Lamrock watching N.S. insurance cap
New Brunswick's Justice Minister Kelly Lamrock says he'll be closely watching how Nova Scotia's changes to automobile insurance will affect consumers.
That province has tripled its cap on damages for minor injuries, from $2,500 to $7,500.
N.S. will also narrow the definition for what injuries will fall under the cap — to include only strains, sprains and whiplash.
Both provinces had imposed a $2,500 cap on insurance awards for those who suffer minor injuries in auto accidents. It was aimed at containing skyrocketing automobile insurance premiums. The N.S. cap was established in 2003.
Lamrock said the terms of the injury definition are just as important as increasing the level of damages that can awarded.
"What you've seen in Nova Scotia will be interesting," he said.
N.S. finance Minister Graham Steele said the tripling of the cap will be done with no hike in insurance rates — a point Lamrock will be watching closely.
He's taking a wait-and-see approach regarding any potential change to N.B.'s cap.
"We want to make sure that at a time when we know companies have done relatively well, we want to make sure that those benefits are seen by everyone," said Lamrock.
Steele said Wednesday the N.S. changes won't be retroactive. That would have cost $69 million and driven up premiums for all drivers, he said.