The Alberta government announced they are putting a freeze on auto insurance rates, and not everyone is happy about it.
Minister of Finance Travis Toews and Minister of Affordability and Utilities Matt Jones made the announcement in a release this morning.
In the release, the duo state that many people in Alberta are concerned with auto insurance affordability, which Toews says this freeze will help with.
“We share Albertans’ concerns about the rising cost of living during the current inflation crisis. We will continue to meet with members of the insurance industry to find additional longer-term solutions for automobile insurance,” Toews said.
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Along with pausing rates until the end of the year, the Alberta government says they will continue working on solutions to lower auto insurance rates.
“Affordability is a primary challenge facing many Albertans as rising inflation makes it challenging for many to afford necessities, including auto insurance. We are taking decisive action to protect Albertans from increased costs while working to keep Alberta affordable,” Jones stated.
While no new rate increases will be approved for the rest of the year, the government warns that some Alberta drivers may still see rate increases on their renewals in 2023 because of previously approved rate changes, changes to driving records including at-fault claims and tickets, or changes to insurance profiles such as a new address or a different vehicle being insured.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith tweeted about the announcement today.
Albertans have told us they’re concerned about auto insurance rates. We’ve heard you and are taking action.
Today, we have paused personal auto insurance rates for ALL Albertans. This is just one more way we are keeping Alberta affordable.#cdnpoli #abpoli #affordable pic.twitter.com/uXoDq0yCzX
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) January 26, 2023
“Albertans have told us they’re concerned about auto insurance rates. We’ve heard you and are taking action. Today, we have paused personal auto insurance rates for ALL Albertans,” the tweet read.
The reviews on social media and online have been mixed.
The opposition NDP pounced on the update, saying freezing rates when they are high doesn’t actually help anyone.
The insurance premiums freeze announced by the UCP today is fake because Albertans could still see their rates increase this year. Only weeks ago, they blocked Alberta NDP legislation that would have immediately put a real freeze on insurance rates. 2/3#ableg
— Irfan Sabir (@MLAIrfanSabir) January 26, 2023
The UCP announced a fake auto insurance freeze. For years, they claimed rate caps don’t work.
“Only weeks ago, Danielle Smith and Travis Toews blocked Alberta NDP legislation that would have immediately put a real freeze on insurance rates.”
– NDP Finance Critic, Shannon Philips
— Rhiannon Hoyle (@RhiHoyleYEG) January 26, 2023
Meanwhile, the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta is coming out against the freeze as well.
“A rate freeze at this point in time will add more strain to an already fragile segment of insurance, especially with the current state of inflation and the rising costs to repair vehicles. There will be underlying consequences that the average consumer may not be aware of and they will need to be prepared for them,” the association said in a statement.
They added that people aren’t going to see any direct relief from this freeze and will instead see fewer payment options and fewer insurer options to choose from.