News Release Archive

  Nova Scotians who are in a car accident with an uninsured
  driver will now be served by their own insurance company.
  In legislation introduced today by Housing and Consumer
  Affairs Minister Eleanor Norrie, the cumbersome process of
  going through judgement recovery will be replaced by
  uninsured automobile coverage in each auto insurance policy.
  "The key thing about this change is that the settlement of
  claims should be faster and less complicated," said Mrs.
  Norrie, "because insurers want to maintain good customer
  relations in dealing with their own client. Consumers will
  get their payments, and any legal action will be left up to
  the insurance companies."
  She said there should be little effect on the cost of
  insurance to consumers, "because consumers already bear the
  cost of funding judgement recovery in their existing car
  insurance premiums."
  There are over 600,000 registered vehicles in Nova Scotia,
  and car insurance is mandatory so that accident victims will
  be compensated. Unfortunately, however, not all drivers have
  the required insurance.
  Since 1958, the Motor Vehicle Act has required that a
  consumer sue the uninsured driver, or the Registrar of Motor
  Vehicles, in order to obtain any kind of payment. All
  settlements had to be approved by the Supreme Court. This
  caused delays and was not satisfactory to consumers or the
  insurance industry.
  "It is felt that many Nova Scotians do not make claims when
  they are in an accident with an uninsured or unknown driver
  because they don't know where to go for assistance, or the
  effort required to make the claim outweighs the benefit. Now
  they'll go directly to their own insurer for the help they
  need," the minister said.
  In a case where a pedestrian is hit by an uninsured
  motorist, that pedestrian will be able to claim against his
  or her own car insurance policy. If a pedestrian has no
  policy, then he or she can make a claim through the Facility
  Association which will be administering uninsured automobile
  fund for that purpose.
  The Facility Association is a group of insurers, pooling
  together, to provide coverage for "hard to insure" risks,
  such as drivers with a poor driving record who are unable to
  get usual car insurance coverage.
  The rates charged by the Facility Association are regulated
  by the Utility and Review Board.
  Contact: Laurel Russell 902-424-4988
  trp                          Oct. 30, 1995