Auto Insurance

By Order in Council 2008-474, the Governor in Council assigned to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ("NSUARB" or "Board") the powers, functions and duties of the Nova Scotia Insurance Review Board ("NSIRB") effective October 1, 2008.

The NSIRB was created in 2003 under the Automobile Insurance Reform Act to serve as the regulatory body for automobile insurance in the Province of Nova Scotia.

The Board holds reviews and hearings on rules and rate filings to ensure they meet the standards set out in the legislation and regulations. The Board ensures compliance with the Insurance Act by administering rules, publishing policy statements and interpretations, ordering investigations and actuarial reports, imposing administrative and monetary sanctions and exercising the regulatory function of a tribunal.

In addition to the prior functions carried out by the NSIRB, the NSUARB's jurisdiction has been expanded to require mandatory filing by insurance companies for approval of rates and risk classification systems, as well as adding new claims notification requirements. Mandatory filing regulations mean automobile insurance companies are now required to apply for rate and risk-classification system approval every two years for private passenger vehicles and every three years for other vehicles. Claims notification requirements ensure auto insurance companies provide written consumer notice of claims made or paid on policies.

The Insurance Act and the regulations can be accessed through the Statutes, Rules & Regulations page. Also, decisions of the NSUARB and decisions of the NSIRB can be accessed through the Decision Archive.

The procedures and policies adopted by the NSIRB will continue to be used by the NSUARB until such time as the NSUARB determines changes are required. As such, industry should continue to use the current contacts and filing requirements to facilitate the processing of applications. The NSUARB will notify industry of any changes in advance.

Any questions or concerns about the change in the responsibility for regulating automobile insurance can be directed to Paul G. Allen, C.A., Executive Director of the NSUARB (paul.allen@novascotia.ca), or to Barry Cotnam, Senior Advisor for the NSUARB (barry.cotnam@novascotia.ca).

Occasionally the former NSIRB published Information Bulletins that provide explanations and guidance on matters of interest. The full text of those bulletins can be found here. The NSUARB has adopted those bulletins and will continue to issue additional bulletins in future. Information on the application process and application form can be found here.

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