Opinion: Consumer protection, industry transparency needed to address high auto insurance costs
posted in: Personal Injury
KMSC Law LLP partner and chair of the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, Owen Lewis, recently shared his thoughts on Alberta auto insurance costs in the Calgary Herald and how they can be addressed. Published on Apr 10, 2023, Owen argues that the high cost of auto insurance in Alberta is a result of a lack of consumer protection and industry transparency.
Owen notes that despite previous government efforts to address rising insurance rates via Bill 41, currently “the insurance industry is again pushing for reforms that will reduce consumer protections, and the rights of Albertans to access the courts and challenge insurer decisions through “no-fault” insurance systems. This is taking from vulnerable Albertans, notably accident victims and claimants, to protect the profitable insurance industry.”
Owen goes on to suggest three areas of reform:
- Legislation of insurance industry profits to not exceed their designed seven per cent profit margin
- Establishment of an Alberta Insurance Premium Stabilization Fund through which industry profits collected above the seven per cent threshold can be paid into, and used to smooth out, rate increases in future years.
- Creation of an insurance watch dog with a consumer protection and financial transparency mandate to oversee the insurance industry.
Overall, Owen argues that Albertans deserve an auto insurance system that is affordable and protects their interests, rather than those of the insurers.
In this spring’s election, it’s important for voters to watch for proposals that will make a real impact on their bottom line. Alberta’s insurance market as it stands today is not fair to consumers and it will be up to the next government, whether UCP or NDP, to take concrete action.
You can read his complete thoughts here.