Alberta’s UCP government set to introduce auto insurance reforms Thursday

The UCP government is hoping to make automobile insurance more affordable for Albertans.

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews will be introducing legislation on Thursday to address spiking insurance rates.

Click to play video 'Fears mount as more auto insurers raise rates in Alberta' Fears mount as more auto insurers raise rates in Alberta

Fears mount as more auto insurers raise rates in Alberta

“They are not affordable,” Toews told Global News on Wednesday. “Insurance premiums have been going up in an unsustainable way.

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“The main driver pushing up insurance premiums is, in fact, injury claim costs. Those costs have gone up approximately 26 per cent in the last four years.”

Toews will discuss the changes proposed in Bill 41 at a Thursday news conference.

Read more: Alberta strikes panel to review auto insurance, won’t bring back rate cap

Alberta’s NDP, meanwhile, is calling on the province to freeze auto insurance premiums until 2021.

“Given this government’s track record, I can’t help but wonder if the solution will be more financial gain for insurance companies and more pains for Albertans,” said NDP leader Rachel Notely at a Wednesday news conference.

Click to play video 'Albertans brace for double-digit auto insurance rate hikes' Albertans brace for double-digit auto insurance rate hikes

Albertans brace for double-digit auto insurance rate hikes

The former NDP government had imposed a five per cent annual rate increase cap for auto insurance in the province, but the UCP government did not renew the regulation, which then expired in August 2019.

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Insurance rates began spiking, and in December 2019, the UCP government appointed a panel to troubleshoot Alberta’s auto insurance issues.

Read more: 6 ways to cut your auto insurance rate

Toews has said previously the five per cent cap won’t be coming back, calling it a “Band-Aid on a wound that was festering.”

— With files from Tom Vernon

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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