tissue injuries.

Creation of a “full tort” Insurance Product

This means the possibility of being able to buy additional insurance coverage that would allow a person to have the right to fully recover for their injuries instead of being limited by the $7500.00 “minor injury” insurance cap.

Coverage and Premiums for Young or Inexperienced Drivers

Insurance Coverage for Volunteer Firefighters

Vicarious Liability for Vehicle Leasing Companies
Currently insurance companies for car rental agencies are held responsible for paying benefits when a person who rents one of their vehicles is involved in car accident
Asked to Sit on Review Committee

I have been asked, as President of the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, to volunteer to sit on the review committee that will be conducting the review of the Insurance Act.

Changes Long Overdue

There is no doubt that the Insurance Act in Nova Scotia is long over due for changes. The last time the Insurance Act saw a major overhaul was in 1974.

Poverty Level Payments

The maximum income loss benefits currently paid to people who have been injured in a car accident borders on the poverty line. The maximum benefit that someone injured in a car accident is entitled to receive from their own insurance company is $140 per week.

Medical Coverage Inadequate

Similarly, the amount of coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses is woefully inadequate. The current cap is $25,000.00. If you are catastrophically injured and require 24 hour care this fund can easily be exhausted within a year.

Fast Answers

The NDP government is looking for a final report by the end of May, 2011. The committee will have a lot of work to do between now and then.

If you have any suggestions as to how Nova Scotia’s Insurance Act should be changed or updated, please leave a comment or feel free to contact me directly.

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