In 2003, the Nova Scotia government passed legislation requiring car insurance companies to lower premiums by 20 percent. At the same time, the government increased the minimum level of liability coverage from $200,000 to $500,000. The amount payable to people who have sustained serious injuries did not change when the government decided to make changes to the car insurance industry to benefit consumers.
A person who has suffered a minor injury in a car accident will still be entitled to collect benefits for lost wages. The government did place a cap on compensation for pain and suffering of $2,500 in cases involving minor injuries.
Before the cap was put in place, people with relatively minor injuries were receiving compensation for pain and suffering that was not in line with the extent of their loss. The cap was put in place to help keep costs down for consumers.
The rules that came into effect on August 1, 2003 also made getting coverage easier for consumers. It barred Nova Scotia car insurance companies from refusing to issue policies to customers on these grounds:
- Marital status
- Age of vehicle
- Previous refusal of coverage
- Prior not-at-fault accidents
- Late payment
- Lapse in car insurance coverage of less than two years
Car insurance companies are also specifically barred from refusing to insure customers who have been covered by the Facility Association in the past.