George Sweeney, Opposition Government Services Critic and MHA for the
District of Carbonear - Harbour Grace, says government has brought forward
an insurance reform package that will not ensure long-term rate stability
"The Minister continues to mishandle this file, despite
expensive reports, consultations and recommendations that have been made,"
said Sweeney. "I have serious concerns with the lack of reform initiatives
to deal with the issues that are important to consumers in this province.
Today’s announcement was nothing more than a public relations exercise that
was rushed out during the current crab dispute to make the government look
"The elimination of rating discrimination based on age, sex and marital
status is a good initiative that should have been included in a more
comprehensive package to benefit all consumers. It is unfortunate that other
reform recommendations were ignored by government, meaning it is likely that
insurance reform measures will be necessary to control rates again in the
"Government’s own report indicates that the $2,500 deductible implemented
last year will not provide rate stability in the long-term due to erosion.
Government should have taken the findings of the report and implemented a
$2,500 cap or $15,000 deductible. The Minister and the Premier continue to
cater to the legal profession instead of the consumers they were elected to
"I have serious concerns about the impact the 5 per cent rate reduction
will have for seniors and other drivers who currently receive discounts. In
moving forward with these reforms, government is putting these discounts at
risk for a large number of drivers. There are substantial savings to be
found for consumers, but this government refuses to put forth a real plan
that will provide stability in the industry for the benefit of consumers.
"It is one thing for government to say they are fighting insurance
companies on behalf of consumers, and it is another thing to actually take
action. This proposal and this government has failed to deal with the issues
that are important for the long-term protection of consumers. I will be
bringing these concerns to the House of Assembly when debate begins on the