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Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Status of Legislation - First Reading Bill
An Act to Amend the Insurance Act
 
Legislature :
55
Session :
1
Bill No. :
78
Member :
Hon. Mr. Green, Q.C.
First Reading :
2004-6-29
Second Reading :
2004-6-29
Committee of the Whole :
2004-6-30
Amended :
Third Reading :
2004-6-30
Royal Assent :
2004-6-30
Download PDF :
  Bill 78         
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Text of Bill :
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:



1                              Section 1 of the Insurance Act, chapter I-12 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended



(a)               by adding the following definition in alphabetical order:



"Board" means the New Brunswick Insurance Board established under section 19.2;



(b)               by repealing the definition "Minister" and substituting the following:



"Minister" means the Minister responsible for the administration of this Act;



2                           The Act is amended by adding after section 19 the following:



PART I.1

NEW BRUNSWICK INSURANCE BOARD

Definitions

19.1                  In this Part,



"electronic hearing" means a hearing held by telephone conference or some other form of electronic technology allowing persons to hear one another;



"fiscal year" means the period commencing on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 the next year;



"oral hearing" means a hearing at which the parties or their counsel or agents attend before the Board in person;



"written hearing" means a hearing held by exchanging documents, whether in written form or electronically.



Establishment of Board

19.2                  The New Brunswick Insurance Board is established consisting of such number of members as may be appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, one of whom shall be appointed Chairperson and another who shall be appointed Vice-chairperson.



Terms of office and revocation of appointments

19.21(1)       The term of office of the Chairperson shall not exceed ten years, and may not be renewed, and the term of office of any other member shall not exceed three years and may be renewed.



19.21(2)       The appointment of the Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson and the other members of the Board may be revoked by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for cause.



Remuneration and expenses

19.22               The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may determine the remuneration to be paid to the Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson and the other members of the Board and may fix the rate for reimbursement of expenses incurred by them while acting on behalf of the Board.



Oath of office

19.23(1)       The Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson and the other members of the Board, before commencing their duties, shall take the following oath or affirmation before a person authorized to administer it:



I , _______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully, truly and impartially, to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, fulfill and perform the duties that devolve upon me under the Insurance Act by reason of my duties as ___________________________ .



(In the case where an oath is taken add "So help me God".)



19.23(2)       An oath or affirmation taken under subsection (1) shall be filed with the Minister.



Continuation in office

19.24               A person appointed as a member of the Board continues to hold office after the expiry of the member's term until the member is reappointed, the member's successor is appointed or twelve months have elapsed, whichever occurs first.



Chief executive officer

19.25               The Chairperson is the chief executive officer of the Board.



Powers and functions of the Board

19.3(1)          In addition to the powers, functions and duties of the Board prescribed elsewhere in this Act, the Board may investigate or inquire into any matter relating to rates of insurance for other classes or types of insurance as may be prescribed by regulation and shall make recommendations to the Minister as a result of its investigation or inquiry.



19.3(2)          Every member of the Board has the power and privileges of a commissioner under the Inquiries Act and the regulations under that Act.



19.3(3)          The Board may make rules governing its procedures.



19.3(4)          The Board has full jurisdiction to hear and determine all matters, whether of law or fact.



Constitution of the Board: panels

19.31(1)       The Board shall act, for any particular purpose, in any particular situation and at any particular time, as directed from time to time by the Chairperson, in relation to the particular purpose, situation or time, either



(a)               as a full Board, or



(b)               as a panel of the Board consisting of the Chairperson or the Vice-chairperson, as the chairperson of a panel, and two other members of the Board.



19.31(2)       Two or more panels of the Board may be constituted and may act simultaneously.



19.31(3)       A panel of the Board constitutes a quorum of the Board.



19.31(4)       A decision of the majority of the members of a panel is the decision of the panel but if there is no majority, the decision of the chairperson of the panel is the decision of the panel.



19.31(5)       Any decision or order or any act or thing done by a panel of the Board shall be a decision, order or an act or thing done by the Board.



19.32               The Chairperson shall, in his or her discretion, direct that a particular matter required or authorized to be heard, determined or otherwise dealt with by the Board, or any other act or thing required or authorized to be done by the Board, be heard, determined or otherwise dealt with or be done



(a)               by the full Board, or



(b)               by a panel of the Board consisting of the Chairperson or a Vice-chairperson, as the chairperson of a panel, and two other members of the Board.



Orders and decisions of the Board

19.33               Every order or decision of the Board and every appointment made by the Board shall be signed by the Chairperson or the Vice-chairperson, and when purporting to be so signed shall be presumed to have been signed by the person purporting to have signed it, without proof of the signature, authority or appointment of the person purporting to have signed it, and when adduced as evidence in any proceeding, it shall be received and shall constitute, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of its making and of its content.



