On November 9, 2011, the provincial government introduced a package of auto insurance reforms to provide better coverage and more choice for Nova Scotians while striking the right balance between fairness, stability and affordability.
The Fair Auto Insurance reforms are based on recommendations from the independent auto insurance review, which included consultation with the insurance industry, stakeholders and Nova Scotians. The provincial government also considered a report from the Utility and Review Board which included a cost analysis.
These reforms represent a major change in the automobile insurance system in Nova Scotia. To allow the insurance industry enough time to prepare new products and processes and train staff, the Fair Auto Insurance reforms will be implemented in two phases.
Phase Two Reforms – Effective April 1, 2013
The second, final phase of automobile insurance reforms, became effective April 1, 2013. View the press release.
Questions and Answers for Consumers
Questions and Answers for Industry
Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols for Minor Injuries
In 2010 the limit on pain and suffering awards for minor injuries was increased. The definition of "minor injury" was narrowed to include only sprains, strains and certain types of whiplash-associated disorders.
To further aid those who suffer minor injuries in automobile collisions, the provincial government decided to look at the possibility of introducing diagnostic and treatment protocols for minor injuries as part of its independent review of automobile insurance. The independent automobile insurance review recommended adopting diagnostic and treatment protocols for minor injuries, based on Alberta's model, which has been in place since 2004 and is working well.
The introduction of diagnostic treatment protocols for minor injuries will mean Nova Scotians who are injured in an automobile collision have direct access to physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment without waiting for approval from an insurer or a physician’s referral.
This reform is patient-focused and delivers better care sooner in order to promote healthier outcomes for automobile accident victims. Diagnostic and treatment protocols will promote consistency and quality of care for minor injuries.
Automobile Accident Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulations
Fees under the Automobile Accident Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulations
Direct Compensation for Property Damage
Direct compensation for property damage (DCPD) allows insured drivers to be compensated by their own insurer for property damages resulting from an automobile collision caused by another party. Working with their own insurer allows drivers involved in an automobile collisions to complete the claims process more efficiently and get appropriate compensation quickly.
This system is in place and works well in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec. Nova Scotia’s new DCPD system will be based on New Brunswick's model.
Introducing DCPD will not change a consumer's right to sue for other damages. Those rights are maintained under the tort system.
Automobile Insurance Fault Determination Regulations
Limited Liability and New Priority of Pay Rules for Rental Companies
The liability of rental and leasing companies for a collision caused by the driver of a rental vehicle will be limited to damages of up to $1 million. Damages above $1 million will be the responsibility of the individual at fault.
This reform applies to rental companies and leasing companies that do not offer the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease.
Under new priority of pay rules, insurance held by the person renting or leasing the vehicle will respond first, followed by that of the driver (if the driver is not the same person who rented the vehicle), followed by the rental or leasing company's insurance, up to a value of $1 million.
Non-Owned Automobile Insurance Liability Regulations