Skip to Main Content
Nova Scotia Auto Insurance Facts Hero image

Nova Scotia Auto Insurance Facts

It’s time for an auto insurance system that makes sense

Drivers in Nova Scotia deserve better auto insurance

You wouldn't buy a paddle for a hockey game – so why are you paying for auto insurance options you don't need?

Auto insurance shouldn't be one size fits all, but it's treated that way in Nova Scotia. At one point in time, this may have made the best sense, but in 2022, this means some drivers are paying too much.

Nova Scotia's auto insurance system is not working for the province's 600,000 drivers. In these challenging economic times, Nova Scotians need affordable auto insurance that is tailored to their individual circumstances. Drivers are best served by a competitive insurance industry that is responsive to them, and what they need.

Auto insurance rates in Nova Scotia are unsustainable. After years of claims costs spiraling out of control, some insurers have been forced to file with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to charge more for auto insurance, although the increases are not enough to keep pace with increases in claims costs. If the insurance system does not improve, premiums may be further driven upward by rising claims costs within the province.

To help reduce costs, and stabilize premiums, drivers should be able to tailor their policy to fit their individual circumstances. For example, every auto insurance policy in Nova Scotia includes income replacement coverage that replaces part of the driver's wages if they are injured in a collision and are unable to work. However, many drivers already have this coverage through workplace benefits. Drivers who don't feel that they need additional income replacement should be able to opt out of this coverage to reduce their premium.

At the same time, drivers should have the option to purchase higher limits if they want them. For example, every auto insurance policy includes up to $50,000 for standard medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, unlike in many other jurisdictions, drivers do not have the option to purchase higher medical coverage limits if they want them. Drivers should have the option to tailor their coverages to fit their individual circumstances, whether that means less or more coverage.

It's time to fix the auto insurance system so that drivers can get the insurance coverage that's right for them with more affordable premiums.

We’ve proposed a package of solutions to the provincial government that can help stabilize rates and offer drivers more choice.

We can fix Nova Scotia's auto insurance system

The best insurance systems around the world place a greater emphasis on providing medical care and benefits after a collision, and less of an emphasis on cash-based settlements that do little to help the driver get better. The current system in Nova Scotia too often focuses on cash-based settlements that result in administrative and legal back logs, instead of providing the necessary medical care to help those injured in collisions recover.

What we’re proposing

We are proposing that after a collision, accident victims are eligible for roughly twice as much medical treatment – pre-approved, no questions asked – than they are today. We're also proposing an expansion in the types of medical care available after a collision compared to what's available today. Updating Nova Scotia's auto insurance legislation and regulation will help stabilize premiums and ultimately make auto insurance more affordable. It will give Nova Scotians more and better options for care if they've been injured in a collision.

The auto insurance that Nova Scotians purchase is prescribed by the Insurance Act and its supporting regulations, which needs to change in order to improve the auto insurance product. These are the changes needed to help stabilize insurance rates and ensure that those injured in a collision receive proper care:

  • Flexibility: Drivers should be able to tailor their policy with the option to purchase more coverage if they wish or decline coverages that they don't need.

  • More choice: Drivers should be able to opt out of coverage they already have through their employee health insurance plan.

  • Stronger focus on providing medical care and treatment: The current insurance system is too focused on cash-based settlements for people injured in a collision. And sometimes, this takes a long time to settle. Instead, it must focus on providing greater access to medical treatment needed to recover from injuries, including mental health supports following a collision – paid directly by the insurer.

It's time for an auto insurance system that makes sense

Our recommendations for Nova Scotia's auto insurance system are designed to reduce red tape, increase medical care, expand policy options for drivers and stabilize costs.

In December, 2022, the Nova Scotia government released its discussion paper on the "Proposed Changes to the Nova Scotia Auto Insurance Product." The insurance industry is committed to working with the government to modernize and improve the insurance system. We're ready to speak on behalf of consumers to ensure insurance is affordable, and that it provides more choice and better care for consumers when they need it.

FairNS Fact Check

Understanding the Nova Scotia government’s proposed auto insurance changes

There’s a lot of misinformation going around about the proposed auto insurance changes in Nova Scotia. We know it’s important for you to understand how your premiums are calculated and what the government’s auto insurance review will mean for you and your family. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the  property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry are committed to presenting full and transparent information about how auto insurance works and is priced, and about the proposals to improve the product for drivers. Here are some facts to clear up any myths you may have heard.