Policies and rules to be followed by the Board

19.4(1)          The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by regulation establish policies and rules to be observed by the Board in the exercise of any jurisdiction or authority conferred upon it under this Act.



19.4(2)                              Subsection (1) does not authorize any regulation directed specifically to any application, matter or decision pending before the Board.



Powers of inquiry

19.41               The Board, when inquiring into, hearing or determining any matter or thing under this Act



(a)               may determine its own procedure, and may give directions about process and procedure that it considers appropriate in the circumstances, including a direction for an electronic hearing, a written hearing, an oral hearing or a pre-hearing conference,



(b)               may request from anyone, and require anyone to gather, evidence or studies relevant and incidental to the matters over which it has jurisdiction under this Act,



(c)                is not required to hold an oral hearing unless it considers it necessary to do so in order to act in a procedurally fair manner,



(d)               shall ensure procedural fairness to all affected persons,



(e)                is not bound by any common law rule of evidence except that the evidence it considers shall be relevant, material and trustworthy as it determines, and



(f)                may make orders allowing evidence to be taken outside the Province and used in its proceedings.



Authority of Board to contract

19.5(1)          The Board may enter into leases, licences, agreements and contracts for provision to the Board of services, accommodations and other matters necessary for the functioning of the Board and may sue and be sued with respect to enforcement of the same.



19.5(2)                              Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing any action, suit or other legal proceeding against the Board for or arising out of any order, decision or direction given or made by the Board exercising the power or jurisdiction of the Board under this Act.



Authority of Board to appoint

19.51(1)       The Board may appoint a secretary and an assistant secretary who shall be employees of the Board.



19.51(2)       The Board may engage the services of persons having special, technical or other knowledge for the purpose of assisting the Board.



Privilege of Board members and employees

19.6(1)          The Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, members and employees of the Board are not personally liable for anything done



(a)               by the Board, or



(b)               while acting under the authority of this Act,



if the thing done was done in good faith and without negligence.



19.6(2)          The Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson, a member or an employee of the Board shall not, in any proceeding to which the Board is not a party, be required to give evidence with regard to information obtained in the discharge of their official duties.



Confidentiality

19.61                              Where information concerning the costs of an insurer, or other information that is by its nature confidential, is obtained from an insurer by the Board in the course of any investigation under this Act, or is made the subject of inquiry by any party to any proceeding held under the provisions of this Act, such information shall not be published or revealed in such a manner as to be available for the use of any person unless in the opinion of the Board such publication or revelation is necessary in the public interest.



Information to be provided to Board

19.7(1)          An insurer to whom the Board makes a request for documents or information of any kind shall furnish the required information to the Board.



19.7(2)          The Minister and any other minister, Service New Brunswick, a Crown corporation or other agency of the Province shall furnish the Board with such certificates and certified copies of documents as the Board may in writing require, without charge, and the Board may at any time search in the public records of Service New Brunswick without charge.



Notice of hearings

19.71(1)       The Board shall, unless it orders otherwise, give notice of a hearing with respect to rates charged or proposed to be charged by an insurer who carries on the business of automobile insurance in the Province by advertisement for a period of not less than twenty days in one or more newspapers published in the Province.



19.71(2)       The Board shall notify the Superintendent, the Attorney General of the Province and the Consumer Advocate for Insurance for New Brunswick of a hearing.



Appeals

19.8(1)          A person who is a party to a hearing, or who is authorized to appear before the Board at a hearing, may appeal an order or decision of the Board to The Court of Appeal of New Brunswick.



19.8(2)          A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after the issuance of the order or decision and shall contain the names of the parties and the date of the order or decision appealed from.



19.8(3)          A copy of the notice of appeal shall be served upon the other parties and any person who was authorized to appear before the Board within ten days after the filing of the notice of appeal with The Court of Appeal of New Brunswick.



19.8(4)          The Court of Appeal of New Brunswick may confirm, modify, vary or reverse the order or decision of the Board.



Assessment of expenses

19.81(1)       The annual expenses of the Board incurred or to be incurred by it under sections 121.3 and 267.2 to 267.9 that, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, include the salaries and travelling expenses of the members and secretary and Board employees, the payment of stenographers, experts and witnesses, office rent, unforeseen and contingent expenses, and all other expenses of the Board for the then current year ending on the thirty-first day of March next ensuing, together with any sum necessary to make up any arrears or deficiency in the assessment for the preceding year, or the collection of the assessment, shall be borne by insurers who carry on the business of automobile insurance in the Province.



19.81(2)       The Board shall determine the amount to be assessed having regard to the amount required for the previous year, but for the first year of operation, shall have regard to the expenses required for the previous year by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities in respect of its former responsibilities under this Act.



