Alberta’s auto insurance changes set to impact premium calculations and claims process in 2022

CALGARY –

More mandatory changes are coming to Alberta’s auto insurance policies in the new year. 

Starting Jan. 1, the province will be adopting a direct compensation for property damage model, more commonly known as DCPD.

For drivers not at fault in a collision, DCPD will push the onus of vehicle assessment and repair to their own insurance provider. 

It’s meant to speed up a complicated, sometimes arduous process.

“It’s really just a streamlining process for how a claim is handled moving forward,” Jaime Tempeny with Westland Insurance said. “So rather than chasing third party carriers and adjusters, you’re now dealing with the insurance carrier that you hired.”

Alberta is the last province to jump on board with the model. 

COSTS TO STAY THE SAME

But many are likely only focused on one thing when it comes to auto insurance: price. 

Aaron Sutherland with the Insurance Bureau of Canada says for most drivers, costs will likely stay relatively consistent. 

“What’s coming in to insurers as a result of this change has to be revenue neutral, so there’s no overall rate increase here,” he told CTV News. “(Providers) can now better align your premiums with your vehicle. So what that means is if you drive a less expensive vehicle that costs less to repair, you will be paying less under DCPD. And at the same time, if you drive a more expensive vehicle that costs a little bit more to repair, you’re going to pay a little bit more. But that’s a fair system.”

According to the Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board, it’s estimated about 42 per cent of Alberta drivers will see premium reductions. 15 per cent won’t notice a change and 43 per cent of drivers will see increases. 

Finance Minister Travis Toews refused an interview request, but sent a statement saying under DCPD, drivers can “expect a more consistent treatment and quicker response on claims from insurers.”

The changes will not have any bearing on the benefits drivers receive to recover physically after a collision, or the ability of Albertans to pursue legal action after a crash. 

DCPD does not cover damage from an uninsured vehicle.

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