The New Brunswick government has announced proposed amendments to the province’s Insurance Act in order to help protect victims of domestic violence.
The province says that the move will prevent insurance companies from excluding payments for “loss or damage caused by an intentional or criminal act by any person insured by the policy” in cases of domestic abuse and allow innocent co-insureds to receive their share of compensation.
“Domestic abuse victims are particularly vulnerable when their partner damages or destroys the home,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers in a press release on Wednesday.
“This is just one of the changes we are making to address the barriers people face when trying to stay safe when there has been abuse in a relationship.”
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The proposed amendments were reportedly developed in partnership with the Office of the Consumer Advocate for Insurance, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission and the Women’s Equality Branch.
According to Michèle Pelletier, the consumer advocate for insurance, the proposed changes will bring New Brunswick in line with other provinces in the country, that have already amended their own insurance legislation.
“Our office is very pleased that the government agreed with our request to modify the Insurance Act,” said Michèle Pelletier. “This new amendment will prohibit insurers from relying on the exclusionary clause to prevent innocent co-insureds from receiving compensation for their interest in the property.”
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The decision by the New Brunswick government comes on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which commemorates the École Polytechnique shooting.
On Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman entered the school and shot 14 women to death and injured 14 other people.