Poll: 75% of Albertans support capping insurance industry profits

CALGARY, Alberta, June 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A poll released by advocacy coalition Fair Alberta Insurance Regulations (FAIR Alberta) finds 69% of Albertans think insurance profits are currently too high and that an even larger number - 75% - feel more should be done to regulate windfall profits in the auto insurance market.

Since 2020, auto insurance companies in Alberta have amassed over $2.9 billion in pre-tax profit. At the same time, Albertans have seen large rate increases for auto insurance premiums, which is why groups like FAIR Alberta are calling for more consumer protections and greater transparency in the insurance industry.

The poll conducted by Janet Brown Opinion Research, Alberta’s most accurate pollster, found almost seven in ten Albertans (69%) believe auto insurance profits in Alberta are too high, and three-quarters (75%) responded that they would support legislation to cap profits in Alberta’s auto insurance market at 7% per premium policy.

“While it is not commonly known, auto insurance premiums in Alberta are designed to target a 7% profit for companies, but insurers have been regularly exceeding that target without consequences,” says Owen Lewis, Chair of the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association.

“Had a 7% premium profit cap been applied since 2020, a typical Alberta household would have saved more than $1,200, including $378 in premiums in 2020, $691 in 2021, and at least $161 in 2022,” added Lewis.

In contrast, the insurance industry is lobbying government for reforms that would reduce consumer protections, and the rights of Albertans to access the courts and challenge insurer decisions through “no-fault” insurance systems.

“What we’ve learned from British Columbia is no-fault systems punish innocent accident victims and protect bad drivers from consequences. The same thing would happen in Alberta. It would be an industry-friendly reform that would make an already profitable industry more profitable at the expense of consumers,” says Lewis.

According to pollster Janet Brown, two things are clear about the views of Albertans when they think about auto insurance rates.

“When we look into public perceptions of auto insurance, it’s clear that Albertans believe profits are too high, and secondly that the public is open to reforms that would include more consumer protections,” says Brown.

The survey of 900 Albertans was conducted between April 11 and 25, 2023, prior to the Alberta election. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Full survey findings can be found here.

About FAIR Alberta
FAIR Alberta is a coalition of concerned consumers, medical professionals, Albertans who have had to fight insurance companies, and members of the legal community committed to protecting the rights of individuals that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.

About Janet Brown Opinion Research
Janet Brown Opinion Research is a Calgary-based company specializing in public opinion polling and independent market research. With over 30 years of experience, Janet is a leading expert in helping clients understand their target customers, potential customers, employees, members, voters, or the general public.


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