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Cowtown! Stampede City! Whatever you call it, Calgary, Alberta is the largest city in Western Canada, and the third largest in all of Canada behind Toronto and Montreal. It is also the sunniest city in Canada, boasting a ridiculous 332 days of sunshine each year. Historically known as “elbow” by the indigenous peoples of southern Alberta, “Calgary” was settled by Europeans in 1875 and named after Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull (this was news to us too - It’s off the west coast of Scotland).
This bustling, modern municipality is famous around the world for its annual Stampede, and amongst Gen-Xers for being the backdrop to 1993 blockbuster Cool Runnings. Not just a popular vacation spot for cowboys and bobsleigh enthusiasts, however, Calgary is also home to the Hart wrestling dynasty, lovable indie pop twins Tegan and Sara, and birthplace of international supervillain, Ted Cruz. Rather interestingly, Calgary also lays claim to more millionaires per capita than any other major city in Canada.
As you can tell, there is a lot going on, but how did we get here? Well, nature helped! Alberta’s vast oil and natural gas reserves have established Calgary as Canada’s energy capital. To emphasize the impact this industry has had, Calgary’s population has increased by over 100% since the early 90s to a current estimate of 1,512,539 people.
Calgary is very much a driving city, so this population boom has translated into a dramatic increase in cars on the road. As all insurance enthusiasts will know (all three of them), more cars on the road means higher auto insurance premiums. For this reason, it is more important than ever to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies. Rates.ca is your one-stop shop for insurance. We work with over 30 of Canada’s top providers to help you find the best policy for the cheapest rate.
In 2018, Calgary drivers who used Rates.ca saved an average of $407.42.*
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Car insurance is mandatory throughout Canada, but laws governing specific insurance requirements are set at the provincial level. Alberta laws require that auto insurance policies must include two specific components:
The first is Personal liability and property coverage (PLPD), more commonly known as third party liability insurance.
The second is Accident benefits. It covers medical costs in the event you or a passenger are injured or killed in an accident.
Technically, these two constituents are all you need to satisfy the provincial insurance regulations, but the majority of drivers opt for additional coverage, primarily to insure the vehicle itself.
Some popular add-ons are Collision Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage and Named Perils.
Calgary lies within Alberta’s Hailstorm Alley and is prone to severe hailstorms every few years. These storms cause millions of dollars in damage, so windscreen coverage is a good example of something you may wish to include in the Named Perils portion of your plan.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Albertans face the third highest premiums in Canada:
British Columbia: $1,680
Newfoundland and Labrador: $1,132
Nova Scotia: $842
New Brunswick: $819
Prince Edward Island: $796
These numbers are consistent with our internal data, and make for depressing reading unless you live in Quebec or the Maritimes.
Don’t worry though, if you spend 15 minutes comparing car insurance quotes on Rates.ca, we are confident we can help you save money.
In 2018, Alberta drivers who used Rates.ca saved an average of $409.60 on their annual premium.**
When insurers calculate premiums, they consider multiple factors including your age, your driving history, your annual mileage, the car you drive, and your postal code.
Your postal code is important because if you live in a very populated area like Calgary, the chance of a collision (and ensuing insurance claim) is higher than it is in the boonies. Insurance companies know this and increase premiums as a result.
While Calgary may indeed be one of the best cities in Canada for driving, with low congestion and an enviable average commute time, Alberta as a whole has a reputation for being home to some of the rudest drivers in Canada, and the data backs this up.
According to a recent study by the Government of Alberta, the most frequent driver actions contributing to casualty collisions were following too closely and running off the road, both hallmarks of aggressive driving. This tragically translates to more deaths on the road, with motor vehicle fatalities being significantly higher than the national average:
Fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants: Alberta 7.1 (Canada 5)
Fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers: Alberta 9.5 (Canada 7.1)
From an insurance perspective, an elevated threat to personal safety means higher auto insurance rates.
Your postal code is also used to monitor the likelihood of an insurance claim being made to cover vehicle theft, and Calgarians really suffer in this category.
In 2018, there were 5,938 passenger vehicles stolen in Calgary, which is equivalent to just over 16 per day. The Calgary Police Commission have previously stated that Calgary has the highest vehicle theft rate in the country, emphasized by a rash of thefts in 2018 which saw $1.1 million worth of cars stolen in just three months.
I know what you are thinking, you’ve never stolen a car in your life, it’s not fair that these external factors can negatively impact the amount you have to pay!
We agree, and we recommend you practice defensive driving, maintain a clean driving record, and compare quotes regularly on Rates.ca to find the best possible deal. If you do this, it might be possible to enjoy living in Calgary while paying small town prices for car insurance.
(And if it makes you feel any better, Edmonton is still the most expense place in Alberta to insure a vehicle. Whooo! Go Flames Go!)
No two drivers are the same and the quotes you receive will be equally unique. With that in mind, you won’t know exactly how much you can save until you try our free tool.
What we can tell you, is in 2018, Calgary drivers who used Rates.ca saved an average of $407.42.* That’s just the average, half of the Calgary drivers who compared rates with us saved even more than that!
In 2018, Calgary recorded a whopping 213.8 cm (84.2 inches) of snowfall. This is higher than normal, but the average year still has 54.2 snowy days.
When one of Calgary’s legendary Chinook winds rolls in, the temperature can increase by 30 °C in just one hour. As you can imagine, under such conditions the snow quickly becomes water, and when it inevitably freezes again as the warm winds pass, the whole city becomes an ice rink.
If you don’t have winter tires in Calgary, you are putting your own life and that of others around you at risk. If this is not incentive enough, insurance companies are willing to lower your premiums by five percent. Despite this, only about 85% of Calgary drivers get winter tires installed. Make sure you are one of them!
Perhaps surprisingly for a city with such close ties to the oil and gas industry, Calgary has a robust public transit service with buses and a light rail system, known as the C-Train. The C-Train runs exclusively on renewable energy, and is one of North America’s busiest light rail systems, carrying 306,900 riders each weekday. In addition to the operations of Calgary Transit, the city boasts over 260 km of shared bikeways on its streets.
As a driver, always be mindful of your surroundings to avoid hitting a cyclist or transit vehicle.
Uber has had a topsy turvy ride in Calgary; it initially launched in 2015, before facing a court injunction and suspending operations, and was relaunched more successfully in 2016. Shortly afterwards, the Superintendent of Insurance of Alberta approved a new ridesharing insurance policy which came into effect on July 1, 2016.
If you are planning on driving with Uber or any ridesharing platform, you must inform your insurance provider to modify your coverage.
Stop overpaying on car insurance. Spend 10 minutes completing our simple quoter and you could save more than Miikka Kiprusoff (legendary Calgary Flames goaltender, made lots of saves, anyone?).
Okay, it was a terrible joke. But our commitment to saving you money is very real. Compare quotes today and see how much you can save. It only takes 10 minutes and is 100% free to use.
* Savings are calculated by deducting the lowest available quote from the second lowest available quote. In 2018 the average savings for Calgary drivers was $407.42.
** Savings are calculated by deducting the lowest available quote from the second lowest available quote. In 2018 the average savings for Alberta drivers was $409.60.
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.