You're using an outdated browser. This website will not display correctly and some features will not work.
Learn more about the browsers we support for a faster and safer online experience.

Français

Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act, 2003

S.o. 2003, chapter 9

Consolidation Period:  From August 16, 2013 to the e-Laws currency date.

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, this Act is repealed. See: 2003, c. 9, s. 14.

Last amendment:  2013, c. 2, Sched. 1.

Skip Table of Contents

CONTENTS

1.

Definitions

2.

Application of Act

2.1

Industry-wide rate reduction target

3.

Application re risk classification system, rates

4.

Suspension of applications under Insurance Act

7.

Order requiring application for approval

7.1

Reconsideration by Superintendent

8.

Mandatory rate

9.

Deemed approval under the Insurance Act

10.

Superintendent may investigate

11.

Superintendent’s order after contravention of Act

11.1

Definition

11.2

Administrative penalties

11.3

General administrative penalties

11.4

Summary administrative penalties

11.5

Maximum administrative penalties

11.6

Enforcement of administrative penalties

11.7

Regulations

12.

Offences

13.

Notices

14.

Repeal

 

Definitions

1. (1) In this Act,

“authorized rate” means, in respect of a contract of automobile insurance, the rate the insurer is authorized under this Act to charge on the issue or renewal of the contract; (“taux autorisé”)

“insurer” means a person who undertakes or agrees or offers to undertake a contract of automobile insurance and includes the Facility Association. (“assureur”) 2003, c. 9, s. 1; 2005, c. 31, Sched. 2, s. 1; 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 1 (1).

Interpretation

(2) Expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in the Insurance Act, unless the context requires otherwise. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 1 (2).

Application of Act

2. (1) This Act applies to insurers and contracts of automobile insurance, but only with respect to the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 2 (1).

Same

(2) This Act does not apply to an insurer in respect of any category or coverage of automobile insurance for which the insurer is not required to make an application for approval under section 410 of the Insurance Act by reason of an exemption granted under subsection 413 (1) of that Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 2 (2).

(3) Repealed: 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 2 (2).

Industry-wide rate reduction target

2.1 (1) This section establishes an industry-wide target for the reduction of rates that insurers are permitted to charge for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Target

(2) The target is a 15 per cent reduction in the average of the authorized rates that may be charged by all insurers.  The average is to be determined in accordance with the regulations, and the reduction must be achieved during the period prescribed by regulation. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Periodic reductions

(3) The regulations may provide for periodic reductions toward the target and may specify the period within which each such reduction must be achieved. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Applications by insurers

(4) When making an application under section 3 or 7 or making written submissions under section 7.1, every insurer is required to propose a risk classification system and rates that contribute adequately to the achievement of the target. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Contribution to achieving the target

(5) When making a decision under section 3, 7 or 7.1, the Superintendent shall consider such factors as may be prescribed by regulation and such other factors as the Superintendent considers reasonable in determining whether an insurer’s risk classification system and rates contribute adequately to the achievement of the target. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Presumption, consistency with rate reduction target

(6) For the purposes of clauses 3 (5) (a), 7 (7) (a) and 7.1 (1) (a), an insurer’s current or proposed risk classification system and rates are presumed not to be just and reasonable if, in the Superintendent’s opinion, they do not contribute adequately to the achievement of the target. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Presumption, safe driving history

(7) For the purposes of clauses 3 (5) (a), 7 (7) (a) and 7.1 (1) (a), an insurer’s current or proposed risk classification system is presumed not to be just and reasonable unless it includes one or more elements that, in the Superintendent’s opinion, appropriately take into account the safe driving history of the persons who would be insured under a contract. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Regulations

(8) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make the regulations referred to in this section. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Referral of regulations to Standing Committee

(9) Each of the following regulations stands permanently referred to the Standing Committee on General Government (established under the Standing Orders of the Assembly) when the regulation is filed with the Registrar of Regulations under section 18 of the Legislation Act, 2006:

1. Every regulation referred to in subsection (2) concerning the average of the authorized rates that may be charged by all insurers and concerning the period within which the 15 per cent reduction in the average of the authorized rates must be achieved.

2. Every regulation referred to in subsection (3) concerning periodic reductions toward the target and the period within which each such reduction must be achieved. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Terms of reference

(10) The Standing Committee may examine the regulations with particular reference to whether they are reasonable in the circumstances and with respect to such other matters as the Standing Committee considers appropriate. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Authority to call persons

(11) The Standing Committee may examine any member of the Executive Council or any public servant designated by the member respecting the regulations. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Report

(12) The Standing Committee shall report its observations, opinions and recommendations about the regulations to the Assembly from time to time. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 3.

