December 5, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
The provincial Progressive Conservative government of Alberta pushed through auto insurance product reform legislation just prior to closure of the parliament’s fall sitting. A significant component of the reform measures is a $4,000 cap on minor bodily injuries.
The legislation, which has met resistance from injury lawyers and healthcare service providers, will likely be implemented in the spring of next year. Premier Ralph Klein warns that the legislation will have failed if it does not result in lower insurance premiums for drivers with good records. He expects that premiums will drop for at least 60% of drivers in the province.
While the government has yet to define what is a “minor injury”, the result could have significant cost or saving implications for insurers. Furthermore, the reform package contains controversial restrictions against insurers applying age or driving experience in their underwriting criteria. The government has also instituted an 18 month auto insurance rate freeze effective from October 31 of this year.