New Brunswick drivers who buy their auto insurance from Dominion of Canada General Insurance may be entitled to a rebate on rates they paid last year.
The provincial government expects the 14,000 New Brunswick consumers who use Dominion auto insurance will have their rates rolled back significantly after the company's 2010 rate application is re-heard on Monday.
Drivers could receive up to $1,000,000 worth of refunds, according to evidence filed by the province.
The New Brunswick Court of Appeal ordered the 2010 rate application be reheard, and banned the members of the New Brunswick Insurance Board who were at the original hearing from taking part.
The province alleges that the New Brunswick Insurance Board has allowed the entire auto insurance industry to charge too much in New Brunswick for several years, and has chosen Dominion as a test case to prove it. The province believes allowing a rate increase in 2010 was a mistake, and Dominion would still be profitable with a $1,000,000 rate cut.
Ed Keyes, past president of the New Brunswick branch of the Canadian Bar Association, said the case may be about Dominion, but the New Brunswick Insurance Board is really on trial.
"You would expect if they were protecting the consumer by ensuring that there are just and reasonable rates and that the people making that decision and sitting on the Board would have the requisite experience to do so and quite frankly, when you look at the decision of the Court of Appeal that's highly suspect that those individuals do," Keyes said.