Auto Insurance in Newfoundland
In Newfoundland and Labrador, auto insurance is available from a wide array of private companies who compete with one another to allow consumers to shop around for a better rate. Newfoundland insurance rates fall among the lower rates in Canada, with the average driver paying $729 per year.
Auto insurance reform in the province in 2004 helped to bring rates down for drivers by mandating a $2500 deductible on pain and suffering payments, along with other changes.
Newfoundland Car Insurance Laws
As in all provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador drivers must carry a legally determined minimum insurance coverage in order to be on the road. These minimum limits ensure that all drivers are financially responsible in the event of an at-fault accident. The current limits for auto insurance in Newfoundland are:
- $200,000 in liability coverage per accident
- Uninsured and unidentified motorist coverage
Newfoundland does not require drivers to carry Accident Benefits coverage, but most drivers choose to purchase this coverage, which includes medical payments, disability coverage, and death benefits coverage. Many Newfoundland drivers also choose to increase their liability coverage to limit financial exposure and risk.
Other optional coverage can also be purchased, including comprehensive and collision coverage to protect your vehicle in an at-fault accident or a non-accident scenario such as theft.
Auto Insurance Rating in Newfoundland
Newfoundland’s private insurance companies determine the rate for each driver based on a combination of factors. Among the top factors that go into determining your rate are your driving record including tickets or at-fault accidents, the value of the car you drive as well as the make and model, and your driving habits including the length of your daily commute.
The 2004 auto insurance reform prevents auto insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing rates solely on the basis of any of these factors:
- Age and gender
- Age of the vehicle
- Accidents in which you were not at fault
- Lapses in insurance except when tied to a license suspension for a violation of traffic laws
- Previously being refused insurance by another company
- Being insured with Facility Association
Accident Fault and Claims in Newfoundland
In Newfoundland, the adjusters for the insurance companies involved in the claim will determine who is at fault. Each insurance company uses its own guidelines to come up with a fault determination.
Newfoundland is unusual in Canada in that it has no type of no-fault benefits. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for paying out on damages to the other driver’s vehicle as well as for injuries. Accident benefits are not a mandatory coverage in Newfoundland, but are available to drivers who choose to add them to their insurance policy.
The handling of claims is governed by insurance regulations; the 2004 reforms helped to reduce the cost of lawsuits, but drivers can still be sued for pain and suffering.
Laws Affecting Drivers in Newfoundland
Newfoundland drivers must follow all of the rules of the road while behind the wheel, including the law requiring mandatory auto insurance. Drivers must prepare to present proof of insurance to law enforcement when pulled over or involved in an accident.
Drivers are required to stop when involved in an accident. A police report must be made if there are injuries or if the damage appears to be in excess of $1000.
Tickets in Newfoundland can affect your auto insurance rates. While insurance companies can each determine what tickets they will charge for and how much the rate increase will be, as a general rule major violations will be more costly than minor ones.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Newfoundland
Online quoting services can help Newfoundland drivers to get multiple quotes from the more than 50 companies offering coverage in the province. Quotes and policies can also be obtained through brokers and agents, or by contacting the insurance company directly.
Insurance companies can determine their own rates for each driver, although they must do so in accordance with the insurance legislation put in place by the government to protect drivers.
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