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No Hikes for the Holidays: Alberta NDPs call on gov. to cap auto insurance rates

Edmonton, Alberta – Alberta’s NDPs are calling on the provincial government to reinstate a cap on insurance premium hikes, despite the UCP’s claims that insurers are struggling financially in the pandemic.

The NDP’s Jon Carson pointed toward the numbers presented in the Superintendent of Insurance 2019 Annual Report as proof that the auto insurance sector in Alberta is, in fact, turning a profit, contrary to claims made by Jason Kenney’s conservatives.

The report shows that auto insurance companies collected a little over $5.428 billion in premiums in 2019 while paying out a little over $4.276 billion in claims.

The $1.15 billion difference in favour of the insurance companies is an increase from the $974 reported in 2018, according to the NDP.

“[This report] debunks all of the UCP claims and raises serious questions about who this UCP government is really working for. They claimed the rate cap would make the companies unprofitable,” said Carson.

He continued, “The UCP removed the cap, allowing insurance companies to increase the premiums as much as they wanted. As a result, we saw insurance premiums skyrocket. In fact, there was a 24 percent increase to rates in 2020 alone.”

A response from the office of Alberta’s finance minister claimed that the opposition “has taken a narrow focus on a much larger issue.”

“The claims ratios included in the report represent claims-related expenses only, and do not include other expenses such as commissions, premium taxes and administrative costs,” reads part of a statement from press secretary Jerrica Goodwin. “Automobile insurance premiums has been a topic of frustration in Alberta for nearly 10 years. That’s why Alberta’s government passed legislation with immediate measures to make insurance affordable for Alberta drivers.”

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