Lawyers concerned no-fault insurance coming, province claims decision hasn't been made
CALGARY -- A group of personal injury lawyers say they are concerned the Alberta government is laying the groundwork to implement a no-fault insurance system.
Mark Feehan, lawyer with Feehan Law in Edmonton and a spokesperson for Fair Alberta Injury Regulations, said a few questions in the survey appear to ask if the right to sue in the event of an injury collision is preferred over cheaper insurance rates.
"They are steering people toward answering they want to give up the right to make a claim through the court system," said Feehan.
Feehan said he's worried the responses collected could provide the basis for the advisory panel to recommend moving to a no-fault insurance system.
"This is the concern that we have, is the government going to go into this open minded about protecting the rights of Albertans who want to have their rights maintained if they need to go to court?" he said.
No-fault insurance is where both insurance companies pay damages in collisions where multiple drivers were involved, regardless of who caused the crash.
Officials with the Insurance Bureau of Canada refute the claim that companies are pressuring the government to move toward a no-fault system, and said takes no stance on the provincial system.
"We are advocating for balanced changes that will lead to affordable premiums, more choice and (access to health) care," said Celyeste Power, vice-president for the IBC's of western region.
No decisions made
In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for the Treasury Board and finance minister said no decisions have been made on the future of the insurance system in the province.
"The expert advisory committee is currently engaging with Albertans, industry stakeholders, and legal and medical experts to gather information and develop recommendations on how government can improve Alberta’s automobile insurance system. They are reporting back to government this spring."
Calgary drivers told CTV News they are concerned about any changes to the auto insurance industy that would affect their wallets.
"At least here we can shop around and there's some competition within the companies so I don't know how I would feel about them going to a no-fault policy," said Rebecca Davis.
"Accidents are not one-size-fits-all and I think that might be a problem with no-fault insurance," said Glenda Graham.