Why Alberta Should Freeze Auto Insurance Premiums Increases
The Alberta Insurance Rate Board (AIRB), the Government of Alberta’s regulator responsible for regulating automobile insurance rating programs for private passenger vehicles, held their annual meeting to determine if Albertans’ automobile insurance premiums should increase, decrease, or remain the same.
While the AIRB’s decision has yet to be delivered, Owen Lewis, a managing partner of KMSC Law LLP in Grande Prairie presenting to AIRB on behalf of the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, argued that automobile insurance premiums should be frozen.
Albertans Deserve a Break
In a 23 September 2021 column for the Calgary Herald, Mr. Lewis offered a compelling case for why Albertans should not see their automobile insurance premiums increase:
- when adjusted for inflation, private passenger automobile claims have remained stable since 2016—contrary to the insurance industry’s position that claims have “skyrocketed”;
- there was a dramatic and significant decrease in claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in fewer vehicles on the road—which resulted in profits of almost $1 billion dollars for insurance companies in 2020; and
- data projections suggest that a combination of legislative changes (such as the Government of Alberta’s Bill 41 that was intended to stabilize or decrease auto insurance premiums), and the continuing effects of COVID-19 will result in massive profits for the insurance industry in 2021 and beyond.
Who Will Fight for Albertans?
Insurance companies in Alberta have seen their profits rise higher and higher, and collecting on claims has never been more difficult—you may ask yourself “who will fight for me?” The answer: personal injury lawyers.
While it may be tempting to negotiate the world of insurance claims alone to save a few dollars, you will be dealing with complex contracts, strict deadlines, and insurance companies that make money explicitly by refusing to pay out claims. A personal injury lawyer works for you; they can file the paperwork, navigate the legal system, pay out disbursements to cover incidental costs while a claim is being filed, and ensure that you get every cent to which you are entitled.