With a system of checks-and-balances currently in place here in Alberta, the insurance industry needs to be transparent with consumers. If they’re not, claims get taken to court where the law makes sure that the truth and fairness win out over corporate profits. The “right-to-sue” is part of what keeps everyone on the up-and-up. If “responsible driving means lower rates” is the carrot (please link to the no savings page), right-to-sue is the stick.
Under a no-fault system, there would be no more recourse for consumers to challenge insurers in court – whatever the insurance company decides about someone’s injury resulting from a car accident would be final. This would save insurers money as they could low-ball consumers with impunity.
Under a no-fault system, there would be no unbiased third party to ensure the process and the decisions made by insurance companies are fair. You have no recourse if evidence about your injuries is missed (or ignored) by your insurance company.
Currently, years of good judgment are not treated the same as years of bad behaviour. Alberta’s current system aims to keep the bar high by providing consequences for unsafe driving choices. Each year, 20% of accidents in Alberta are caused by speed and aggressive highway driving. Common sense says we must maintain a safe system with deterrents for careless drivers. Fairness says that good drivers should not subsidise the poor choices of bad drivers.
On the other hand, a no-fault system means that bad drivers have no consequences. If one hits you, it doesn’t matter—no one’s “at fault”, as there is no fault and no liability. You get scars. The other guy? He gets a walk. That’s just NOT FAIR!
The premise behind this move for no-fault is that the insurance company you are with covers the damage, rather than the driver at fault – so if someone hits your vehicle, your insurance company will fix it while the other driver deals with their insurance company. This penalises good drivers, as we have to pay for the bad drivers to keep their vehicles on the road.
No-fault insurance makes bad drivers less accountable for their actions and decisions. No-fault protects bad drivers. This kind of system enables careless, bad drivers to stay on the road since there are little to no consequences for bad behaviour.
Let your voice be heard. Send a letter to your MLA and the Minister of Finance.
We want to know your accident story. Were you able to secure fair compensation? What happened? How do you feel about the potential loss of protections if Albertans can no longer sue at-fault drivers?
Fill in the form, and we will keep you up-to-date on developments.
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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.
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