Automobile Insurance Legislation Changes Effective

Legislative changes to the Automobile Insurance Act.

Effective, January 1st, 2020

On January 1, 2020, several changes to the Automobile Insurance Act and associated regulations will come into effect. The changes are intended to help stabilize insurance rates while enhancing consumer protection.

The following improvements will be effective in the new year:

  • Motorists will deal with their own insurance company on property damage claims where they are not at fault, contributing to a faster resolution of the claim and a more consumer friendly experience;
  • The deductible will double from $2,500 to $5,000 for pain and suffering awards;
  • Insurers will be required to report a cancellation of any auto insurance policy to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles;
  • The claim adjustment and settlement process for bodily injury claims will be streamlined and injured persons will be required to notify the insurer of their intention to commence an action within 120 days;
  • Full filings will be required every three years, and there will be a mechanism for quick approval of rates where changes are no more than three per cent in a given year, and no more than six per cent cumulatively over three years;
  • Fleet rated risks will be outside the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) process, allowing taxi companies and others to negotiate their rates with willing insurers;
  • Auto insurance will be reviewed at least every five years;
  • Insurers will be permitted to offer telematics, which is technology capable of collecting information about where, how and when vehicles are driven, and drivers will have the option to participate in any telematics program offered by their insurer; and,
  • Insurers will be required to provide a discount for winter tires.


How Much is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

You’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and suffered an injury.  It’s affected your life in many new and unexpected ways: you’ve got medical appointments, you’re missing work, things aren’t getting done around the house, and relationships become strained.  The phone rings, and it’s the insurance company for the person who injured you.  In the middle of all this stress, they offer you some money, and give you some compelling reasons to accept the offer.  How do you know if the offer is fair?  You turn to Google: “How much is my injury claim worth?”

We get these questions all the time from frustrated victims across Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • What’s my claim worth?
  • Is my claim worth pursuing?
  • The insurance company offered me money for my claim, is it a fair offer?

There is no quick and easy way to put a price on an injury claim. This, is actually a good thing for you and your claim.  Here’s why.

How Is Compensation for My Personal Injury Determined?

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the law treats you like an individual, and takes into account how your injuries have changed your life and affected you personally.  This personalized approach is superior to certain other jurisdictions where injuries are assessed according to preset tables, also referred to in the insurance industry as “meat charts.”  In Newfoundland and Labrador, courts take into account how severe your injuries are, and how long they will last. A person who is completely paralyzed for life will be entitled to more compensation than someone with a broken hand.  Long Term Disability Law is one of areas of expertise and we have assisted thousands of long term disability victims across our province. If the person with the broken hand is a highly-paid professional athlete who can never play again, the value the courts assign to the injury might not necessarily change, but the overall value of the claim will increase because of the money that person won’t be able to earn because of the injury.  Physical and psychological injuries – such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and PTSD – are considered, and each additional injury typically increases the amount of compensation that is awarded.

When Can I Settle a Claim?

Before calculating the value of an injury claim it is important that you are either 100% healed from your injuries, or as healed as you can ever be expected to be. This is known as Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI.  Your treatment providers will determine when you reach MMI and at that point the duration of your injuries will be known with enough certainty to determine the right amount of compensation for you.  NOTE: in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have 2 years from the date of your accident to file a claim.  If you are getting close to the 2-year deadline, contact us to discuss your options. It costs nothing to speak with a member of our team, and we may still be able to protect your claim. 

Many injury claims in Newfoundland and Labrador will end via a negotiated settlement.  This means that you, as the injured person, agree to accept an amount of money from the person or persons who caused your injury in return for ending your claim forever.  Most of the time, the compensation will be paid by the other person’s insurance company, but even if the other person doesn’t have insurance, there are ways to recover the compensation. To ensure you receive a fair shake, this is where hiring a specialized personal injury law firm can assist you.

Why Am I Entitled to Compensation?

When you’re injured in Newfoundland and Labrador because of the wrongdoing of someone else, the law says that you are entitled to compensation.  It’s because the law recognizes that something has been taken from you, and aims to put you back in the position you were before the injury happened.  Of course, money is a poor substitute for your health and well-being, but in the case of pain and suffering, it’s the best the law can offer to people injured in accidents.

Does It Matter Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

The short answer is that it definitely matters who is at fault for the accident when it comes to whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your claim. In the province of Newfoundland and Newfoundland, however, fault is not treated as black or white.

Sometimes you can be injured by someone else in an accident, but because of something you did or did not do, the court may find you partially liable for your injuries.  For example, imagine you are a passenger in a car and the driver loses control causing the vehicle to roll over.  Because you were not wearing your seatbelt, your injuries are more severe.  The court may find you partially liable for your injuries.

Next Steps:

We’re here to help. We have helped thousands of injury victims across the province get the compensation they deserve.  It costs nothing to speak with a member of our team, and we are available 7 days a week.  Contact Us Today and let us protect your rights.

Penalties for Distracted Drivers in Newfoundland

On June 7, 2018, in an attempt to improve road safety in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government amended the Highway Traffic Act.

