Alberta auto insurance changes expected to impact premium calculations and claims process in 2022

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CALGARY-

Other mandatory changes will be made to Alberta auto insurance policies in the new year.

Effective January 1, the province will move to a direct compensation for property damage model, more commonly referred to as DCPD.

For drivers who are not responsible for a collision, the DCPD will defer responsibility for the assessment and repair of the vehicle to its own insurer.

It is intended to speed up a complicated, sometimes arduous process.

“It’s really just a process of streamlining how a claim is handled in the future,” said Jaime Tempeny of Westland Insurance. “So rather than chasing carriers and third-party experts, you’re now dealing with the insurance company you hired.”

Alberta is the latest province to join the model.

THE COSTS TO STAY THE SAME

But many probably only focus on one thing when it comes to auto insurance: price.

Aaron Sutherland of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that for most drivers, costs are likely to remain relatively constant.

“What returns to insurers as a result of this change should be revenue neutral, so there is no overall rate increase here,” he told CTV News. “(Providers) can now better match your premiums to your vehicle. So that means if you’re driving a cheaper vehicle that costs less to fix, you’ll pay less under DCPD. And at the same time, if you’re driving a more expensive vehicle that costs a little more to fix, you’re going to pay a little more, but it’s a fair system.

According to the Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board, it is estimated that approximately 42% of Alberta drivers will see their premiums reduced. 15% will not notice any change and 43% of drivers will see increases.

Finance Minister Travis Toews declined a request for an interview, but sent a statement saying that under DCPD drivers can ‘expect more consistent handling and faster response to claims from insurers’.

The changes will not affect the benefits drivers receive to physically recover from a collision or the ability of Albertans to pursue legal action after an accident.

DCPD does not cover damage caused by an uninsured vehicle.

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