As insurance costs rise in Alberta, the Alberta NDP is calling on the United Conservative Party to release the Superintendent of Insurance’s 2020 report on the profitability of insurance companies.
The annual report provides a general overview of Alberta’s insurance industry and includes data on how much insurance companies collect in premiums and how much they have paid for claims over the course of the year. a given year. The numbers are often an indicator of an insurance company’s profit margins for the year.
The UCP government removed the insurance cap in 2019.
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According to Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, the party filed a freedom of information request for the report, but was told the government would not release a report for 2020 and 2021. She said says the information is important since many Albertans are driving less during the pandemic.
“Higher premiums and fewer claims probably mean insurance companies have made a lot of money, and this report, which has been published annually for over a century, would show that one way or another. other in detail,” Notley told a news conference. conference Thursday.
“The UCP finance minister chooses not to publish this report just after deciding to give massive profits to insurance companies.”
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NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips also denounced the government’s decision not to release the report, adding that many Albertans cannot afford higher insurance premiums on top of the increased utility and grocery bills.
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“They don’t care about helping people make ends meet, and when it comes time to make a choice in favor of big business or their friends, they’ll make that choice against you,” Phillips said.
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Finance Minister Travis Toews said the decision not to release the report was made internally by the department because it had not received a request to release the report for two years. All information is available online.
“What we’re seeing with auto insurance now… They’re actually starting to flatten out and come down,” Toews told Global News during a Thursday afternoon scrum.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said premiums are beginning to stabilize and improve after significant pressure on Alberta’s auto insurance system in recent years.
“It’s a good thing. There are still pressures on the horizon, like inflation, but the insurance systems are definitely stabilizing,” said BAC Vice President Aaron Sutherland.
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Sutherland also said the industry has refunded more than $416 million in premium relief to Albertans as people drive less due to work-from-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He denied the NDP’s claim that insurance companies are making huge profits at the expense of Albertans, saying price caps were only a short-term solution.
“A price cap is a short-term solution. It is keeping rates low in the short term, but these cost pressures are not being taken into account and they continue to rise.
“The introduction of reforms removed some of those cost pressures from the system and they allowed rates to stabilize and start to come down,” he said.
But for Albertans like Kelsey Kay, those insurance premiums are still far too expensive. Kay said her 24-year-old son had been hit hard by car insurance bills.
“Car insurance, home insurance…it just keeps going up,” Kay said.
“Young people don’t know how to drive. They can’t afford 300 to 400 dollars a month.
— With files from Tom Vernon, Global News
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