Alberta wants rate changes

In Alberta The Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) regulates the province's auto insurance rates. The AIRB is seeking approval from the provincial government to introduce a new file-and-use system for determining auto insurance rates.

If this is approved then insurers can file for changes to their auto insurance rates with the government. They then can immediately use the filed rates while waiting on the formal government approval.

This would be a big change in Alberta's private auto insurance market. At this time there is an annual industry-wide rate adjustment process. The companies file for rate increase, the AIRB reviews each company and then decides if that rate change is fair and appropriate. The rate does not go into effect until the AIRB has approved the change. The insurer then has to notify the brokers and agents of the upcoming change. The changes traditionally have occurred in April and November.

The AIRB says that the change will "reduce market uncertainty, provide quicker response times to rate applications and lower rates over the long term". Also the AIRB stated it would retain authority to accept or decline rate adjustments and be able to respond on a timely basis to changes in market conditions.

Historically more auto insurers have increased rates then reduced their rates charged. This change may result in some insurers having lower rates then others but overall it is possible that the general public will end up paying more for their automobile insurance.