19.81(3)       The Board shall, before the commencement of the fiscal year in respect of which the annual expenses are determined, assess each insurer who carries on the business of automobile insurance in the Province with its share of the annual expenses, which shall be determined according to the proportion that each insurer's net receipts bears to the total net receipts of all insurers who carry on the business of automobile insurance in the Province and the secretary shall notify each insurer by registered post of the amount so assessed upon it.



19.81(4)       The amount so assessed shall be paid to the Board within forty-five days after the posting of such notice, and in default of payment, the Board may transmit to a clerk of The Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick a certificate stating that the assessment was made, the amount remaining unpaid on the account and the person by whom the amount was payable, and such certificate or a copy of it, certified by the Chairperson of the Board to be a true copy of the certificate, may be filed with The Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick and when so filed and sealed with the seal of such court shall become an order of that court upon which judgment may be entered against such person for the amount mentioned in the certificate, together with the fees of the clerk or agent allowable in the case of a default judgment and such judgment may be enforced by execution or otherwise as any other judgment of the court.



19.81(5)       The Superintendent shall forward to the Board information requested by the Board for the purpose of making the assessment under this section.



Report of the Board

19.9(1)          The Board shall make and submit to the Minister by the first of March in each year an annual report on the operation of the Board under this Act for the preceding calendar year.



19.9(2)          The Minister shall lay the report before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session, or if not, then at the next ensuing session.



Transitional provisions

19.91               Any decision or order of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities under this Act that is valid and of full force and effect immediately before the commencement of this section continues to be valid and of full force and effect and shall be deemed to be the decision or order of the New Brunswick Insurance Board.



19.92               After the commencement of this section, any proceeding, hearing, matter or thing commenced by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities that would be dealt with by the New Brunswick Insurance Board, if commenced after the commencement of this section, may be dealt with and completed by the New Brunswick Insurance Board.



19.93               The documentation, information, records and files pertaining to any proceeding, hearing, matter or thing dealt with and completed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities under this Act becomes the documentation, information, records and files of the New Brunswick Insurance Board on the commencement of this section.



19.94(1)                              Notwithstanding sections 19.91 and 19.92, the Chairperson of the New Brunswick Insurance Board may authorize the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities to deal with and complete any proceeding, hearing, matter or thing commenced by that Board before the commencement of this section.



19.94(2)       Any proceeding, hearing, matter or thing dealt with and completed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities under subsection (1) shall be dealt with and completed in accordance with the law as it existed immediately before the commencement of this section and as if that Board had not been replaced with respect to its responsibilities under this Act by the New Brunswick Insurance Board.



19.94(3)       Any decision or order of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities made in accordance with subsection (1) shall be deemed to be a decision or order of the New Brunswick Insurance Board.



Regulations

19.95               The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations



(a)                      respecting the eligibility of a person to be or remain a member of the Board;



(b)                      prescribing classes or types of insurance for the purposes of subsection 19.3(1).



3                              Section 24 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (3)



(i)         by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (b) and substituting a semicolon;



(ii)       by adding after paragraph (b) the following:



(c)                      where the licensed insurer offers the standard owner's policy approved under subsection 226(6), the insurer shall also offer the no frills policy approved under subsection 226(6.2).



(b)               in subsection (4) of the English version by striking out "either of the conditions of licence" and substituting "any of the conditions of licence".



4                              Subsection 93(1) of the Act is amended by striking out "fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars" and substituting "five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars".



5                              Subsection 94(8) of the Act is amended by striking out "Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities" and substituting "Board".



6                              Section 120.1 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (4) by striking out "one hundred and eighty days" and substituting "twelve months";



(b)                      in subsection (7)



(i)         in the portion preceding paragraph (a) by striking out "the Superintendent" and substituting "the Lieutenant-Governor in Council";



(ii)       by repealing paragraph (b) and substituting the following:



(b)                      prohibit the insurer from withdrawing from the business of automobile insurance until a date specified by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council that is not later than six months after the date specified in the notice under subsection (4).



7                              Section 120.2 of the Act is amended by striking out "one hundred thousand dollars" and substituting "one million dollars".



8                              Section 121.3 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (1) by striking out "Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities" and substituting "Board";



(b)                      by repealing subsection (2) and substituting the following:



121.3(2)       The Board may, if not satisfied that the rates proposed are just and reasonable, by order fix such other rates as it finds to be just and reasonable.



(c)               by repealing subsection (2.1) and substituting the following:



121.3(2.1)                              Where the Facility Association wishes to make a change in the rates approved under this section, it shall make an application to the Board for approval of the change in the rates and the Board, if not satisfied that the rates proposed are just and reasonable, may by order fix such other rates as it finds to be just and reasonable.



