In late October, a Government of Alberta panel recommended that the province adopt a “no-fault” insurance model. While the government has yet to act on the panel’s recommendations, the panel’s report has been met with strong backlash from Alberta’s legal community, advocates for people living with severe injuries, medical professionals, and esteemed members of the media—in an honest and bold Calgary Herald editorial, Postmedia Columnist Licia Corbella has laid out a compelling case urging Albertans to say “no way to no-fault auto insurance”.
The Case Against “No-Fault” Insurance
Licia Corbella’s editorial lists a number of reasons Albertans should demand the government reject “no-fault” insurance, including:
- increased government red tape at the expense of personal rights and freedoms;
- removal of an individual’s right to shop around for cheaper insurance rates; and
- systemic failure to address high cost of insurance premiums.
Licia Corbella points out that British Columbia (which has government-run “no-fault” insurance) and Ontario (which has a hybrid system of “no-fault” for “minor injuries” and a tort system for more serious injuries) have some of the most expensive insurance premiums in Canada. The average drivers in British Columbia and Ontario pay $500 and $200 more per year, respectively, than their counterparts in Alberta. The claim that “no-fault” insurance drives down the cost of premiums is not backed up by evidence.
Stakeholders Rail Against “No-Fault” Insurance
Corbella goes on to state that even the Insurance Board of Canada is opposed to the Government of Alberta bringing in a “no-fault” system: a quote from Celyeste Power, Western Vice-President of the Insurance Board of Canada states “(y)ou would need to build a very big, expensive bureaucracy, there would be more red tape to wade through . . . and it wouldn’t actually result in any lower premiums for drivers. Balance is needed to ensure people are getting the care that they require at an affordable rate.”
Perhaps most compelling against “No-Fault”, is the statement from Keith McLaughlin, the Communications Coordinator for Fair Alberta Injury Regulations (FAIR)—an advocacy group of medical professionals—in which he says that research shows that “no-fault” systems create “a moral hazard”.
Worse outcomes at a higher cost, all tied to an inefficient and uncaring government bureaucracy—the evidence is clear: “no-fault” insurance is no good.
What Can Be Done?
You deserve dignity, respect, and compensation for injustice. You deserve someone on your side. You need someone that can help you earn the financial security you are owed when tragedy strikes. You should never have to suffer due to the careless actions of others. Protect your rights, learn about the repercussions of No-Fault, and contact both your MLA and Finance Minister Travis Toews.
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.