Liberal MLA Chris Collins is demanding the New Brunswick Insurance Board disclose a report outlining the profits reaped by insurance companies operating in the province.


Liberal MLA Chris Collins is asking the province's insurance board to release a report on profits made by automobile insurance companies. ((CBC))

The province's insurance board commissioned the report on the profitability of insurance companies but the document has never been released to the public.

The board appeared before the legislative assembly's standing committee on Crown Corporations this week and the report became a centre of debate.

"We have concerns about this and we want to look into it.  We feel they should be forthcoming in offering that information that's been requested," said Moncton Liberal MLA Chris Collins.

Collins led the Liberal fight against the insurance board during the hearing.

However, the Progressive Conservatives were also joining the Liberal's call for the report's release.

Tory MLA Jody Carr, the chairman of the legislative committee, said anything that improves the performance of the insurance board is worth looking at.

"If it's a way to increase openness and transparency, if it can improve the system then I think it's something that should be looked at," Carr said.

The insurance board has been accused by Office of the Attorney General of letting auto Insurance companies charge New Brunswick drivers too much.


Paul D'Astous, the chairman of the New Brunswick Insurance Board, was criticized this week by a committee of MLAs. ((CBC))

And the board recently had two of its decisions thrown out by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal last month.

The justices also criticized the board for establishing rates without giving reasons and questioned why it blocked requests from the provincial govenrment for more financial information from companies.

Paul D'Astous, the chairman of insurance board, told the MLAs that he respects the court's decision.

And the chairman said he understands the court's criticism over the board's decision that allowed companies to avoid release their financial information.

"We said the company didn't have to answer that. The court has taken us to task on that and like I said a while ago we respect the decision of the court," D'Astous said.

The insurance board was created in 2004 after Bernard Lord's Progressive Conservative government was heavily criticized for its handling of skyrocketing auto insurance rates.

The board is responsible for approving rates for drivers in New Brunswick's $400 million per year auto insurance market.

Shawn Graham's Liberal government had claimed in court the board has allowed excess industry profits over several years, overcharging consumers.