(d)               by adding after subsection (2.1) the following:



121.3(2.11)                              In an application regarding rates, the burden of proof is on the applicant.



(e)               in subsection (2.2) by striking out "Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities" and substituting "Board";



(f)                by repealing subsection (4) and substituting the following:



121.3(4)       The Board may at any time investigate the rates charged for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association, and notwithstanding approval of those rates, may order the Facility Association to make any changes the Board considers proper.



(g)               by repealing subsection (5) and substituting the following:



121.3(5)       The Facility Association shall not, and a member of the Facility Association shall not, charge any rates for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association that have not been approved by the Board in accordance with this section.



(h)               by repealing subsection (5.2) and substituting the following:



121.3(5.2)                              Sections 267.8 and 267.9 and the regulations under section 267.9 apply with the necessary modifications to the Facility Association and to any filing under this section.



(i)                by repealing subsection (6).



9                              Section 121.31 of the Act is repealed.



10                        The Act is amended by adding after section 121.9 the following:



121.91(1)    In this section



"risk sharing pool" means an arrangement under which some or all automobile insurers share, in whole or in part, specified risks.



121.91(2)    The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations



(a)                      establishing, or requiring some or all automobile insurers to establish, one or more risk sharing pools;



(b)                      requiring some or all automobile insurers to participate in one or more risk sharing pools;



(c)                      respecting the management and operation of risk sharing pools, including risk sharing pools established voluntarily by automobile insurers.



11                              Section 226 of the Act is amended



(a)               by adding after subsection (6.1) the following:



226(6.2)       The Superintendent may approve a form of owner's policy containing insuring agreements and provisions in conformity with this Part for use by insurers in general, and that, for the purposes of section 228 shall be the "no frills policy".



226(6.3)       The Superintendent may amend the form of no frills policy approved under subsection (6.2).



(b)               by repealing subsection (7) and substituting the following:



226(7)                              Where the Superintendent approves or amends a form referred to in subsection (6) or (6.2), the Superintendent shall cause a copy of the form or the amendment to be published in The Royal Gazette, but it shall not be necessary for the Superintendent to publish in The Royal Gazette endorsement forms approved for use with the standard owner's policy or the no frills policy.



12                              Section 228 of the Act is amended



(a)               by repealing subsection (5) and substituting the following:



228(5)                              Where an insurer adopts the standard owner's policy or the no frills policy, it may, instead of issuing the policy, issue a certificate in a form approved by the Superintendent that when issued shall be of the same force and effect as if it was in fact the standard owner's policy or the no frills policy, subject to the limits and coverages shown on the certificate and any endorsements issued concurrently or subsequently, but at the request of an insured at any time, the insurer shall provide a copy of the standard owner's policy wording or the no frills policy wording as approved by the Superintendent.



(b)               by repealing subsection (7) and substituting the following:



228(7)                              Where an insurer issues a certificate under the provisions of subsection (5), proof of the terms of the policy may be given by production of a copy of The Royal Gazette containing the form of standard owner's policy or no frills policy approved by the Superintendent.



(c)               by repealing subsection (8) and substituting the following:



228(8)                              Prima facie proof of the contents of the standard owner's policy or no frills policy may be given by the production of what purports to be an insurer's owner's policy or no frills policy and proof of the contents of the standard owner's policy or no frills policy may be given by the production of a copy of the policy and a certificate purporting to be under the hand of the Superintendent that the copy is the standard owner's policy or no frills policy approved pursuant to subsection 226(6) or (6.2) of the Insurance Act which copy and certificate shall be admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official position of the Superintendent.

13                        The Act is amended by adding after section 254 the following:



DIRECT COMPENSATION - PROPERTY DAMAGE

254.1(1)       This section applies if



(a)               an automobile or its contents, or both, suffers damage arising directly or indirectly from the use or operation in New Brunswick of one or more other automobiles,



(b)               the automobile that suffers the damage or in respect of which the contents suffer damage is insured under a contract evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy issued by an insurer that is licensed to undertake automobile insurance in New Brunswick or that has filed with the Superintendent, in the form provided by the Superintendent, an undertaking to be bound by this section, and



(c)                at least one other automobile involved in the accident is insured under a contract evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy issued by an insurer that is licensed to undertake automobile insurance in New Brunswick or that has filed with the Superintendent, in the form provided by the Superintendent, an undertaking to be bound by this section.



254.1(2)       This section applies, with necessary modifications, in respect of an automobile the owner, operator or lessee of which is exempt from the requirement to be insured under the Motor Vehicle Act, if the organization that is financially responsible for the damages resulting from the accident involving the automobile files with the Superintendent an undertaking to be bound by this section.