Application re risk classification system, rates

3. (1) Every insurer shall apply to the Superintendent for approval of,

(a) the risk classification system it intends to use in determining the rates for each coverage for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance; and

(b) the rates it intends to use for each coverage for that category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Material to be furnished

(2) An application for approval of a risk classification system or rates shall be in a form approved by the Superintendent and shall be filed together with such information, material and evidence as the Superintendent may specify. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Additional information

(3) The Superintendent may require an applicant to provide such additional information, material and evidence as the Superintendent considers necessary in order to make a decision with respect to the application. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Superintendent’s powers

(4) The Superintendent may make one or more of the following decisions with respect to an application:

1. Approve all or part of the application.

2. Refuse to approve all or part of the application.

3. Require the applicant to vary one or more of the elements of its proposed risk classification system.

4. Require the applicant to reduce or otherwise vary one or more of its proposed rates. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Criteria for refusal to approve, etc.

(5) The Superintendent shall refuse to approve all or part of an application and may require the applicant to vary one or more of the elements of its proposed risk classification system or to reduce or vary one or more of its proposed rates if, in the Superintendent’s opinion,

(a) the proposed risk classification system or proposed rate is not just and reasonable in the circumstances;

(b) the proposed risk classification system is not reasonably predictive of risk or does not distinguish fairly between risks;

(c) the proposed rates would impair the applicant’s solvency; or

(d) the proposed rates are excessive in relation to the applicant’s financial circumstances. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Deemed approval

(6) An application under this section is deemed to have been approved by the Superintendent 60 days after the later of the following days, unless the Superintendent advises the applicant orally or otherwise within that 60-day period that the Superintendent has not approved the application:

1. The day the application is filed.

2. The day the additional information, material and evidence, if any, required by the Superintendent under subsection (3) is provided. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Decision final

(7) A decision, or deemed decision, of the Superintendent is final for all purposes. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Applications by affiliates

(8) Section 414 of the Insurance Act applies with necessary modifications to applications under this section. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 4.

Suspension of applications under Insurance Act

4. (1) No insurer shall apply to the Superintendent under section 410 of the Insurance Act for approval of a risk classification system or rates for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 5.

Same

(2) No insurer shall submit or resubmit an application to the Superintendent under subsection 411 (5) of the Insurance Act for approval of a risk classification system or rates for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 5.

Suspension of approvals

(3) The Superintendent shall not approve an application under section 410 of the Insurance Act, or an application submitted or resubmitted under subsection 411 (5) of that Act, for approval of a risk classification system or rates for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 5.

5. Repealed: 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 6.

6. Repealed: 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 6.

Order requiring application for approval

7. (1) The Superintendent may order any insurer that is subject to this Act to apply to the Superintendent for approval of,

(a) the risk classification system it intends to use, as of the date specified in the order, in determining the rates for each coverage for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance; and

(b) the rates it intends to use, as of the date specified in the order, for each coverage for that category of automobile insurance. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (1).

(2) Repealed: 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (2).

Application

(3) On receipt of an order under subsection (1), an insurer shall make the application  in a form approved by the Superintendent and shall, on or before the date specified in the order, file the application together with such information, material and evidence as the Superintendent may require in the order.  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (3).

(4) Repealed:  2003, c. 9, s. 14.

Additional information

(5) The Superintendent may require an applicant to provide such additional information, material and evidence as the Superintendent considers necessary in order to make a decision with respect to the application.  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (5).

Superintendent’s powers

(6) After considering an application and any additional information, material or evidence relating to the application, the Superintendent may do one or more of the following:

1. Approve all or part of the application.

2. Refuse to approve all or part of the application.

3. Require the applicant to reduce or otherwise vary one or more of its current or proposed rates.

4. Require the applicant to vary one or more of the elements of its current or proposed risk classification systems. 2003, c. 9, s. 7 (6); 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (3).

Criteria for refusal to approve, etc.

(7) The Superintendent shall refuse to approve all or part of an application and may require the applicant to vary one or more of the elements of its current or proposed risk classification system or to reduce or vary one or more of its current or proposed rates if, in the Superintendent’s opinion,

(a) the proposed risk classification system or proposed rate is not just and reasonable in the circumstances;

(b) the proposed risk classification system is not reasonably predictive of risk or does not distinguish fairly between risks;

(c) the proposed rates would impair the applicant’s solvency; or

(d) the proposed rates are excessive in relation to the applicant’s financial circumstances. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (4).

Written submissions

(8) The Superintendent shall give the insurer an opportunity to make written submissions before making an order refusing to approve all or part of an application or requiring the insurer to vary one or more of the elements of its current or proposed risk classification system or requiring the insurer to reduce or vary one or more if its current or proposed rates. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (5).

