Auto insurance deal announced

I suspect that for some folks, nothing the government does short of socializing insurance will be acceptable.

But for me, this deal looks like a good start.

A deal has been reached between the insurance industry and the provincial government that will see premiums drop by an average of 13.5 per cent by March 1, 2007. The reduction in premiums will result in savings of over $50 million for New Brunswick automobile insurance consumers.

As promised in the Charter for Change, gender has been eliminated as a rating criterion in 2007, and existing territories will be eliminated by 2008.

For those of you cynics, this in my opinion was the best deal for the Liberals. The Tory reforms had already started to show some effect. Yes, they are not perfect but given the situation I think gettting another 13.5% cut makes sense.

But ultimately, rates should be based on market risk and conditions and the PUB is the right venue to ensure this happens.

Remember back to the start of the crisis, the insurance industry premium increases were approved by the board because when the board saw the raw data, the increases made sense. What was needed was a structural redesign of the system and that has been done.

Let’s get on with much bigger issues such as having people in New Brunswick at all to actually drive cars that will need insurance in the first place.

I have it on good authority that Graham has been actively promoting NB to the finance and insurance sector just since he has been elected. Hopefully the goodwill has carried over and the province could attract at least a small fraction of all the business going to Nova Scotia these days.

If you want to post comments about Graham ‘backing down’ or want to dredge up comments he made in the past – you are welcome to. But my position on this stuff is getting clearer as the days go by. Sometimes it takes a bigger man to admit changing his opinion than forcing through a bad idea because you are too stubborn to change. George Bush won’t admit he was wrong for that very reason. If I was advising GWB, I would tell him to do a mea culpa. To admit things went very badly in Iraq and that he wants to start over.

But he won’t change his ‘opinion’.