254.1(3)       If this section applies, an insured is entitled to recover for the damages to the insured's automobile and its contents and for loss of use from the insured's insurer under the coverage described in subsection 232(1) as though the insured were a third party.



254.1(4)                               Recovery under subsection (3) shall be based on the degree of fault of the insurer's insured as determined under the fault determination rules prescribed by regulation under paragraph 254.2(a).



254.1(5)       An insured may bring an action against the insurer if the insured is not satisfied that the degree of fault established under the fault determination rules accurately reflects the actual degree of fault or the insured is not satisfied with a proposed settlement and the matters in issue shall be determined in accordance with the ordinary rules of law.



254.1(6)       If this section applies,



(a)               an insured has no right of action against any person involved in the incident other than the insured's insurer for damages to the insured's automobile or its contents or for loss of use,



(b)               an insured has no right of action against a person under an agreement, other than a contract of automobile insurance, in respect of damages to the insured's automobile or its contents or loss of use, except to the extent that the person is at fault or negligent in respect of those damages or that loss, and



(c)                an insurer, except as permitted by regulation, has no right of indemnification from or subrogation against any person for payments made to its insured under this section.



254.1(7)                              Nothing in this Part precludes an insurer, in a contract belonging to a class prescribed by regulation, from agreeing with an insured that, in the event that a claim is made by the insured under this section, the insurer shall pay only



(a)               an agreed portion of the amount that the insured would otherwise be entitled to recover, or



(b)               the amount that the insured would otherwise be entitled to recover, reduced by a sum specified in the agreement.



254.1(8)                              Subsection (7) does not apply unless, before the insurer enters into the contract referred to in that subsection, the insurer offers to enter into another contract with the prospective insured that does not contain the agreement referred to in that subsection but is identical to the contract referred to in subsection (7) in all other respects except for the amount of the premium.



254.1(9)       In the circumstances prescribed by regulation, a contract belonging to a class prescribed for the purpose of subsection (7) shall provide that, in the event that a claim is made by the insured under this section, the insurer shall pay only the amount that the insured would otherwise be entitled to recover, reduced by a sum specified in the contract.



254.1(10)                               Subsection (8) does not apply to a contract that contains a provision required by subsection (9).



254.1(11)    If a contract contains an agreement referred to in subsection (7) or a provision required by subsection (9), the policy shall have printed or stamped on its face in conspicuous type the words "This policy contains a partial payment of recovery clause for property damage".



254.1(12)    This section does not affect an insured's right to recover in respect of any physical damage cover in respect of the insured automobile.



254.1(13)    This section does not apply to damage to those contents of an automobile that are being carried for reward.



254.1(14)    This section does not apply if both automobiles are owned by the same person.



254.1(15) This section does not apply to damage to an automobile owned by the insured or to its contents if the damage is caused by the insured while driving another automobile.



254.1(16)    This section does not apply if the damage occurred before the coming into force of this section.



254.2               The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations



(a)                      prescribing rules for determining the degree of fault in various situations for loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the use or operation of an automobile;



(b)                      respecting indemnification and subrogation where section 254.1 applies;



(c)                      prescribing classes of contracts for the purposes of subsection 254.1(7);



(d)                      prescribing the circumstances in which a contract belonging to a class prescribed under paragraph (c) must contain a provision described in subsection 254.1(9);



(e)                      prescribing the amount, or the minimum or maximum amount, of a reduction required by a provision described in paragraph 254.1(7)(b) or subsection 254.1(9).



14                              Section 264 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



264                   Every contract evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy provides



(a)                      insurance described in section 256 against expenses for medical, surgical, dental, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing or funeral services, and



(b)                      accident insurance benefits described in section 257 in respect of death of or injury to an insured person,



as set forth in Subsections 1 and 2 of Section B, Accident Benefits, of the New Brunswick Standard Automobile Policy or the New Brunswick No Frills Automobile Policy approved by the Superintendent under section 226.



15                        The Act is amended by striking out the heading "PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD" preceding section 267.1 and substituting "RATES FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE".



16                              Subsection 267.1(1) of the Act is amended by repealing the definition "Board".



17                              Subsection 267.2(2) of the Act is amended by striking out "sections 267.21 and 267.5" and substituting "section 267.5".



18                              Section 267.21 of the Act is repealed.



19                              Subsection 267.3(1) of the Act is amended by striking out "Except as otherwise provided in section 267.21, no" and substituting "No".



20                              Section 267.5 of the Act is amended



(a)               by repealing subsection (1) and substituting the following:



267.5(1)                              Where at any time the Board considers that the rates charged or proposed to be charged by an insurer may not be just and reasonable, the Board may investigate those rates.



