Connect with us

Business

Alberta strikes panel to review auto insurance, won’t bring back rate cap – Global News

Published

 on


Alberta is reviewing auto insurance in the province to ensure that the industry can remain viable and drivers can get affordable coverage.

Finance Minister Travis Toews says Albertans are paying some of the highest rates in Canada but are having trouble getting critical protection such as comprehensive and collision coverage.

But a five per cent annual cap on rate increases, introduced by the former NDP government and abandoned by his United Conservatives, is not coming back, he says.

“The rate cap simply put a Band-Aid on a wound that was festering,” Toews said at the legislature Wednesday.

Tweet This

“In the intermediate and long term it was no solution, and even in the short term it made a bad situation worse.”

READ MORE: 6 ways to cut your auto insurance rate in Alberta

Auto insurance rates in Alberta have been rising sharply in the last five years. It trend prompted the NDP government to cap global rate increases at five per cent annually for each insurer starting in 2017.

Story continues below advertisement






3:04
Albertans brace for double-digit auto insurance rate hikes


Albertans brace for double-digit auto insurance rate hikes

The new UCP government did not renew the cap in August, and some drivers have since reported getting notices of steep rises in rates of 12 per cent or more.

Insurers have said that under the cap they were losing money in Alberta, given more payouts for car theft, injury claims, repairs and catastrophes such as the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire.

Toews said the cap forced insurers to seek savings at the expense of drivers by, in some cases, refusing to offer critical protections.

In other cases, individual clients were still hit with steep increases as long as the overall hike by the insurer to all Alberta clients remained at five per cent.






2:07
Fears mount as more auto insurers raise rates in Alberta


Fears mount as more auto insurers raise rates in Alberta

“Under the cap, we had insurers getting squeezed … so Albertans were finding themselves with fewer and fewer insurance options,” said Toews.

“We ultimately need to deal with the challenges that are leading to increased premiums … and present a reformed insurance system in this province that can serve Albertans well.”

Tweet This

READ MORE: Distracted driving could mean higher insurance rates for motorists

A three-member committee headed by Chris Daniels has been asked to research and recommend solutions that work for all parties within the existing privately delivered system.

Story continues below advertisement

The committee is to report back in the spring. Toews said the government will take action as soon as possible after that.

LISTEN: Finance Minister Travis Toews joins Rob Breakenridge to discuss the advisory panel tasked with assessing Alberta’s auto insurance industry

Daniels, consumer representative on the Automobile Insurance Rate Board, said there is no single reason for rising costs, although technology has made what used to be minor damage no longer minor.

“The new cars have a tremendous amount of technology,” said Daniels.

Tweet This

“A lot of the sensors of those new technologies are located in the windshield, so you have a windshield replacement that used to cost maybe $300 is now costing $1,500.”

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said it welcomes the review, particularly as it relates to injury claims.

Story continues below advertisement

“Increases in payouts for minor injuries have led the average claim size to increase by nearly 10 per cent per year,” bureau vice-president Celyeste Power said in a statement.

“Alberta’s three million drivers have said they want more affordable premiums, more choice, and care they can count on when they need it.”

READ MORE: Cutting pink tape — Alberta auto insurance cards going digital

The three members of the committee:

  1. Consumer and insurance industry expert Chris Daniel, who is in his second term as the consumer representative on the Automobile Insurance Rate Board
  2. Legal expert Shelley Miller, a lawyer with specific expertise in auto insurance reform
  3. Medical expert Dr. Larry Ohlhauser, who is the chief medical advisor to the superintendent of insurance

© 2019 The Canadian Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Business

Ottawa to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supply dwindles – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The City of Ottawa says it has to delay second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people who have already received their first shot due to a temporary shortage of vaccines. 

Anthony Di Monte, general manager of emergency and protective services, said Wednesday some long-term care home and retirement home staff, residents and essential caregivers will have to wait up to 27 days, or nearly a week longer than the 21-day period that’s recommended.

For others who received their first vaccine, they may have to wait up to 42 days, he said. 

The federal government announced on Friday Canada would be getting fewer COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech over the next few weeks because the company has to make changes to a production line in Belgium to grow its manufacturing capacity.

In Ottawa, that means the city will be getting no new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week, said Di Monte. The supply the city does have will be focused on ensuring that those who are due for a booster will get their second shot as soon as possible.

The first dose of vaccines have already been administered to more than 92 per cent of long-term care home residents in Ottawa at all 28 facilities. Residents at one at-risk retirement home and one congregant living setting have also been vaccinated, said Di Monte.

“Our next step is to administer the second dose to those individuals who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. Depending on the vaccine supply we receive from the province, which we know will be minimal in the next few weeks, we will then shift our focus to the high-risk retirement homes,” said Di Monte.

Ottawa has 36 high-risk retirement homes and so far, only the one has received doses of the vaccine. 

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said delays beyond 21-day gap are permitted under guidelines established by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

“The recommendation is of course to follow the dosing schedule as much as we can,” she said. “But in the context of limited supply … jurisdictions can maximize the number of individuals that are getting the benefit from the vaccine by going ahead with the first dose and delaying the second dose.”

