Auto Insurance in New Brunswick
Drivers in New Brunswick can choose to purchase their auto insurance through a wide variety of private insurance companies. Thanks to 2003 and 2005 auto insurance reform, New Brunswick drivers enjoy the third lowest rates in Canada, averaging $728 per year. The reform also ensures that new drivers have access to lower rates as well, thanks to the First Chance discount, which keeps new driver rates low as long as the driver keeps a clean record.
More than 65 insurance companies offer auto policies to New Brunswick drivers, each offering different rates to allow comparison shopping.
New Brunswick Car Insurance Laws
All drivers in New Brunswick are required by law to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. This coverage ensures that drivers are financially responsible in the event of an accident, and includes accident benefits for those who are injured. The legal requirements are:
- $200,000 of liability coverage for any single accident
- $50,000 in medical coverage per person
- Accident benefits including disability coverage, funeral expense benefits, and death benefits for injured parties and families of those fatally injured.
In addition to the required coverage, New Brunswick drivers can choose to increase their policy limits and to add optional coverage. The most common options are comprehensive and collision coverage to cover damage to the insured person’s car in the event of an at-fault accident or non-accident claim such as theft. Most Nova Scotia drivers choose to increase their coverage to higher liability limits and to add protection in the form of comprehensive and collision coverage.
Insurance Rating in New Brunswick
Insurance rates for drivers in New Brunswick are determined through a combination of information regarding the driver, driving habits, and the vehicle itself. New Brunswick insurance companies are permitted to use your driving record, the value of your vehicle as well as its make and model, information about where you live and how far you commute, and similar factors to determine rates.
As of the 2003 reforms to insurance in the province, however, insurance companies cannot deny you insurance coverage based on the following, nor can they inflate your rates as a result:
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Accidents for which you were not found to be at fault
- Insurance lapses of less than two years, unless related to a license suspension
- The age of your car
- Previous history of insurance through a high-risk insurer
Accident Fault and Claims in New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, a no-fault system of insurance is applied to property damage claims. This means that no matter who is at fault in an accident, your own insurance company will pay for the repairs to your vehicle. Liability coverage for the at-fault driver will pay accident benefits including medical bills and loss of income.
Fault is determined in an accident in accordance with the New Brunswick Fault Determination Rules as set out in the Insurance Act. These rules give insurance companies a single basis to work from when deciding who was at fault in an accident, preventing bias from entering the picture.
Laws Affecting Drivers in New Brunswick
The most important law regarding driving and insurance is that you must carry the legal minimum and you must carry proof of that insurance. When pulled over by law enforcement officials, New Brunswick drivers are required to present proof of insurance, or they may face legal consequences if they fail to do so.
All drivers in New Brunswick must obey the rules of the road at all times. Drivers must stop for law enforcement and must stop when they have been involved in an accident. If the accident involves injuries or fatalities, or there is more than minor property damage involved.
Insurance companies in New Brunswick can legally charge a driver for a traffic violation on their insurance policy, depending on the type of violation.
Shopping for Car Insurance in New Brunswick
Drivers in New Brunswick can shop around and compare rates from dozens of insurance companies to get the best price as well as the best coverage. Online quote comparison services are available (such as InsuranceHotline).
New Brunswick drivers can also request quotes directly from insurance companies or through a variety of agents and brokers.
High-risk drivers who are not able to qualify for coverage elsewhere can obtain insurance through Facility Association, which is designed to make sure even high-risk drivers are covered.
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