Proposed Changes to Insurance Regulation Unfair to Alberta Consumers

Edmonton, AB: Albertans shouldn’t have to pay more in insurance premiums only to have fewer rights. That’s the message from Fair Alberta Injury Regulations (FAIR), a group recently formed to protect the rights of consumers and anyone injured on Alberta roadways.

For over a year, insurance industry lobbyists have been meeting and pressuring government to make changes to Alberta’s minor injury regulation. The regulation, in place since 2004, caps damages for pain and suffering from “minor” soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains resulting from an automobile accident. Industry lobbyists now want to change the definition of “minor injuries” to include some chronic conditions including concussions and chronic pain, which means more of the financial burden would fall onto injured Albertans to pay for their recovery.

Mark Feehan, spokesperson for FAIR Alberta, says the proposed changes are unnecessary and unfair to Albertans.

“Why does the insurance industry want these changes – are they unprofitable? Are injury claims rising?” asks Feehan. “The fact is the number of injury claims have fallen in recent data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada and insurance industry profits totalled more than $2 billion last year.”

Feehan added that medical professionals, members of the legal community, and everyday Albertans are joining the FAIR Alberta campaign in opposition to the potential regulation change.

“Consumers don’t want to pay more only to get less, the legal community doesn’t like to see people’s rights regulated away, and medical professionals want to ensure Albertans who are injured on our roadways are supported in their recovery,” he says.

Feehan says Alberta’s United Conservative government was elected to reduce regulation and protect the rights of individual Albertans. He says the minor injury regulation changes the industry is seeking are the worst kind of regulation because they will reduce consumer rights only to benefit an already profitable industry.

“Alberta’s injury regulations are meant to be fair to both insurance companies and everyday Albertans,” Feehan concluded, “On behalf of Alberta consumers, we encourage the government to stand up for fairness and say “no” to the insurance industry lobbyists who want to regulate our rights away for their profit.”

Media inquiries – contact Keith McLaughlin ([email protected] / 403-894-4290)

FAIR Alberta is a coalition of Albertans including concerned consumers, medical professionals, and members of the legal community who are committed to protecting the rights of individuals that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. FAIR works to ensure that the laws applying to injury victims are fair, that auto insurance companies are accountable to the premium paying public, and that individual Albertans receive fair compensation and appropriate treatment options for their injuries.

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