Facing auto insurance rates that are increasing at a faster pace than just about anywhere else in Canada, Alberta drivers are not happy with their insurance providers — and they’re not afraid to say it.
Alberta scored the lowest for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s most recent Canada Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which considered several other regions across the country, including Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic region.
Premiums in the province grew by an average of $326 year-over-year — more than any of the other surveyed regions. The average increase across all the surveyed regions was $298.
On a scale of 1,000, Alberta drivers gave local insurers an average score of 754 points. The scores are based on their experiences with the billing, payment, claims and non-claim processes at their auto insurance companies. It is also based on the products and policies that the companies offer.
In the 2018 version of J.D. Power’s study, Alberta had the same score of 754 — and also ranked the lowest for customer satisfaction.
The insurance companies that drivers in the province were least happy with this year are Wawanesa, which scored 747 on the satisfaction scale; Intact Insurance, which had a score of 745; and Aviva Insurance, with a score of 744.
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Pricier premiums occurred in spite of the province’s strict rate caps, which restricts insurance companies from raising their rates by more than 5% at a time. (This rule only applies to each insurer’s total book of business, not individual customers, so drivers could see their own premiums grow by more than 5%.) The cap will be in place until August 2019, when the provincial election is set to take place.
They also come at a sensitive time for Alberta’s economy. Since Premier Rachel Notley introduced oil production cuts introduced at the start of January to help push up the price of domestic oil, the oil industry has warned of imminent job cuts — even after the provincial government relented and increased production limits.
This year’s Canada Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study suggested a correlation between customer satisfaction and premium increases: the rankings for each region directly correlated to how much premiums grew locally.