The NDP calls for transparency in the declarations of private insurance companies

“Now they have carte blanche to increase it as much as they want and no one is questioning that,” Notley said.

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NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley accuses the UCP of hiding information about car insurance company profits for the past two years.

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The province has traditionally made the information readily available through a report produced by the Superintendent of Insurance, an Alberta Finance official.

Notley said that although the legislation does not require it, the province has produced the report for 107 years, but has not done so in 2020 and 2021, which coincides with the end of the cap on insurance increases by the government.

“Now they have carte blanche to increase it as much as they want and no one is questioning that,” Notley said at a press conference on Thursday. “Having a clearer picture of his increase would certainly happen if this report were produced.”

While in power, the NDP imposed a 5% cap on annual premium increases to slow the growth in the cost of insurance. The UCP government removed the cap in 2019 and Notley said that since then the cost of premiums has skyrocketed, in some cases reaching 30%. However, without the report, it is difficult to see by how much and whether it is justified – which she says during two years of confinement the claims should have diminished.

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The NDP filed a freedom of information request for the 2020 report, but received an email from a FOIP coordinator saying that due to “various factors, the superintendent has chosen not to complete his report for 2020 and probably won’t for 2021 either.”

The Insurance Act only states that the Minister “may prepare and publish a report on the insurance carried by each licensed insurer during the preceding year”.

The Superintendent of Insurance’s 107th Annual Report was released in November 2020, detailing the 2019 finances of Alberta’s private insurance companies, covering all forms of insurance. The government’s online records date back to 2000. Reports include written premium breakdowns and total claims for each insurance provider in each category. For auto insurance, it includes 81 different companies in 2019, underwriting $5.4 billion in premiums for $4.3 billion in claims.

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Finance Minister Travis Toews said in an emailed statement Thursday that financial information for federally incorporated insurance companies operating in Alberta can be viewed on the Federal Office of the Superintendent of Finances website. financial institutions. For this reason, the Superintendent advised in February that he was suspending the production of future reports. Additional information is available on request from its secretariat.

The federal site produces the financial statement for the entire individual business, but businesses are not broken down by province or type of insurance. As of Thursday afternoon, the site was not producing reports for download, citing complications from the pandemic.

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Toews also said rates are no longer increasing, pointing to the Automobile Insurance Rates Commission website, which reports a weighted average of rate changes approved over the past 12 months (as of Feb. 28, 2022) from -0.66% for private passengers. vehicles and 0.01 per cent for utility vehicles. The AIRB site, however, does not detail claims paid by insurers and notes that rates will vary by province jurisdiction.

“The Automobile Insurance Rate Commission is responsible for rate regulation,” he said. “We understand that the Automobile Insurance Rates Commission does not approve further rate increases unless an application demonstrates that a rate change is absolutely necessary for an insurer to regain or remain in a position. adequate operational.”

jaldrich@postmedia.com

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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Justin D. O'Neill