Public auto insurance

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Public auto insurance is a government owned and operated system of automobile insurance operated in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

According to studies by the Consumers' Association of Canada, rates charged for auto insurance in these four provinces are lower than in provinces that use a private auto insurance system.[1] A study completed by the Fraser Institute released in 2011 concluded that the highest auto insurance rates in Canada were paid in Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, of which the last three are operating with public insurance coverage.[2] In Quebec public auto insurance is limited to coverage of personal injuries while damage to property is covered by private insurers.[3] Saskatchewan has the oldest public auto insurance system with Saskatchewan Government Insurance being founded in 1945. Manitoba Public Insurance was created in 1971 followed by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in 1973 and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec in 1977.

Other provinces have considered introducing a public auto insurance system. The Ontario New Democratic Party won the 1990 provincial election on a platform that included public auto insurance. After assuming office, Premier Bob Rae appointed Peter Kormos, one of the most vocal proponents of public insurance, as the minister responsible for bringing forward the policy.[4] With the onset of the recession, however, both business and labour groups expressed concern about layoffs and lost revenues.[5] The government dropped the policy in 1991, which was one reason for its loss of power in 1995.[citation needed]

Public auto insurance has also been considered in New Brunswick after private insurance rates nearly doubled from 2003 to 2005 but was ultimately rejected by the provincial government.[6] It was also an issue in Nova Scotia during its 2003 provincial election and remained in the platform of the official opposition, the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party during the 2006 election campaign.[7] However, it did not appear in the NDP platform in the 2009 campaign, and during the NDP's majority government, they didn't introduce a public insurance scheme. Public auto insurance was also under consideration by the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative government of Danny Williams in 2004 as a "last resort" when private insurance firms threatened to pull out of the province in response to legislation rolling back premiums.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Consumers' Association of Canada, "Consumers' Association National Study On Auto Insurance Rates Confirms Toronto Consumers Pay The Highest Rates In Canada", September 10, 2003
  2. ^ Fraser Institute, "The Personal Cost and Affordability of Auto Insurance in Canada: 2011 Edition", April 12, 2014
  3. ^ Insurance Bureau of Canada, "Car Insurance-Quebec", accessed March 8, 2008
  4. ^ Derek Ferguson, "Minister says he'll propose public system", Toronto Star, 2 October 1990, A9.
  5. ^ James Daw, "Auto plan could cost $1.6 billion firms say", Toronto Star, 7 February 1991, C1; James Rusk, "Car insurance study gets attention", Globe and Mail, 4 April 1991, B6.
  6. ^ - Auto Insurance Reform: New Brunswick
  7. ^ "Nova Scotia auto insurance". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Even Newfoundland is looking at public auto insurance", NUPGE, June 6, 2004