Bill 41: Insurance Act Update and Key Changes
On October 29, 2020 the government of Alberta introduced Bill 41 to update the Insurance Act, proposing various changes to the automobile industry. Below is an overview of the key changes that have occurred:
- where the claimed damages are $100,000 or more, limiting parties from calling more than three expert witnesses and submitting more than one report per expert called on motor vehicle injury damages;
- where the claimed damages are $100,000 or less, limiting parties from calling more than one expert witness and submitting more than one report from that expert on motor vehicle injury damages;
- Some exceptions to the above limits if the parties call a ‘joint expert’, as defined, or if the consent of all parties is obtained.
- On Application by the parties, the Court will have discretion to permit a party to call more expert evidence or rely on more expert reports if the requisite conditions are met.
Pre Judgement Interest
There is a change in the start date and the rate for prejudgment interest on non-pecuniary damages for a motor vehicle accident. Pre Judgement interest would not be awarded for any period before the earlier of:
- The day on which the Statement of Claim is served on the defendant; and
- The day on which the Plaintiff provides written notice to the insurer of the defendant of the plaintiff’s intention to make a claim in respect of loss or damage.
In addition to the amendments to the Insurance Act, the government of Alberta amended three main regulatory regimes, which took effect on November 1, 2020.
Minor Injury Regulation
- Dentists are now added to the definition of “certified examiners”
- The definition for a minor injury has been widened and is now defined as a sprain, strain or WAD Injury “caused by the accident that does not result in a serious impairment and includes, in respect of a sprain, strain or WAD injury that occurs on or after November 1, 2020, any clinically associated sequelae of the sprain, strain or WAD injury, whether physical or psychological in nature, caused by the accident that do not result in serious impairment.”