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MLA Donovan pleased with Bill 39

Posted on November 21, 2013 by Vauxhall Advance

Proposed changes to Alberta’s auto insurance system are intended to result in stronger oversight of premium rates and better access to treatment for those injured in collisions.

Bill 39, the Enhancing Consumer Protection in Auto Insurance Act, would allow for both mandatory and optional auto insurance premiums to be regulated.

“Just from what I’ve seen, I think this is something insurance clients wanted,” said Little Bow MLA Ian Donovan.

“I think it evens it up to what the rest of Canada is doing. So I think it was more continuity as much as anything, for across all provinces.”

Other changes being considered for the auto insurance system would ensure Albertans continue to receive timely, efficient and appropriate access to health care services after a collision. These changes will be detailed in future updates to the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation.

Donovan admitted that while the changes appear positive, auto insurance hasn’t been a major focus of concern amongst constituents.

“Auto insurance, I haven’t heard a lot of huge issues with it from contituents. To me, it’s not super high on my radar. My office hasn’t had a lot of complaints about auto insurance. We’ve had quite a few from people finding out what their policy didn’t cover, but that is more with home owners rather than auto insurance.”

Mandatory auto insurance rates are regulated by the Automobile Insurance Rate Board. Since the creation of the board in 2004, mandatory premiums have decreased by 13 per cent. Changes are not being proposed for other components of Alberta’s automobile insurance system, such as the definition of minor injury and the related cap on payouts for minor injuries. Those components will remain under review.

Key amendments in Bill 39 include:

*    Both mandatory and optional insurance coverage will be regulated by the independent Automobile Insurance Rate Board.

*    Competition in the auto insurance industry will be increased by moving to a file-and-approve system where each insurer will need to apply for premium adjustments on an as-needed basis instead of an annual, industry-wide rate adjustment.

*    Additional changes to the Insurance Act will strengthen solvency requirements for insurance companies and improve general market conduct.

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