facebook page view

Apr 14, 2020 in News Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: Should Alberta Follow Ontario's Lead on Auto Insurance?

The Province of Alberta is considering changes to its auto insurance system, including adopting a no-fault approach similar to Ontario's. Personal injury lawyers in the province aren't happy about the idea. Here's why Alberta is pursuing the changes and why insurance experts think Ontario is a bad model. Why Does Alberta Need a New Auto Insurance System? Like elsewhere in the country, insurance premiums are on the rise in Alberta. A study, conducted last year and delivered to the province's treasury board and finance department, blamed the trend, in part, on the number of claims for "minor" injuries. "Albertans are increasingly retaining legal representation to negotiate their compensation following a motor vehicle accident," the study, which was obtained by the Toronto Star's Edmonton Bureau, says. "Our recommendation is that the system can be modified to make it easier for a claimant to make a claim without the time consuming and costly legal process." One proposed modification is to strip Albertans of the right to sue for pain and suffering for minor injuries. Although awards for pain and suffering are capped at just over $5,000 in the province, the study states that 57 per cent of all bodily injury payouts come from these claims. What Does the Province Propose? News reports suggest that the province is leaning toward a no-fault system similar to Ontario's. The rumoured approach would strip Albertans of their right to sue for pain and suffering for minor injuries and instead determine compensation based on an accident benefits schedule. In other words, the extent of the accident victim's injuries would be determined by a private assessor, and compensation would be delivered based on their severity. As in Ontario, private insurance companies would continue to provide coverage. Criticism Personal injury lawyers in Alberta aren't happy with the rumoured changes, and some auto insurance experts are confused about the province's decision to emulate Ontario's dysfunctional system. "The promise of lower insurance rates sounds really enticing to a lot of people, especially in tough economic times when people are struggling," one personal injury lawyer told CBC News Alberta. "But the question is, what rights are we being asked to give up in order to get those lower rates?" "It's really tempting to give up your rights in the short term in return for the promise of lower insurance rates. But I think we can look across the country and see that those promises really don't come true in other jurisdictions," he added. "It doesn't work in Ontario," Wilfrid Laurier University professor Mary Kelly, an insurance expert, told the Star. "I think that's a fair statement, which is why I'm rather puzzled that it is being considered." Most Ontario personal injury lawyers would agree that the province's auto insurance system needs improvement. Despite the no-fault system in place, the previous provincial government resorted to slashing benefits to reduce premiums in 2016. And, in 2017, an independent review of the system, requested by the new government, found it to be "one of the least effective insurance systems in Canada." Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Personal injury lawyers in Ontario may be powerless to influence the Province of Alberta's auto insurance policy. However, we can help accident victims access the compensation they deserve for the injuries they have suffered. If you've been hurt in a car accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Personal Injury

 

Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes. Our practice has represented clients seeking compensation from individuals, small businesses, corporate entities, medical professionals and facilities, and insurance providers. This diverse experience has made us one of Ontario’s most reputable and trusted personal injury law firms. If you or a member of your family has been catastrophically injured, contact a Neinstein personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


Top 10 Topics
Category Selector

Select a category relevant to you.

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Personal Injury

 

Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes. Our practice has represented clients seeking compensation from individuals, small businesses, corporate entities, medical professionals and facilities, and insurance providers. This diverse experience has made us one of Ontario’s most reputable and trusted personal injury law firms. If you or a member of your family has been catastrophically injured, contact a Neinstein personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


Looking For A Lawyer? We're Here To Help


Book Free Consultation 

At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

Our team will ensure you access the proper healthcare support to aid in your recovery. While you focus on your rehabilitation, we will thoroughly investigate your case and guide you through the litigation process so we can achieve the maximum compensation that you deserve.