ING (Canada) Supports New Brunswick Auto Reforms

April 7, 2004

ING Insurance, the leading automobile insurer in the Canadian Province of New Brunswick, indcated that drivers there could reap more substantive savings than those offered by the Select Committee on Public Automobile Insurance if private insurers were to continue offering basic insurance coverage and if the governments of the Atlantic provinces were to harmonize their insurance regimes.

According to Dennis R. Furlong, President of the Atlantic Division of ING Insurance, “the report of the Select Committee on Public Automobile Insurance confirms our contention that the main issue resides in the nature of the insurance product and the protection offered to consumers, not who is offering it.”

The Select Committee proposed in its report the adoption of a no-fault regime and the elimination of compensation for pain and suffering. “Essentially, the Select Committee found that there may be benefits to offer a different product than the one currently mandated by the Government”, Furlong continued. “However, most of the benefits stem from the Committee’s proposal to adopt a no fault plan as well as the elimination and/or capping of benefits, not from the establishment of a Government monopoly.”

He expressed confidence that ING and the industry could offer additional savings to the residents of the province if the government were to mandate the industry to offer the recently proposed no-frills insurance policy. Furlong noted that the only reason for the government to contemplate a direct involvement in the delivery of insurance products would be the inability of the current system to provide consumers with an affordable protection.

He stressed that “Recent reforms adopted by the Legislative Assembly demonstrate clearly that the private sector can meet the Government’s policy objectives and satisfy the public interest.”

According to Furlong, the government should continue to evaluate various options to reduce the cost of automobile insurance in the province including a recent proposal for a no-frills automobile insurance product. He also encouraged the government to promote the harmonization of the auto insurance regime in the Atlantic Provinces.

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