EDMONTON, Alta. — Insurance rates in Alberta could be on the rise, after a judge ruled the province’s $4,000 cap on soft-tissue injury claims is unconstitutional.
Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice Neil Wittman recently ruled the cap violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“In my view, the (regulation) sacrifices the dignity of minor injury victims at the altar of reducing insurance premiums,” Wittman wrote. “Specifically, the message is that their pain is not as worthy of conventional … damages because of the nature of their injuries, despite that their injuries may be more painful and enduring than other types of injuries.”
With the threat of major injury claims looming, it’s widely expected insurance rates will increase. The province is expected to appeal the decision.
Auto insurance premiums in Alberta dropped by about 18% since the cap was put into place by then Premier Ralph Klein in 2004.
– With files from the Canadian Press
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