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Alberta moves to freeze insurance premiums

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Alberta has followed in the footsteps of Ontario to freeze auto insurance rates until the provin...


EDMONTON, Alta. — Alberta has followed in the footsteps of Ontario to freeze auto insurance rates until the province has a chance to reform the insurance system.

“I don’t see any harm at imposing a freeze at this particular time,” Premier Ralph Klein said yesterday. “It simply says everything is on hold until we sort this thing out.”

Ontario’s new Liberal Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has frozen insurance rates in that province, while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have also taken action to fight rising insurance premiums.

A proposal in Alberta to cap the payout on pain and suffering awards for minor injuries to $4,000 was shot down by a government committee on Monday. Klein was disappointed with the result.

“I’m frustrated, yeah,” Klein told local media. “I gave a fairly significant speech to caucus at the last meeting relative to the need to do this, and I focused on the consumer being the important person here.”

Meanwhile, a recent report by the Consumers’ Association of Canada has revealed public auto insurance systems cost much less for consumers than private auto insurance systems.


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