(b)               by adding after subsection (3) the following:



267.5(3.1)                              Where the Board decides to investigate the rates under this section, the burden of proof is upon the insurer to prove that the rates are just and reasonable.



(c)               in subsection (4) by striking out "are excessive, inadequate or discriminatory" and substituting "are not just and reasonable";



(d)               by adding after subsection (4) the following:



267.5(5)                              Where the Board investigates the rates charged or proposed to be charged by an insurer, the Board shall consider the factors prescribed by regulation when determining whether the rates are just and reasonable.



21                              Section 267.7 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (1) by striking out "Subject to subsections (3) and (4), an insurer" and substituting "An insurer";



(b)               in subsection (2) by striking out ", other than subsection 267.21(9),";



(c)               by repealing subsection (3);



(d)               by repealing subsection (4).



22                              Section 267.81 of the Act is repealed.



23                              Section 267.82 of the Act is repealed.



24                              Section 267.83 of the Act is repealed.



25                              Section 267.9 of the Act is amended



(a)               in subsection (1)



(i)         by adding after paragraph (b) the following:



(b.1)                      prescribing rate reductions in the case of recently licensed drivers with good driving records;



(b.2)                      defining "recently licensed driver" and "good driving record";



(ii)       by repealing paragraph (f.1);



(iii)    by adding before paragraph (f.2) the following:



(f.11)                      respecting factors to be considered by the Board when investigating rates;



(iv)      by adding after paragraph (g) the following:



(g.1)                      requiring insurers to file with the Board by a specified date rates that reflect any changes of law that have taken effect or will take effect before the rates are charged;



(g.2)                      specifying the date to be specified by insurers under paragraph 267.2(1.1)(b) when they file rates in accordance with the regulations under paragraph (g.1);



(b)               by adding after subsection (1) the following:



267.9(1.01)                              Paragraph 267.51(1)(a) does not apply where an insurer files rates in accordance with regulations made under paragraph (1)(g.1).



26                              Section 369.5 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:



369.5               A person who violates or fails to comply with an order of the Superintendent made under subsection 369.4(1) commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars.



27                              Section 9.1 of the Public Utilities Act, chapter P-27 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is repealed.



28(1)                              Subject to subsection (2), this Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.



28(2)                              Sections 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 25 come into force on July 17, 2004.



EXPLANATORY NOTES



Section 1



(a) and (b)                      The definition section is amended.



Section 2



This section provides for the establishment of the New Brunswick Insurance Board, and its powers, duties and authorities under the Insurance Act.



Section 3



(a)(i)         The existing provision is as follows:



24(3)               A licence to carry on automobile insurance in the Province is subject to the following conditions: . . .



b)                  in any action in another province or territory of Canada against the licensed insurer, or its insured, arising out of an automobile accident in that province or territory, the insurer shall appear and shall not set up any defence to a claim under a contract evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy issued in this Province including any defence as to the limit or limits of liability under the contract, that might not be set up if the contract were evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy issued in the other province or territory.



(a)(ii)       New provision.



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



24(4)               The licence of an insurer who commits a breach of either of the conditions of licence set out in subsection (3) may be cancelled.



Section 4



The existing provision is as follows:



93(1)               A person who fails to comply with or violates any provision of this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence, whether otherwise so declared or not and, except where expressly provided, is liable to a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.



Section 5



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 2 of this amending Act.



Section 6



(a)               The existing provision is as follows:



120.1(4)       The notice shall specify the date that the insurer intends to begin to withdraw from the business of automobile insurance and shall be filed at least one hundred and eighty days before that date.



(b)(i) and (ii)                      The existing provision is as follows:



120.1(7)                              Notwithstanding subsection (6), the Superintendent may



(a)                      authorize the insurer to withdraw from the business of automobile insurance before the date specified in the notice under subsection (4), or



(b)                      prohibit the insurer from withdrawing from the business of automobile insurance until a date specified by the Superintendent that is not later than 90 days after the date specified in the notice under subsection (4).



Section 7



The existing provision is as follows:



120.2               An insurer who violates or fails to comply with section 120.1 commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars.



Section 8



(a)               This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 2 of this amending Act.



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



121.3(2)       The Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities shall, by order, approve, prohibit or vary the rates filed under subsection (1).



(c)                The existing provision is as follows:



121.3(2.1)                              Where the Facility Association wishes to make a change in the rates approved under this section it shall make an application to the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities for approval of the change in the rates and the Board, subject to this Act, shall, by order, approve, prohibit or vary that change.



(d)               New provision.



(e)                This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 2 of this amending Act.



(f)                The existing provision is as follows:



121.3(4)       The Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities may at any time investigate the rates charged for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association, and notwithstanding approval of those rates, may order the Facility Association to make any change or changes the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities considers proper.



