Alberta planning car insurance reforms

Alberta is planning to introduce car insurance reforms.

The government of Alberta is proposing sweeping reforms to car insurance in the province. The changes would mean most drivers - regardless of age or gender - will have lower premiums.

The most controversial change will see a $4,000 cap imposed on awards for minor pain and suffering.

The province will set a different maximum premium for basic insurance in four provincial regions.

But not all the changes are aimed at reducing costs. Premiums for drivers with criminal driving convictions, or who have been found at fault in accidents, would be double, or even triple the fixed maximum rates.

Tory MLA Brent Rathgeber was an injury lawyer before entering politics. He's not happy with the plan to limit payouts for pain and suffering. "I think the insurance industry is the big winner. I think consumers and legitimate victims are the big loser."

He says rates probably won't come down and he says there's no guarantee insurance companies won't simply pocket the $250 million saved with a claims cap.