Atlantic Amounts: New Brunswick auto insurance rates to increase in 2020, experts say

Fredericton, New Brunswick — According to New Brunswick’s consumer advocate for insurance, the province could see significant rate percentage increases this year, with several applications sitting before its insurance board. 

According to Michele Pelletier, New Brunswick’s consumer advocate for insurance, the province’s insurers are filing for “substantial increases”—some as high as 51 percent.

A hearing held by the New Brunswick Insurance Board began on Tuesday following an application from Echelon General Insurance Company, which is seeking a 30 percent rate increase for private passenger vehicles.

The request has since been modified, Pelletier told news outlets⁠—Echelon is now asking for a 51 percent rate increase.

Sonnet Insurance Company, which has a hearing scheduled for February in Saint John, N.B., is seeking a 50 percent increase, according to the New Brunswick Insurance Board’s (NBIB) website.  

“Now that we have all those fancy sensors, a regular or small fender bender or accident costs much more to repair now than it used to,” Pelletier told Global News. “In 2020, it’s going to be about the same thing it was in 2019; insurers are still filing for substantial increases, two-digit increases.”

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), there has been a persistent gap between claims and premiums.

“From 2015 to 2018, claims costs have increased by 22 percent,” said Amanda Dean, Atlantic regional vice president for IBC.

Meanwhile, Pelletier says New Brunswick still has some of the lowest premiums in the country.

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