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Nova Scotia Auto Reform Phase 2

On April 1, 2013 the Nova Scotia government introduced the second phase of auto reforms in the province.  These reforms apply to personal and commercial automobiles, including recreational vehicles. The reforms are designed to make it faster and easier for Nova Scotians to get care for minor injuries and compensation for property damage caused by automobile collisions.  This will also put us in line with what is taking place in other provinces.

The major reforms of Phase 2 include:

  • Direct Compensation for Property Damage also known as DCPD.  This means that individuals may recover damages caused by a collision from their own insurer.
  • Limited Liability and new priority of pay rules for rental companies.  What does this mean to consumers?  It means the liability for companies that rent motor vehicles as well as leasing companies that do not offer the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, will be limited to damages of up to $1 million.  Damages above $1 million will be the responsibility of the individual at fault.  The individual who rents the vehicle is the primary person responsible.  The rental company only responds if the renter does not have underlying coverage.
  • No-Fault diagnostic and treatment protocols for minor injuries means Nova Scotians who are injured in an automobile collision will have direct access to physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment without waiting for approval from an insurer or a physician’s referral.
  • What do Nova Scotia motorists need to know?
  • DCPD is mandatory for all policies in Nova Scotia as of April 1, 2013 and pays for damage to the insured vehicle, its contents and loss of use due to an accident when the insured is not at fault.
  • DCPD applies if the insured is involved in an accident in Nova Scotia with at least one other automobile that is insured in Nova Scotia.  If DCPD applies, the insured cannot claim from the at-fault driver.  This coverage automatically applies to all car insurance policies in Nova Scotia, making it difficult for uninsured drivers to recover costs associated with damage to their vehicle.
  • DCPD can also apply for out of province drivers, in very specific circumstances when the company who insures the out of province vehicle is licensed to write in Nova Scotia.

With the recent changes to the standard automobile insurance policy in Nova Scotia there has never been a better time to talk to a broker.