EDMONTON - Alberta drivers are getting a break on their insurance.

The province's regulator on Wednesday ordered that rates on mandatory coverage be cut by five per cent effective Nov. 1.

The change will reduce the average premium by $30, but the chairman of the Automobile Insurance Rate Board said the bottom line is still fluid.

"We do not regulate the voluntary portion of the insurance, which is about 40 per cent of your cost," said Alf Savage. "So if that moves one way or the other, it will affect that figure."

He said one of the reasons to reduce rates was a ruling by the Alberta Court of Appeal last month to reinstate a $4,504 payout cap the government imposed on soft-tissue injuries such as sprains and whiplash.

Savage also noted the cost of compulsory auto coverage has fallen 18 per cent since 2004, when the province brought in reforms to contain rising insurance costs.

The cut effectively rolls back the five per cent increase imposed by the board last year.

The insurance industry had asked the board to raise premiums by as much as 6.4 per cent.

Latest From ...