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Car insurance is mandatory for drivers in Alberta, as it is in the rest of Canada. Drivers living in provinces including Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba use public auto insurance systems for their car insurance needs. Residents in provinces such as Alberta and Ontario, however, have more choice when it comes to auto insurance, as these provinces operate under a private car insurance sector. Since it is a competitive market, there are more opportunities for you to save money on your Alberta auto insurance.
Alberta drivers have a plethora of options when it comes to car insurance providers available in the province, with rates from more than 30 of these top providers available on Rates.ca. It’s easy for you to compare car insurance quotes using our car insurance calculator that doubles as a quote comparison tool. Get started by entering your postal code below.
Mandatory car insurance coverage in Alberta covers basic insurance for property damage, death, injuries and liability. There are two main products under the mandatory component that drivers must legally have in order to operate a vehicle in the province of Alberta.
Personal liability and property coverage (PLPD) – Drivers in Alberta must have a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability and accidents benefits coverage. This type of coverage is also known as third party liability insurance. According to the Alberta Auto Insurance Rate Board, the majority of drivers (98 per cent) choose to increase their limit to at least $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage.
Accident benefits – This mandatory type of insurance provides coverage for medical costs, funeral costs, rehabilitation, death benefits, and income replacement in the event you or a passenger is injured or killed in an accident. It also provides some uninsured motorist coverage, which is applicable if you get into a collision with a driver who doesn’t carry insurance.
You’ll notice the mandatory insurance does not cover the vehicle itself. That’s where optional coverages come in.
Drivers can choose to enhance their coverage by purchasing optional additional insurance products such as collision and comprehensive coverage. There are also numerous endorsements, called Standard Endorsement Forms (SEF), available that can be added to provide specific additional coverage. Below are the four main types of optional car insurance coverages in Alberta:
For examples of specific Alberta auto insurance endorsements, continue reading below.
Here are a few examples of endorsements that are available to Alberta drivers. There are many others available, so be sure to ask your car insurance provider about your options.
You might want to add an endorsement for loss of use (known as endorsement SEF 20) if you rely on your vehicle every day. This would provide you with a rental car or another form of transportation in the event your car is damaged in an accident and requires repairs.
If you spent money installing a banging custom sound system, you may wish to get the increased limit, automobile sound and electronic communications equipment (SEF 38) endorsement, which provides coverage for electronics that you install in your vehicle valued over $1,500.
If you want to ensure your family has enough coverage in the event of a collision, you may wish to purchase family protection (SEF 44), which provides additional accident benefits coverage in the event a collision with an uninsured at-fault driver or one that doesn’t have enough liability coverage of his own. This type of coverage will pay the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance amount the amount of your claim.
Alberta is unique because it determines base car insurance premiums using a grid rating system. Insurers use the grid system to help determine basic car insurance coverage amounts, and drivers’ rates can go up or down depending on what direction they move on the grid. It also doubles as a regulatory system that is used to calculate maximum premiums for drivers for basic coverage (third party liability and accidents benefits). Any optional coverages are weighted outside of the grid system, and can vary from one provider to the next.
Despite the grid system, only about 6 per cent of drivers in Alberta pay grid rates, according to the Automobile Insurance Rate Board. This is because insurers must compare the base premium determined by the grid to the policy holder’s quoted premium, and charge the lesser of the two.
There are other factors that affect your car premiums. Here are 14 things that play a role in your Alberta car insurance rates.
In the same way that we comparison shop when purchasing appliances, clothing and food, comparison shopping when purchasing car insurance just makes sense.
An advantage to there being so many insurance companies in Alberta is that it's fairly easy to find a competitive rate. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has also made recent changes to how insurance companies can do business in an attempt to keep premiums down and make auto insurance more affordable to Alberta residents, enough that Alberta is no longer the most expensive province in the country to ensure a vehicle.
Consumers contemplating purchasing car insurance can utilize the Alberta car insurance calculator on this page to help determine what their premiums may be based on different coverages and vehicles. This makes it easier, more convenient and less time-consuming than making numerous phone calls or visits to the many Alberta car insurance companies.
There’s more to purchasing auto insurance than getting the cheapest policy on the market, however. A good auto insurance policy should offer the type of coverage you need at an affordable price. It should also cover, at the very least, the minimum requirements set forth by Alberta laws.
When it comes to a standard auto insurance policy in Alberta, these are the basic coverage limits including in a typical policy unless additional coverage is purchased. Be sure to read your policy in full to know the limits of your coverage before you purchase.
Up to $200,000 for liability, but it is recommended drivers purchase more than the minimum.
There is a maximum of $10,000 for property damage if a claim involves both property damage and bodily injury.
Up to $50,000 per person per accident with a limit of two years. For chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture, the limits are $750, $250 and $250 respectively.
Up to $5,020.
$10,000 for head of household plus $2,000 to each surviving dependent after the first survivor, plus up to $15,000 for first survivor and $4,000 for each other survivor; $10,000 for the death of the spouse of the head of the household and up to $400 for family grief counselling
Disabled individual shall receive 80 per cent of his or her gross weekly earnings (maximum of $400 per week) for up to 104 weeks if totally disabled. The non-earner, which must be at least 18 years old, shall receive up to $135 per week for up to 26 weeks.
Maximum award is $4,504.
Let us know your renewal date and we’ll let you know the best time to shop the market for the cheapest car insurance rates.
Like in most areas, some companies hold a higher market share in specific areas. When it comes to car insurance in Alberta, Canada, one of the most commonly referred to companies is Intact Financial. Formerly known as the ING Group, Intact Financial is the leading provider of home, business and auto insurance in Canada. In fact, it carries approximately 17 per cent of the Canadian market, while covering the public, private and commercial vehicle market.
Although Intact Financial is a major player in the car insurance market in Canada, there are currently about 70 insurance companies available to Alberta residents in need of car insurance, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). The IBC aims to keep consumers aware of changes in the laws regarding Alberta auto insurance and the various Alberta car insurance companies, as well as the rest of Canada.
When it comes to regulation, another major player in the car insurance market in Alberta is the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB), an organization that regulates how much an insurance company can charge for basic and additional auto insurance premiums in Alberta.