(g)               The existing provision is as follows:



121.3(5)                              Except as otherwise provided in section 121.31, the Facility Association shall not, and a member of the Facility Association shall not, charge any rates for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association that have not been approved by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities in accordance with this section.



(h)               The existing provision is as follows;



121.3(5.2)                              Sections 267.8 to 267.9 and the regulations made under section 267.9 apply, with the necessary modifications, to the Facility Association and to any filing under this section.



(i)                The existing provision is as follows:



121.3(6)       The rates being charged by the Facility Association on the commencement of this subsection for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association shall be deemed, on the commencement of this subsection, to have been filed with, and approved by, the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities in accordance with this section, after which subsections (1) to (5.2) shall apply with respect to such rates or to any change in such rates.



Section 9



The existing provision is as follows:



121.31(1)    For the period between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004, inclusive, the Facility Association or a member of the Facility Association shall charge rates for automobile insurance that is placed through the Facility Association that are 80% of the rates that were in effect for insurance placed through the Facility Association immediately before July 1, 2003, unless the Facility Association files the rates that it proposes to charge for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities on or after July 1, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, and those rates are approved or varied by the Board.



121.31(2)    The Facility Association or a member of the Facility Association may, with respect to a filing made by the Facility Association on or after July 1, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, but subject to any order made by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities subsequently, charge to an insured such of those rates filed that are lower than the rates filed and charged by the Facility Association or the member of the Facility Association immediately before July 1, 2003.



121.31(3)    The Facility Association shall notify the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities before August 15, 2003, if it or any of its members intend to act under subsection (2).



121.31(4)                              Where the Facility Association files rates on or after July 1, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, the date on which the rates are to be effective shall be deemed to be July 1, 2003, and any order of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities made in respect of the filing shall be made effective as of July 1, 2003, and full force and effect shall be given to such order in any court of competent jurisdiction.



121.31(5)                              Whether or not the Facility Association files for a change in rates on or after July 1, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, the Facility Association shall next file rates it proposes to charge for automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities before June 1, 2004, but the rates so filed shall not be effective before July 1, 2004.



121.31(6)    The Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities shall, with respect to any filing made by the Facility Association on or after July 1, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, act expeditiously and make all reasonable efforts to complete all matters in respect of the filing promptly.



121.31(7)    A member of the Facility Association shall, pursuant to any reduction of rates under this section, reimburse a person in respect of any excess premium paid by the person to the member on a contract of automobile insurance placed through the Facility Association within forty-five days after



(a)                      August 15, 2003, if the Facility Association does not file rates with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities before that date, or



(b)               the date that the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities makes an order approving or varying the rates, if the Facility Association files rates before August 15, 2003.



121.31(8)    If a member of the Facility Association violates or fails to comply with subsection (7), the member commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than two hundred and fifty dollars and not more than five thousand dollars.



Section 10



New provisions.



Section 11



(a)               New provisions.



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



226(7)                              Where the Superintendent approves or amends the form referred to in subsection (6), the Superintendent shall cause a copy of the form or the amendment to be published in The Royal Gazette, but it shall not be necessary for the Superintendent to publish in The Royal Gazette endorsement forms approved for use with the standard owner's policy.



Section 12



(a)               The existing provision is as follows:



228(5)                              Where an insurer adopts the standard owner's policy, it may, instead of issuing the policy, issue a certificate in form approved by the Superintendent that when issued shall be of the same force and effect as if it was in fact the standard owner's policy, subject to the limits and coverages shown thereon by the insurer and any endorsements issued concurrently therewith or subsequent thereto, but at the request of an insured at any time, the insurer shall provide a copy of the standard owner's policy wording as approved by the Superintendent.



(b)               The existing provision is as follows:



228(7)                              Where an insurer issues a certificate under the provisions of subsection (5), proof of the terms of the policy may be given by production of a copy of The Royal Gazette containing the form of standard owner's policy approved by the Superintendent.



(c)                The existing provision is as follows:



228(8)                              Prima facie proof of the contents of the standard owner's policy may be given by the production of what purports to be an insurer's owner's policy and proof of the contents of the standard owner's policy may be given by the production of a copy thereof accompanied by a certificate purporting to be under the hand of the Superintendent that the copy is the standard owner's policy approved pursuant to subsection 226(6) of the Insurance Act which copy and certificate shall be admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official position of the Superintendent.



Section 13



New provisions.



Section 14



The existing provision is as follows:



264                   Every contract evidenced by a motor vehicle liability policy provides



(a)                      Repealed: 1989, c.17, s.5.



