Car insurance rates in Alberta will be increasing by up to 5 percent this fall.

The decision to increase rates comes after the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) held its annual public rate review.

Officials said insurance companies had asked for a 12 to 13 per cent increase.

“Property injuries have gone up considerably, they’ve gone down for many years but they have gone up this year,” AIRB Chair Alfred Savage said. “Certainly, the cost of repairs and damages have gone up.”

The increase would only be for the mandatory portion of insurance – which accounts for about half of the average automobile insurance bill and includes third party liability and accident benefits coverage.

The province said it does not include optional collision or comprehensive coverage. Those premiums are set by individual insurance companies.

Those insurance rates haven’t seen an increase since 2008, and the board had decreased the cost by 18 percent since 2004.

For the average Albertan, an increase of 5 percent would reflect a $30 difference.

The change will come into effect on November 1, at which point the AIRB will monitor to determine whether further changes – either an increase or a decrease – will be required.

Insurance companies have the option to implement all or part of the 5 percent increase over the next 3 years.

The AIRB is required to review auto insurance rates every year.

With files from Kevin Armstrong