No-Fault Auto Insurance is not right for Alberta

Open Letter

Honourable Jason Kenney,
PC Premier of Alberta
Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Honourable Travis Toews
President of Treasury Board and
Minister of Finance Office of the Minister
208 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, ABT5K 2B6

Re: Open Letter to Premier Kenney and Minister Toews concerning no-fault auto insurance

Dear Honourable Premier & Minister,

We the undersigned represent hundreds of medical practitioners encompassing a range of disciplines. As certified professionals within our fields it is our duty to diagnose and/or treat medical conditions accurately and responsibly for the betterment of our patients. It is with the wellbeing of our patients in mind that we write today to encourage you to reject recommendations from the Alberta Automobile Insurance Advisory Committee and the insurance industry to implement a no-fault or hybrid no-fault automobile insurance system in Alberta.

In our opinion no-fault or hybrid no-fault auto insurance will not improve care for injured Albertans but will result in poorer treatment outcomes. No-fault insurance systems by broadening the pool of beneficiaries, undercompensates those with severe and chronic injuries, and overcompensates those with less severe injuries. This dynamic would neither better treat Albertans who suffer injuries from automobile accidents nor save costs, but would instead serve to transfer costs out from the insurance system and onto Alberta’s health care system.

No-fault insurance systems categorize injuries and treat them as the same. This ignores the unique characteristics of individuals and injuries and results in a less efficient allocation of medical resources to the primary benefit of those who do not require enhanced care while those who do are disadvantaged. Albertans should receive custom care delivered at custom intervals that recognizes the uniqueness of each individual and each injury. This type of care is most efficiently enabled under the at-fault system because it permits a financial settlement and allows compensation to support future care that addresses persistent pain and disability – in the case of chronic injuries, and reduces excessive and unnecessary treatments (and those costs) which would be inherent under any no-fault system. 

No-fault auto insurance systems also put the interests and wellbeing of at-fault and uninjured drivers ahead of drivers who have sustained actual injuries from accidents. These systems provide greater benefits to at-fault or uninjured drivers at the direct expense of injury victims who see decreased benefits. In essence, purported savings from a no-fault system are predicated on withdrawing fair compensation from injury victims to reward at fault and uninjured parties.

We understand the Government of Alberta wishes to ensure an affordable and accessible auto insurance system for Albertans, but we encourage you to reject calls for no-fault or hybrid no-fault insurance because it will not result in better treatment or enhance medical outcomes for those injured on Alberta roadways.

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