Issues and Activities

Call On Alberta to Lift the Veil on its Secret Auto Insurance Reform Committee That Involves ICBC

Press Release



July 28, 2003

Consumers' Association Calls On Alberta to Lift the Veil on its Secret Auto Insurance Reform Committee That Involves ICBC

OTTAWA, July 28 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) today expressed serious concern about Alberta's approach to making changes to its auto insurance system. "The Alberta Government has set up a secret Auto Insurance Reform Implementation Committee that has no representation from any group affected by high auto insurance rates", said Mr. Mel Fruitman, President of the Association.

"The Alberta Insurance Reform Implementation Committee consists of lawyers, politicians, insurance industry representatives and bureaucrats", said Mr. Bruce Cran, national secretary of CAC. "This is the same gang responsible for problems with auto insurance in the first place."

A real surprise is that the CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Canada's largest public auto insurance company, is a member of this secret Alberta Committee. "Why are ICBC paid staff working side by side with private auto insurers to implement solutions in Alberta that are to the detriment of consumers in that province," said Mr. Cran.

"We have a hard time understanding why the head of the public auto insurance company in British Columbia is in bed with the Alberta Government and private insurers trying to fix problems in Alberta," said Mr. Cran. "ICBC is a public insurer and its time and resources should be focused on serving the interests of the people of British Columbia."

"If ICBC's presence in Alberta meant that the Government of Alberta is planning on implementing public auto in that province that would be good news for Alberta consumers," said Mr. Cran. "Our Association's study of auto insurance rates shows that Alberta rates would be much lower under a public auto system. For example, rates in Lloydminster, Alberta are up to 500% higher than right across the street in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan." (See LLoydminster Comparison)

It appears more probable that ICBC is getting information from Alberta about how to implement private auto insurance practices in British Columbia. Recently, as part of Alberta-like rating practices, ICBC targeted 5,000 customers under its optional coverage to discriminate against these drivers irrespective of their driving records. "We want to hear from consumers in Alberta and British Columbia who have been treated unfairly by auto insurers," said Mr. Cran. Consumers can tell their auto insurance horror stories by going to the CAC website.

For further information: Bruce Cran, (604) 454-7827