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October 15, 2003
For immediate release

Legislation to Implement Auto Insurance Strategy to be Introduced in Fall Sitting of the Legislature

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Jamie Ballem today announced that legislation to implement the Auto Insurance Strategy will be a first priority when the Legislature opens in November.

"The Government of Prince Edward Island is committed to implementing the auto insurance strategy announced in August," said Attorney General Ballem. "We have conducted consultations with various stakeholders including the insurance industry and will make new insurance legislation a priority when the legislature opens in November."

The legislation will:

- introduce a maximum limit of $2,500 on benefits for minor personal injury and damages for non-economic loss;

- enact legislation granting the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission full regulatory authority over automobile insurance rates; and

- reduce the limitation period for making a claim, bringing it into line with other Atlantic Provinces.

On October 14, 2003, government received a general submission from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) on behalf of the insurance industry which indicates that changes to legislation would result in savings to consumers.

The IBC submission indicates that new legislation will result in an average decrease in auto insurance rates in the range of 13 per cent which is consistent with what government was looking for. However, this rate reduction will vary from company to company and be dependant on the particular circumstances of individual consumers.

Their submission provides support for us to proceed with the development of legislation for introduction in November," said Attorney General Ballem. "I am pleased with the level of cooperation that we have received from the insurance industry so far, but we also understand that current circumstances including Hurricane Juan have caused some unexpected timing difficulties for them."

In accordance with the new legislation, all auto insurers will be required to file their new rates with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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