Amendments to the act were introduced in December 2017 to reduce excessive speeding, stunting and street racing by adding licence suspensions and vehicle impoundments as new penalties. Move over provisions were also enhanced by requiring drivers to reduce their speed by 30 kilometres per hour below the speed limit and move to an adjacent lane when approaching law enforcement or other emergency vehicles stopped at roadside.

A new offence for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for others, causing bodily harm or death was also added to the Highway Traffic Act. The new penalties for this offence are: a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $20,000 or up to two years imprisonment, or both; licence suspension of not more than five years; and six demerit points. The amendments also increase the existing fines for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons from $120-$480 today to $300-$1,000.


“Driving is a privilege, not a right. The amendments to the act strengthen driving laws by imposing tougher penalties on drivers. The improvements are designed to reduce distracted and careless driving such as driving without due care and attention, causing death or bodily harm, excessive speeding, racing and stunting, for example. These changes will make our roads, highways and communities safer and better prepare young people for the responsibility of becoming a driver.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL

If you or a family member have been involved in a car accident within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and would like to chat with one of our specialized personal injury lawyers, contact our office at, or by phone 709-738-0001. It costs nothing to chat with one of our lawyers and to understand your rights.

What to do if your Teen is involved in a Car Accident

It’s one of the most common nightmare scenarios for parents of teenagers: you get a call, informing you that your teen has just been involved in a car accident. Your first thoughts are for your child’s safety and well-being. Soon thereafter, you may start to think about the various implications of insurance and liability.

If your child has recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident, or if you want to be prepared for a future instance, it is crucial that you know the proper steps to take. Having the right knowledge may improve your chances of receiving compensation for your child’s injury, avoiding huge increases in your insurance premiums, and successfully defending claims against you and your child.

See a Doctor

First and foremost, if your child is involved in a car crash, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Even if injuries are not severe, a doctor can give you an official diagnosis which will be invaluable when seeking compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.

Contact the Police at the time of the Accident

Cover your bases by notifying authorities. The police should always be contacted in the event of a car accident.

Speak to a Lawyer, before your insurance company

It is crucial that you speak to an injury lawyer in the event of a car accident. Any information that you give an insurance adjuster, especially one representing the other party, may be used by the insurance company to establish fault.

A lawyer can advise you on your particular situation, and help you avoid any pitfalls when dealing with insurance companies. Being contacted by an insurance adjuster can be intimidating, so be sure you are prepared to deal with these calls. Usually, you are not required to speak with any third-party insurance companies.

Filing a Claim

Most likely, your insurance company will contact you about filing a claim. A claims specialist can assist you in filing the claim. However, you should be cautious, as a claims specialist may not always have your interest as their priority.

Accidents involving teenagers are often catastrophic; be sure to do your best to ensure that the aftermath isn’t as well.

Download Our Accident App

Think of a car accident – the damage to your vehicle, an injury to you or a loved one. You’re in shock. At a time when it’s hard to think, The Rogers Rogers Moyse Personal Injury Accident App guides you through the process to ensure you cover yourself from a legal perspective. Hope for the best – but prepare for the worst. Download our App Here.

Gerry Rogers

Gerry Rogers

Gerry Rogers ; BSW, MHA and Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Party. She has an extensive history of helping others and working as a social activist. Her work as an award winning documentary film maker with the NFB and Independently transferred over into her passion to represent those that need a voice through her work as a Provincial politician. Coupled with an amazing background her story is a pleasure to listen to.

Peg Norman

Peg Norman

Peg Norman ; Business person and entrepreneur, owner of the Travel Bug and Bees Knees, community activist and former Federal NDP candidate. Peg has had an amazing history with working in various fields and politics. Her drive to improve the lives of Newfoundlanders is legendary.

John Ottenheimer

john ottenheimer

John Ottenheimer Q.C. : John has a had a distinguished history as an educator, politician and lawyer. He has lectured at Cabot College and MUN and sat on various boards including NL Hydro. He has occupied positions as Minister of Education, Health and Intergovernmental Affairs. Following his career in politics he has decided to once again practice law in CBN.

Vince Withers

Vince Withers ( O.C., Hon. Doc.) Vince is a true iconic businessman and tireless supporter of NL sports and mental organizations. Former President and CEO of NewTel, NL Softball, Curling and founder of The Eating Disorder of NL his contributions to the Province are without equal. In recognition of his work he has been awarded the Order of Canada, Hon. PhD from Memorial, Order of NL, Governor Generals Jubilee medal and the Queen’s Jubilee medal. His image looms great in NL and he is a person that makes things happen. Truly experienced in many facets of society his opinions carry great weight and interest.

Minister Hon. Tom Osborne

A native of St. John’s, Tom Osborne attended Cabot College and Memorial University of Newfoundland. He was involved with the business community for several years. Prior to entering politics he worked for Statistics Canada, Small Business Enterprise, and with the Penney Group of Companies.

He has represented his district of Waterford Valley (formerly St. John’s South) since 1996. Mr. Osborne served as Deputy Speaker and has held several cabinet positions, including Minister of Environment and Minister of Labour, Minister of Health, and Minister of Justice.

Mr. Osbourne was appointed as Speaker of the House in December, 2015.

Minister Hon. Andrew Parsons

Minister Andrew Parsons is a Canadian politician and Lawyer, who was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly in the 2011 and 2015 provincial elections.