Role of Consumers
Compare - Consult - Choose
You're in the driver's seat. You have more choices and more options than ever before. Reforms have created an environment that encourages competition. As a consumer, you need to shop for your insurance products on a regular basis.
- Informed consumers help to keep rates competitive.
- Consumers need to consult with their insurance provider to ensure they are getting the coverage they need.
- Competition means better service from your broker / agent / direct provider.
- Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) coverage cost is based on your choice of vehicle purchased.
- First Chance discount is based on your good driving choices as a new driver and your choice to take driver education.
- If you have unresolved issues, questions or difficult situations, you can contact the Office of the Consumer Advocate for Insurance at 1-888-283-5111 for assistance with individual cases.
First Chance Discount
New drivers, primarily young people, were paying very high premiums, prior to the 2004 insurance reforms, causing hardship for new drivers in rural areas seeking summer employment and for new drivers with jobs that required travel. Some of the benefits of the First Chance discount are:
- Give all new drivers credit for three years of driving experience, increasing to six years if new driver has successfully completed driver education.
- Results in significantly lower premiums for new drivers with clean records.
- Based on having and maintaining a clean driving record and demonstrating safe driving habits.
- Available to new drivers with their own policies and to parents with children listed as occasional drivers.
What Factors Affect My Auto Insurance Premium?
In New Brunswick, automobile insurance rates are based on several factors which include:
Number of years licensed – the longer a driver is licensed normally means a lower possibility of having an accident. For newly licensed drivers, see details on First Chance Discount now available in New Brunswick.
Territory – every area of New Brunswick has different claims experience due to variations in local conditions including weather, road conditions, mix of vehicles on the roads and driver history. The number of territories was increased in 2007 from 4 to 11 in order to provide New Brunswick drivers with more accurate pricing based on territory. (See Territories tab for details)
Accidents - Having an at fault accident on your driving record can impact your rates for a number of years
Payment History - missed payments and lapsed policies due to non-payment can impact your rates
Discounts - Most insurance companies offer automobile insurance discounts, though they may vary from company to company. A few examples of possible discounts are:
- If a policyholder has more than one vehicle insured with the same company.
- If a policyholder has both their automobile policy and their property policy insured with the same company.
- If a driver has an anti-theft device installed in a vehicle.
- If you are claims free for a number of years.
- If an occasional driver is living away from home while at school.
- If a driver owns a hybrid vehicle.
Driving Convictions - Driving convictions can increase the cost of a driver’s insurance premium; the better the driving record, the lower the premium. Driving convictions are categorized as minor, major or Criminal Code. The applicable premium surcharge is dependent on the number and type of conviction(s). Rating programs consider minor and major convictions within the past three years and Criminal Code convictions within the past three or four years.
Lapse in Insurance Coverage - Lapses in insurance coverage greater than a period of 2 years may affect premium.
License Suspension - A driver’s license suspension may affect premium, depending on the duration of the suspension(s).
Limits of Coverage - Higher third party liability limits usually result in an increase in premium. The additional premium to increase the minimum $200,000 limit is relatively modest as most claims are within that limit. A large majority of New Brunswick drivers are insured for at least $1,000,000.
The deductibles that apply to collision, comprehensive and specified perils coverage represent the amount of a loss for which the policyholder is responsible before the insurance policy responds. A higher deductible can reduce premium.
Occasional Operators - Where an inexperienced driver is insured on a vehicle, an additional premium may be applicable for third party liability and collision coverage.
Type of Vehicle - The make, model and year of vehicle do affect a person’s insurance premium. A classification system ranks vehicles by their claims experience; therefore, the better the claims experience for the particular model, the lower the premium.
Use of Vehicle - The use of a vehicle has an effect on insurance premiums (e.g. pleasure only, commuting to and from work, business use).