Information for Medical Professionals
What you and your patients need to know
What is no-fault insurance and how will it affect patients?
The Alberta government is considering changing our auto insurance system from an at-fault system to a no-fault system.
A no-fault auto insurance system will dramatically affect how injury victims are compensated and treated in Alberta. Learn more below about what a no-fault auto insurance system could mean for your patients.
What No-Fault Auto Insurance means for your patients
There are 3 key flaws with no-fault insurance:
No-Fault benefits insurance companies, not victims.
No-fault insurance is designed to help insurance companies control costs, not to better treat Albertans injured in automobile accidents. By broadening the pool of beneficiaries, no-fault insurance under-compensates those with severe and chronic injuries and overcompensates those with less severe injuries.
No-Fault lowers compensation for injury victims.
No-fault auto insurance puts the interests and wellbeing of at-fault drivers ahead of innocent victims of accidents. These systems increase costs to all consumers only to provide greater benefits for at-fault drivers at the direct expense of innocent drivers who see decreased benefits.
No-Fault means a WCB-style bureaucracy will determine injury
A no-fault system means insurance disputes will no longer be settled by the courts. Instead, a new government bureaucracy will be created much like the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to determine injury compensation.
What you can do
Inform your patients
Awareness goes a long way. In order to help you keep your patients informed, you may request or print informational pamphlets, which will help raise awareness
Help Raise Awareness & Get involved in the conversation
Spread the word to your patients, your fellow professionals and your personal network.
Write to your local MLA
Together we can stand up for injured Albertans against no-fault insurance. Join us in speaking out by writing to your local MLA. Below you’ll find information on how to contact your MLA, the Finance Minister and Premier of Alberta, as well as tips for writing politicians about no-fault insurance.
1. Contact your Local MLA
In addition to contacting your MLA, it’s important to loop in key decision makers on auto insurance.
For your convenience, the above MLA contact list will open your preferred email client and automatically cc Premier Kenney and Minister Toews on your letter.
In case you do not have an email client specified, or the link does not work for you, their information is listed below:
1. Tips for Writing Your MLA
Make it personal.
Tell them something about yourself. A simple sentence such as “I have been practicing for 15 years I know no-fault insurance will negatively affect treatment outcomes for my patients” can help create familiarity and brings you and your point alive and off the paper.
Start with a clear statement of purpose about a particular action. For example: “I am writing to express my concern about no-fault auto insurance on . I ask that you reject insurance industry proposals for no-fault insurance that would restrict my rights and reduce my insurance coverage.” Repeat this request in the last paragraph. A closing request such as “please represent the interests of consumers and Albertans over insurance companies” is a strong message for an elected official to hear.
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Injured Albertans Speak Out
Please understand that insurance must continue to support those who are truly injured. We need your voice to support us. Please speak up on this issue.
I knew when I woke up and the feeling of fogginess, inability to focus, feeling unable to connect with what as going on around me, that I had another concussion. My first concussion had been four years earlier and I hadn’t fully recovered, but I was better in so many ways. I was finally starting to regain some of the abilities that I had lost, and now…
Life now, is hard. I spent years working on my career finding direction and discovering how to best apply my interests and talents. I finally discovered that I excelled at project management. I was organized and communicated well. I had a background in design and manufacturing controlled budgets of $56M, and now I can’t organize how to make simple phone calls to plan my medical appointments. I have lost abilities in concentration and three-dimensional thinking. I feel I no longer possess the skills that made me such a great project manager, and now I’m struggling to figure what I can I do.
I haven’t been back to work since my accident. I have been home with my children trying to get well enough to go back to work, or school, or something, but I can’t seem to keep up with the bad days. I can only remember one good day in the past four years. I’m so tired of trying to seem mostly ‘normal’ that simple frustrations set me off and I can’t claw back control my emotions. I feel like I’m missing out on my life, my children’s lives. I feel I have everything I could possibly ask for, but I lack the ability to enjoy it. Suffering multiple brain injuries has me left with a fatigue I can never get enough sleep for, an anxiety I can’t escape from, and an apathy to my own life. A concussion can be life-impacting. My life was impacted.
As a former insurance adjuster and with over a decade of experience working on motor vehicle accident bodily injury claims, I have long been well aware that thousands of Albertans each year are injured by careless motorists. With prompt and appropriate treatment, many recover within about 12 weeks in which case, quite frankly, compensation for pain and suffering in the $5,000.00 to $5,500.00 range is reasonable.
However, I am also well aware (now painfully so) that many other wrongfully injured Albertans suffer traumatic injuries in auto accidents that evolve into chronic pain conditions. I am one of those Albertans. Whether I eventually recover from these injuries or end up with permanent clinical impairment remains to be seen, but either way it’s common sense (and common law) that I deserve to be compensated for my pain by the negligent driver’s insurer at a figure well in excess of the minor injury cap, which was always intended only to apply to people suffering minor strains and sprains that healed relatively quickly, ie., within 90 days or so.
The whole point of insurance is that a community of millions (myself included) chips in some money in the form of premiums so that there is a pool of funds available to compensate the thousands of ordinary Albertans (me too, unfortunately) who are injured each year by negligent motorists. Apparently, insurance companies would rather continue to rake in premiums from consumers like me, but pocket that cash rather than having to fully compensate innocent injured Albertans for our pain and suffering — but that wouldn’t be fair, now would it?
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About FAIR Alberta Injury Regulations
FAIR Alberta is a coalition of concerned consumers, medical professionals, injured Albertans, and members of the legal community who are committed to protecting the rights of individuals that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.