Janice Sherry

The auto insurance changes will bring P.E.I. in line with the other Maritime provinces, says Justice Minister Janice Sherry. (Province of P.E.I.)

The P.E.I. government is proposing changes to auto insurance benefits on the Island, lining them up with the regulations in other parts of the Maritimes.

The changes would lift the cap on a number of claims, including those for minor injuries, and for a number of no-fault accident insurance payouts: death benefits, medical and rehab expenses, funeral expenses, and for loss of income.

Medical and rehab payouts would increase from $25,000 to $50,000, and loss of income payments from $140 a week to $250 a week.

Current Proposed
Some no-fault benefit changes
Medical and rehab $25,000 $50,000
Funeral $1,000 $2,500
Death benefits: head of household $10,000 $50,000
Death benefits: spouse $10,000 $25,000
Death benefits: dependent $2,000 $5,000
Loss of income $140/week $250/week

Maximum benefits for minor injuries would increase from $2,500 to $7,500. The changes would also redefine what is considered a minor injury, narrowing the definition.

Justice Minister Janice Sherry said this would lead to fewer soft tissue claims, and catch P.E.I. up with higher benefits paid in the rest of the Maritimes.

"It's something that the industry has been looking for. I think it's been certainly an enquiry by the media, wondering why we weren't lining up those services and having them the same as our sister provinces," said Sherry.

Sherry says the reforms were suggested by the insurance industry, which has promised rates wouldn't go up for at least 18 months after the changes.

Government is accepting public input on the proposal until Dec. 2.