40 per cent boost in auto insurance sought

CALGARY — Albertans could be facing a serious spike in the cost of auto insurance.

CALGARY — Albertans could be facing a serious spike in the cost of auto insurance.

The province’s insurance industry is asking to increase basic rates by up to 40 per cent.

Jim Rivait of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s the amount they need “to ensure the system is healthy and that the premiums meet the claims needs.”

The need for the dramatic increase is being blamed on the cost of soft-tissue injury claims.

In 2008, a judge ruled that a $4,000 cap on those claims was discriminatory.

The insurance industry says that ruling opened the door for claimants to sue for unlimited amounts.

“More people will be enticed to make a claim. It’s not just the amount of the claims but also the frequency that we are worried about,” said Rivait.

Last September, the province and the Insurance Bureau of Canada appealed the decision and asked that the cap be reinstated.

A panel of appeal judges is considering the request but there is no set date for when a decision will be made.

If the appeals court decides to reinstate the soft-tissue injury cap, the insurance bureau says it will seek only a seven per cent increase in auto insurance rates.

The Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board will soon begin hearings into insurance rates.

“It’s a matter of looking at the industry and keeping a reasonable level on them. We are representing the citizens of Alberta and trying to keep the level as beneficial to them as we can,” said Alf Savage, chairman of the rate board.

The hearings will begin in Edmonton in two weeks.

Just Posted

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Central Alberta councils learn more about Bighorn Country proposal

A collection of central Alberta politicians are learning more about the province’s… Continue reading

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man charged with manslaughter chased his victim at high speed… Continue reading

Red Deer city managers and non-unionized professionals get small raise

It’s needed to attract qualified staff, says HR director

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Most Read