Insurers ready to assess Alberta’s Sikh helmet exemption

Published: April 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The insurance industry is keeping track of a recent law proposal in Alberta that would see the province exempt Sikh citizens from wearing a motorcycle helmet.

The exemption rule for turban-wearing Sikhs was proposed in March by Alberta transportation minister Brian Mason. He said the law would affect only select riders. Such a law would make Alberta the third Canadian province to introduce the exemption, following Manitoba and British Columbia.

A key difference here would be that Manitoba and British Columbia have public auto insurance and Alberta runs a private model. In Manitoba, the province’s insurance provider, Manitoba Public Insurance says that since it launched the exemption there has been no increase in premiums.

In the private market of Alberta, the industry line seems to be that it is too early to see what will happen if the exemption comes into law. Rob de Pruis, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) director of consumer and industry relations, said providers in Alberta will have to wait for the exemption to be put into practice before making lasting conclusions.

“It’s a bit too early to tell if this is going to have an impact but certainly some insurance companies that deal with motorcycle premiums will be watching that trend going forward,” he told CBC News.