Vicarious Liability Reform Advances in Alberta

Legislation that would cap potential vicarious liability awards in Alberta, Canada was introduced in the provincial Legislative Assembly on November 20 and supported by The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA).

Currently, non-negligent vehicle renting and leasing companies are subject to unlimited liability for acts committed by vehicle operators. This liability is based solely on the companies’ ownership of the vehicles involved.

The legislation, Bill 49, amends the Traffic Safety Act to establish a $1 million cap on vicarious liability for owners of vehicles leased for a period of 30 days or more. The $1 million cap is less any amount that is recovered under third party liability policies. The government did not agree to extend the liability cap to owners of short-term rental vehicles at this time.

The bill also amends the Insurance Act to provide the authority for the government to reorder insurance primacy through regulation. These new regulations, expected to be completed in 60 to 90 days, will make the responsible operator of a rented or leased vehicle the primary insured in the event of a claim.

Bill 49 is expected to move to second reading and then to final passage soon. For more information contact TRALA’s Tom James at [email protected] or at (703)299-9120. 

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