ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Fairness and Equity Sought Through AutoInsurance Regulation Change As part of its plan to bring fairness, equity and lower autoinsurance rates to Nova Scotians, the provincial government hasamended the Risk Classification Regulations. The amendment changes the date for implementing a riskclassification system based on non-discriminatory factors to Nov.1 for Facility Association. This deadline is now consistent witha similar requirement for all automobile insurance companies. “We’re very concerned about today’s reports that insurancecompany profits are rising once again. On one hand, it’simportant to know that the industry is improving, but that’s onlygood if consumers see some benefit from these profits,” said RonRussell, the minister responsible. “Over the long term, as theinsurance industry recovers in Nova Scotia, competition shouldfollow, meaning more choice and stabilized rates for consumers.” In a letter to the minister, the Nova Scotia Insurance ReviewBoard relayed information from the industry that delaying theimplementation date should keep more drivers out of FacilityAssociation and would avoid “potential for disruption in themarketplace” and also avoid “raising issues of fairness andequity amongst consumers.” “Our goal continues to be the fairest and most equitable ratespossible for consumers,” said Mr. Russell. The minister noted that improvements have already taken place.Reports from the Facility Association show their new business inNova Scotia has decreased steadily since the governmentintroduced regulatory changes in August 2003. Those changesensured that Nova Scotia drivers could only be placed in FacilityAssociation because of their driving record and for no otherfactor, such as age or marital status. Facility Association dataalso indicates that between January 2003 and January 2004 theirnew business figures have gone down a total of 32 per cent inNova Scotia. Facility Association is often the only option for drivers who areconsidered to be high risk because of their previous drivingrecord or other circumstances. A risk classification system is a set of rules and criteria usedby an insurance company to assess the likelihood that a personinsured may be involved in an accident and suffer injury, damage,or loss.