FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has intervened in two New Brunswick Insurance Board hearings after insurance companies filed for rate increases.

“Your government is committed to protecting consumers and preventing auto insurance rate increases that are not just and reasonable,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “It is for this reason we have intervened in the New Brunswick Insurance Board hearings for the Wawanesa Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Facility Association.”

Insurance rates are regulated by the board, which must hold a hearing anytime an insurance company files a rate increase greater than three per cent. The attorney general and the consumer advocate for insurance have the right to intervene in any hearing before the board in order to protect the public interest.

The Wawanesa Mutual Life Insurance Company applied to increase its private passenger automobile rate by 11.69 per cent. The Facility Association applied for an increase of 18.2 per cent in its private passenger automobile rate, a 21-per cent increase in its taxi and limousine rate, and a 10.8-per cent increase to its commercial auto rate.

Rogers said the government will continue to work with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission in regard to ensuring legislation is in place to protect New Brunswickers. This includes modernizing and harmonizing the Insurance Act. Since 2003, automobile insurance rates decreased each year until 2017.

The hearings will be conducted Oct. 16-19 for the Facility Association and Oct. 23-24 for Wawanesa Mutual Life Insurance Company.