Letter – NDP’s claims disputed

RE: Opinion – Albertans should brace for impact [South Peace News, Feb. 19, 2020]

Alberta’s three million drivers deserve an auto insurance system that works for them. In that much, I hope MLA Jon Carson and I can agree.

But not on much else.

The auto insurance industry warned his government for years that the system needed to be fixed. Yet, in four years, they did nothing to address rising costs or make the system more accessible for drivers.

If MLA Carson’s government had made the minor changes that were required and that insurers pointed out five years ago, consumers would be paying less for auto insurance today. It’s as simple as that.

Now we are well past the point of small tweaks and need major changes to fix the system. Consumers have experienced premium increases, though the average increase is around 10 per cent, not the 30 per cent MLA Carson is suggesting.

Drivers should shop around to find the best price. You have options.

Today, all stakeholders involved in the auto insurance industry should be working toward a better solution that meets the needs of Albertans. It seems MLA Carson is getting his facts from analysis provided by FAIR Alberta Injury Regulations, a group funded by the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association. A group that, last week, released data they claim is based on a report from Oliver Wyman [the government’s actuary]. Yet, not one of the numbers they cited can be found in the government’s report. Not one.

We encourage all stakeholders, regardless of what stake they have in the automobile insurance system, to work with the Alberta Automobile Insurance Advisory Committee on outcomes that will improve the system. Alberta’s drivers deserve nothing less.

Celyeste Power,
Vice-President,
Western Region,
Insurance Bureau of Canada

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