Time for making order

(9) The Superintendent shall make an order in respect of an application under this section not more than 60 days after the later of,

(a) the day the application is filed; or

(b) the day the additional information, material or evidence is provided, if the Superintendent has required the applicant to provide additional information, material or evidence under subsection (5).  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (9).

Deemed approval

(9.1) An application is deemed to have been approved by the Superintendent upon the expiry of the 60-day period described in subsection (9) unless the Superintendent advises the applicant orally or otherwise within that 60-day period that the Superintendent has not approved the application. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (6).

Effective date of order

(10) An order of the Superintendent under this section takes effect on the date or dates specified in the order.  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (10).

Order final

(11) An order of the Superintendent under subsection (9) is final for all purposes.  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (11).

Applications by affiliates

(12) Section 414 of the Insurance Act applies with necessary modifications to applications under this section.  2003, c. 9, s. 7 (12).

Concurrent authority

(13) The Superintendent’s authority to make orders under this section in respect of a matter is not affected by his or her authority to make an order under subsection 7.1 (3) in respect of the same matter. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 7 (7).

Reconsideration by Superintendent

7.1 (1) The Superintendent may notify an insurer that the Superintendent intends to make an order with respect to the risk classification system or rates for any coverage for the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance of the insurer if, in the Superintendent’s opinion,

(a) the current risk classification system or current rate is not just and reasonable in the circumstances;

(b) the current risk classification system is not reasonably predictive of risk or does not distinguish fairly between risks;

(c) the current rates would impair the insurer’s solvency; or

(d) the current rates are excessive in relation to the insurer’s financial circumstances. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 8.

Written submissions

(2) The Superintendent shall give the insurer an opportunity to make written submissions with respect to the matter. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 8.

Orders

(3) After considering the written submissions, if any, the Superintendent may make the order described in the notice, may make a revised order or may instead make an order under subsection 7 (1). 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 8.

Order final

(4) An order of the Superintendent under subsection (3) is final for all purposes. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 8.

Mandatory rate

8. For the Personal Vehicles — Private Passenger Automobile category of automobile insurance, no insurer shall charge a rate other than the authorized rate. 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 9.

Deemed approval under the Insurance Act

9. After the repeal of subsection 4 (1) under section 14, the rates and risk classification system of an insurer as approved under this Act shall, for the purposes of sections 410, 411, 412, 415 and 417 of the Insurance Act, be deemed to be the rates and risk classification systems approved for use by the insurer under the Insurance Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 9; 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 10.

Superintendent may investigate

10. The Superintendent may examine and investigate the affairs of an insurer to determine if the insurer is committing any act or pursuing a course of conduct that is a contravention of this Act or that might reasonably be expected to result in a situation that would constitute a contravention of this Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 10.

Superintendent’s order after contravention of Act

11. (1) If, in the opinion of the Superintendent, an insurer is committing any act or pursuing a course of conduct that is a contravention of this Act or that might reasonably be expected to result in a situation that would constitute a contravention of this Act, the Superintendent may, without giving prior notice, make an order to take effect immediately on its making,

(a) requiring the insurer to cease doing or to refrain from doing any act or pursuing any course of conduct identified by the Superintendent;

(b) requiring the insurer to perform any act that, in the opinion of the Superintendent, is necessary to remedy the situation, including requiring an insurer to reimburse an insured in respect of any excess premium paid by the insured to the insurer by reason of the insurer’s contravention of this Act; or

(c) suspending or cancelling the insurer’s licence under the Insurance Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 11 (1).

Reconsideration at request of insurer

(2) At the request of an insurer that is the subject of an order under this section, the Superintendent shall, after giving the insurer an opportunity to make written submissions, reconsider the order.  2003, c. 9, s. 11 (2).

Superintendent’s powers

(3) After reconsidering an order under this section, the Superintendent shall confirm, modify or revoke the order.  2003, c. 9, s. 11 (3).

Order final

(4) An order under this section may be reconsidered at the request of the insurer only once and, subject to the decision of the Superintendent after a reconsideration under subsection (2), is final for all purposes.  2003, c. 9, s. 11 (4).

Definition

11.1 In sections 11.2 to 11.7,

“requirement established under this Act” means,

(a) a requirement imposed by a provision of this Act that is prescribed for the purpose of section 11.3 or 11.4,

(b) a requirement imposed by order, or

(c) an obligation assumed by way of undertaking. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Administrative penalties

11.2 (1) An administrative penalty may be imposed under section 11.3 or 11.4 for either of the following purposes:

1. To promote compliance with the requirements established under this Act.

2. To prevent a person from deriving, directly or indirectly, any economic benefit as a result of contravening or failing to comply with a requirement established under this Act. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Same

(2) An administrative penalty may be imposed alone or in conjunction with any other regulatory measure provided by this Act, including an order under section 11. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

