Posted on May 8, 2020
ALBERTANS NEED A BREAK ON AUTO INSURANCE DURING UNPRECEDENTED PANDEMIC
EDMONTON -- Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition is calling on the UCP Government to introduce relief for Albertans from rising automobile insurance costs now that they are driving less during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let’s be clear — very few Albertans are driving much beyond a weekly trip to the grocery store,” said Shannon Phillips, NDP Finance Critic. “Because of this, insurance companies are generating enormous profits. Still, we are hearing from some Albertans that have actually seen their insurance rates increased during the period of self-isolation.
“This isn’t right. We believe rates should actually be coming down.”
The NDP Official Opposition is specifically proposing the following:
- An immediate freeze, retroactive to April 1, on all general insurance premium increases to remain in effect until government mandated social distancing is lifted.
- A blanket 25 per cent premium reduction for March, April and May payments.
- An immediate policy extension, retroactive to April 1, for all consumers whose policy was set to expire, with the same Terms and Conditions, until government mandated social distancing is lifted.
NDP Service Alberta Critic Jon Carson noted that major American insurance companies, such as Allstate and American Family Insurance have voluntarily reduced their insurance premiums during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those insurers have noted a decline in vehicle use of up to 50 per cent. Some Canadians insurance companies have offered minor rate reductions, but not nearly an amount reflective of the vehicle use.
“More can be done to help Albertans make ends meet in these difficult times,” Carson said. “For many Albertans, their vehicle has been little more than a 3,000-pound paperweight parked on their driveway. We believe a 25 per cent reduction and a retroactive freeze on rates is reasonable.
“Initially, it looked like insurance companies would follow the lead of major American insurance companies and cut their rates sharply. But they haven’t and Albertans need help now. Jason Kenney has the legal authority to step in and protect drivers. We are waiting to see if he’ll side with the insurance companies, or with struggling Albertans.”