NDP Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley said auto insurance companies have been defrauding drivers since the UCP allowed an insurance rate cap to expire.
A report released by the UCP on Thursday shows that insurance companies “have generated huge profits on Alberta drivers, and they’re doing it with the help of the UCP,” Ganley told a news conference. Friday morning.
The UCP government did not renew the 5% cap on car insurance rate increases when it expired at the end of August 2019. The government said the move was necessary to ensure the sustainability of the industry.
In 2020, insurance companies charged Alberta drivers $385 million more in premiums than in 2019, Ganley said.
The Superintendent of Insurance’s 2020 annual report was posted online Thursday. It shows that the amount of claims against premiums fell from 2% to 77% in 2020, compared to 79% in 2019 and 80% in 2018.
In 2019, auto insurance companies collected $1.15 billion more in premiums than they paid out in claims, she said. In 2020, they raised $1.3 billion more than they paid out.
“These are very profitable businesses. They are scamming Alberta drivers with the help of the UCP,” she said.
Many drivers drove significantly less in 2020, but their insurance bills continued to rise, she added.
“They are charging Alberta families and businesses hundreds of millions more at a time when the UCP is making everything more expensive.”
Ganley said a New Democrat government would restore the premium cap that protected drivers from “those predatory increases.
Ganley also pointed out that legislation banning utility disconnections during the winter months expired on Friday. Ganley said she had introduced legislation to keep the ban in place until this time next year, but the UCP would not debate it.
The NDP is calling for a rebate on natural gas, a rebate or a cap on electricity rates and the reinstatement of the cap on insurance rates. The opposition is also calling on the government to reverse the de-indexing of certain seniors’ benefits and personal income taxes and to drop steep tuition increases for students.
The government stopped collecting the provincial gasoline tax of 13 cents per liter on April 1 and plans to offer $150 in electricity rebates over the next few months. A natural gas rebate program was also announced.
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