General administrative penalties

11.3 (1) If the Superintendent is satisfied that an insurer is contravening or not complying with or has contravened or failed to comply with any of the following, the Superintendent may, by order, impose an administrative penalty on the insurer in accordance with this section and the regulations:

1. A provision of this Act as may be prescribed.

2. A requirement or obligation described in clause (b) or (c) of the definition of “requirement established under this Act” in section 11.1. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Procedure

(2) If the Superintendent proposes to impose an administrative penalty under subsection (1), the procedure set out in section 441.3 of the Insurance Act applies, with necessary modifications. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Summary administrative penalties

11.4 (1) If the Superintendent is satisfied that an insurer is contravening or not complying with or has contravened or failed to comply with a provision of this Act as may be prescribed, the Superintendent may, by order, impose an administrative penalty on the insurer in accordance with this section and the regulations. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Procedure

(2) The procedure set out in section 441.4 of the Insurance Act applies, with necessary modifications, to the imposition of an administrative penalty under subsection (1). 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Maximum administrative penalties

11.5 (1) An administrative penalty imposed on an insurer under section 11.3 shall not exceed $200,000 or such lesser amount as may be prescribed for a prescribed requirement established under this Act. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Same

(2) An administrative penalty imposed on an insurer under section 11.4 shall not exceed $25,000 or such lesser amount as may be prescribed for a prescribed requirement established under this Act. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Enforcement of administrative penalties

11.6 Section 441.6 of the Insurance Act applies, with necessary modifications, with respect to the payment and enforcement of administrative penalties imposed under this Act. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Regulations

11.7 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations governing the administrative penalties that may be imposed under sections 11.3 and 11.4 and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations,

(a) prescribing provisions of this Act for the purposes of sections 11.3 and 11.4;

(b) prescribing criteria the Superintendent is required or permitted to consider when imposing a penalty under section 11.3 or 11.4;

(c) prescribing the amount of a penalty, or the method for calculating the amount of a penalty, and prescribing different penalties or ranges of penalties for different types of contraventions or failures to comply;

(d) authorizing the Superintendent to determine the amount of a penalty, if the amount of the penalty or the method for calculating the amount of the penalty is not prescribed, and prescribing criteria the Superintendent is required or permitted to consider when determining the amount of the penalty;

(e) authorizing a penalty to be imposed for each day or part of a day on which a contravention or failure to comply continues;

(f) authorizing higher penalties (not to exceed the maximum penalty established under section 11.5 or prescribed under clause (j)) for a second or subsequent contravention or failure to comply by an insurer;

(g) governing the manner of paying the penalties;

(h) requiring that a penalty be paid before a specified deadline or before a deadline specified by the Superintendent;

(i) authorizing the imposition of late payment fees respecting penalties that are not paid before the deadline, including graduated late payment fees;

(j) prescribing lesser maximum administrative penalties and the requirements established under this Act to which the lesser maximum penalties apply for the purpose of subsection 11.5 (1) or (2). 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 1.

Offences

12. (1) Every insurer that does any of the following is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not more than $250,000 and on each subsequent conviction to a fine of not more than $500,000:

1. Contravenes subsection 3 (1) or 7 (3) or section 8.

2. Fails to comply with an order of the Superintendent made under section 11.

3. Directly or indirectly furnishes false, misleading or incomplete information, material or evidence to the Superintendent under this Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 12 (1); 2012, c. 8, Sched. 2, s. 2; 2013, c. 2, Sched. 1, s. 11.

Derivative offence

(2) Every director, officer and chief agent of an insurer is guilty of an offence who,

(a) causes, authorizes, permits or participates in the insurer committing an offence under this Act; or

(b) fails to take reasonable care to prevent the insurer from committing an offence under this Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 12 (2).

Penalty on derivative offence

(3) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (2) is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not more than $100,000 and on each subsequent conviction to a fine of not more than $200,000, whether the insurer is prosecuted for or convicted of an offence.  2003, c. 9, s. 12 (3).

Restitution

(4) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court making the conviction may, in addition to any other penalty, order the person convicted to make compensation or restitution in relation to the offence.  2003, c. 9, s. 12 (4).

Notices

13. Section 33 of the Insurance Act applies to documents required or permitted to be submitted under this Act and to orders made under this Act.  2003, c. 9, s. 13.

Repeal

14. (1) This Act is repealed on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor. 2003, c. 9, s. 14 (1).

Same

(2) Any proclamation referred to in subsection (1) may apply to the whole or any part or parts or portion or portions or section or sections of this Act, and proclamations may be issued at different times as to any part or parts or portion or portions or section or sections of this Act. 2003, c. 9, s. 14 (2).

15. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Act).  2003, c. 9, s. 15.

16. Omitted (enacts short title of this Act).  2003, c. 9, s. 16.

______________

 

Français