Rate hikes as high as 37 per cent were bandied about as a means to deal with rising costs after an Alberta soft tissue claims limit was struck down by the courts, according to some car insurance industry insiders.


Peace Hills Insurance vice-president Jamie Hotte said 33 per cent of his company’s proposed hike at the Alberta Auto Insurance Rate Board public hearing would be necessary to lessen the impact of the law changing after the $4,000 soft tissue claim cap was struck down earlier this year, while the other 4 per cent is for inflation.


“Sticker shock, absolutely, but that’s not to say there isn’t a way we can prevent this from happening all at once,” Hotte said. “If that cap is gone, it eventually has to affect the driving public, that’s all there is to it.”


If the 37 per cent hike is adopted by the board, which will make its decision in August, more than a month ahead of the province’s court appeal date to reinstate the $4,000 cap, it could put Alberta’s insurance rates among the highest in the country.


The new rates would come into affect in November.