While there isn’t data to show what effects waiting up to 42 days may have on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, typically delays in booster shots do not affect the durability of vaccines, she said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Declining case numbers show Alberta restrictions working, Dr. Deena Hinshaw says – CBC.ca

Published

 on


Declining numbers of cases and positive tests for COVID-19 in Alberta show that restrictions put in place last year have been effective, the province’s top doctor says.

Alberta reported 21 more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and 669 new cases of the illness.

Laboratories conducted about 14,900 tests over the past 24 hours putting the positivity rate at about 4.5 per cent.

“It’s very encouraging to see our positivity rate steadily declining since the peak in December,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday at a news conference. 

“And I would say that the data that we have indicates that the restrictions put in place in November and December have achieved, so far, their intended outcome.”

It’s critical that the province maintain enough restrictions to continue to drive those numbers down, Hinshaw said, given the high number of people still being treated in hospitals.

“We need to build on our collective success by going slowly toward allowing some additional activities and not experiencing a rebound if we open too quickly,” she said.

Hospitalizations remain high

Hospitals in the province are treating 744 patients for the disease, including 124 in ICU beds.

“It is important to remember that it is the number of people currently in hospital that I am providing, not all those who have ever needed hospital care since the spring,” Hinshaw said.

“To put this into context, over the last 10 years, we have had an average of just over 1,500 total hospital admissions for influenza annually. For COVID-19, the comparable number comes from less than a year of data. More than 5,000 people have needed hospital care since the pandemic began for COVID-19 in Alberta.”

A total of 5,086 people with COVID-19 have been treated in hospitals since the pandemic began last March.

That represents about 4.3 per cent of the total cases, which now sits at 118,436.

Of those, 106,387 were listed as recovered and 10,565 were active. 

Of the patients hospitalized with the illness so far, 816 have ended up in ICU beds.

Far greater toll on older people

Slightly more than one per cent of all people infected have died.

Alberta Health data shows the illness has taken a far greater toll on older people. To date, 1,265 of the 1,484 reported deaths (85 per cent) have been people aged 70 and older.

A total of 109,089 people under the age of 70 have contracted the illness. In all, 218 of them have died, a rate of .0.19 per cent.

To date, 9,347 people aged 70 or older have become sick. In all, 1,265 of them have died, a rate of 13.5 per cent.

Older people also have a much higher chance of ending up in hospital. Those in their 20s who contract the illness have about a one in 100 chance of being hospitalized. Those aged 60 and older have about one in six chance.

Here’s a breakdown by age of those who have been infected, and those who had symptoms serious enough to require hospitalization.

  • Under one, 644 cases, 34 hospitalized, 10 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.3 per cent)
  • one to four, 3,671 cases, 14 hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.4 per cent)
  • five to nine, 5,094 cases, eight hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.2 per cent)
  • 10 to 19, 13,606 cases, 68 hospitalized, nine in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.5 per cent)
  • 20 to 29, 22,025 cases, 241 hospitalized, 25 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.1 per cent)
  • 30 to 39, 22,470 cases, 388 hospitalized, 40 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.7 per cent)
  • 40 to 49, 18,678 cases, 489 hospitalized, 92 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 2.6 per cent)
  • 50 to 59, 14,075 cases, 721 hospitalized, 164 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.1 per cent)
  • 60 to 69, 8,788 cases, 879 hospitalized, 239 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 10.0 per cent)
  • 70 to 79, 4,370 cases, 952 hospitalized, 172 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 21.8 per cent)
  • 80+, 4,977 cases, 1,291 hospitalized, 60 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 25.9 per cent)

A total of 95,243 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Ottawa to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supply dwindles

Published

 on

 

The City of Ottawa says it has to delay second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some people who have already received their first shot due to a temporary shortage of vaccines.

Anthony Di Monte, general manager of emergency and protective services, said Wednesday some long-term care home and retirement home staff, residents and essential caregivers will have to wait up to 27 days, or nearly a week longer than the 21-day period that’s recommended.

For others who received their first vaccine, they may have to wait up to 42 days, he said.

The federal government announced on Friday Canada would be getting fewer COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech over the next few weeks because the company has to make changes to a production line in Belgium to grow its manufacturing capacity.

In Ottawa, that means the city will be getting no new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week, said Di Monte. The supply the city does have will be focused on ensuring that those who are due for a booster will get their second shot as soon as possible.

The first dose of vaccines have already been administered to more than 92 per cent of long-term care home residents in Ottawa at all 28 facilities. Residents at one at-risk retirement home and one congregant living setting have also been vaccinated, said Di Monte.

“Our next step is to administer the second dose to those individuals who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. Depending on the vaccine supply we receive from the province, which we know will be minimal in the next few weeks, we will then shift our focus to the high-risk retirement homes,” said Di Monte.

Ottawa has 36 high-risk retirement homes and so far, only the one has received doses of the vaccine.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said delays beyond 21-day gap are permitted under guidelines established by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

“The recommendation is of course to follow the dosing schedule as much as we can,” she said. “But in the context of limited supply … jurisdictions can maximize the number of individuals that are getting the benefit from the vaccine by going ahead with the first dose and delaying the second dose.”

While there isn’t data to show what effects waiting up to 42 days may have on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, typically delays in booster shots do not affect the durability of vaccines, she said.

 

Source:- CBC.ca

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending