The old wives' tale of an increase in thefts around the holiday season is unfounded, at least as far as insurance claims are concerned.

Vicki Wilton, an insurance broker with Centre Street Insurance, said she doesn't see an uptick in claims during the holiday period, either for theft or for fire damage.

"I think, years ago, more," she explained. "But, I think there's a lot more safety things put in place for fires, definitely. Trees have changed, lights have changed."

Wilton did have a word of warning for all Albertans though -- insurance premiums are set to increase again in the New Year.

"[Thanks to] weather claims, we're looking at higher premiums again in the New Year," said Wilton. "Fires. Hail. Wind. Things we're seeing more of and having more of and we're all going to pay that price."

Even though the Drumheller area was relatively fortunate this year, weather-wise, everyone will be on the hook for the increased cost.

"Around here, we weren't so bad with hail," Wilton pointed out. "What I think probably what's going to drive [premium increases] the most is the big fires that were happening last year."

Last year, grassfires east and south of Drumheller and wildfires in southwestern Alberta destroyed almost 50,000 hectares of land. There are currently three active fires in the province, all of which are under control.

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