(b)                      insurance described in section 256 against expenses for medical, surgical, dental, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing or funeral services, and



(c)                      accident insurance benefits described in section 257 in respect of death of or injury to an insured person,



as set forth in Subsections 1 and 2 of Section B, Accident Benefits, of the New Brunswick Standard Automobile Policy approved by the Superintendent under section 226.



Section 15



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 2 of this amending Act.



Section 16



The definition "Board" is repealed.



Section 17



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 18 of this amending Act.



Section 18



The existing provision is as follows:



267.21(1)    For the period between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004, inclusive, an automobile insurer shall charge rates for automobile insurance that are 80% of the rates that were in effect for the insurer immediately before July 1, 2003.



267.21(2)                              Subject to subsection (3), the rates prescribed in subsection (1) do not apply to an automobile insurer if the insurer has filed or files the rates it charges or proposes to charge for automobile insurance with the Board on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003.



267.21(3)                              Where an insurer withdraws a filing made on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, the rates prescribed under subsection (1) apply as though the insurer had never made such a filing.



267.21(4)                              Where an insurer files rates it charges or proposes to charge for automobile insurance with the Board on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, the date specified in the filing for the effective date of the rates shall be deemed to be July 1, 2003.



267.21(5)                              Notwithstanding subsection 267.5(3), an insurer may, with respect to a filing referred to in subsection (2), but subject to any order of the Board made subsequently, charge to an insured such of those rates filed that are lower than the rates filed and charged by the insurer immediately before July 1, 2003, if the insurer notifies the Board before August 15, 2003, that it intends to do so.



267.21(6)    The Board shall, with respect to filings made by insurers on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, act expeditiously and make all reasonable efforts to complete all matters in respect of those filings promptly.



267.21(7)    An order of the Board in respect of a filing made on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, shall be made effective as of July 1, 2003, and shall be given full force and effect by a court of competent jurisdiction.



267.21(8)                              Whether or not an insurer files rates with the Board on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, an insurer shall next file the rates it proposes to charge for automobile insurance with the Board before June 1, 2004, but the date specified on which it proposes to charge those rates shall not be before July 1, 2004.



267.21(9)    An insurer shall, pursuant to any reduction of rates made as a consequence of the application of subsection (1) or a filing made by the insurer on or after June 13, 2003 and before August 15, 2003, reimburse a person in respect of any excess premium paid by the person to the insurer on a contract of automobile insurance no later than forty-five days after



(a)                      August 15, 2003, if the insurer does not file rates with the Board before that date,



(b)               the date that a notification is given or an order is made by the Board under section 267.5 with respect to the rates that the insurer may charge, if the insurer filed rates with the Board on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003, and did not withdraw the filing, or



(c)                the date an insurer withdraws a filing made on or after June 13, 2003, and before August 15, 2003.



Section 19



This amendment is consequential on the amendment in section 12 of this amending Act.



Section 20



(a)               The existing provision is as follows:



267.5(1)                              Where at any time the Board considers that the rates charged or proposed to be charged by an insurer may be excessive, inadequate or discriminatory, the Board may investigate those rates.



(b)               New provision.



(c)                The existing provision is as follows:



267.5(4)                              Where, after an investigation under this section, the Board determines that the rates charged or proposed to be charged by an insurer are excessive, inadequate or discriminatory, the Board may, by order, require the insurer to make any change or changes the Board considers proper.



(d)               New provision.



Section 21



(a) to (d)                      These amendments are consequential on the amendment in section 18 of this amending Act.



Section 22



The existing provision is as follows:



267.81(1)    The Board shall make and submit to the Minister by the first day of March in each year an annual report on the operation of the Board under this Act for the preceding calendar year.



267.81(2)    The Minister shall lay the report before the Legislative Assembly if it is then in session, or if not, at the next ensuing session.



Section 23



The existing provision is as follows:



267.82            The provisions of the Public Utilities Act apply mutatis mutandis to sections 267.2 to 267.9 unless inconsistent therewith.



Section 24



The existing provision is as follows:



267.83            The Board has the power from time to time to engage the services of persons having special, technical or other knowledge for the purpose of assisting the Board.



Section 25



(a)               The regulation-making authority is amended.



(b)               New provision.



Section 26



The existing provision is as follows:



369.5               In addition to any other consequence or remedy provided by law, any person who contravenes an order of the Superintendent made under subsection 369.4(1) commits an offence punishable in the same manner as if the person were undertaking insurance or carrying on business in New Brunswick without holding a licence to do so.



Section 27



Consequential amendment.



Section 28



Commencement provision.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Legend
* Private Bill
** Bill referred to Standing Committee on Law Amendments
+ Private Member's Public Bill
++ Motion for second reading defeated
+++ Debate at second reading adjourned
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