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Calgary is the largest city in Western Canada, and the third largest in all of Canada. While big city living has its benefits, auto insurance rates in Calgary are notoriously high.
Did you know comparing auto insurance rates is the easiest way to save? We work with multiple insurance providers so you can find the best deal.
Yes, it is. Car insurance is mandatory throughout Canada and Calgary is no exception.
The province of Alberta requires that auto insurance policies include two specific components:
To help keep costs down, Alberta uses a grid system, which outlines the maximum cost for minimum coverages. Depending on your driving history, you may move up or down on this grid, but your insurance premium cannot exceed the price outlined for a driver with your record.
See your grid premium by using the grid rate calculator on the Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board website.
While Alberta’s auto insurance grid regulates the price of basic coverage, the vast majority of Calgary’s drivers opt for additional coverage, primarily to insure the vehicle itself.
For more information on mandatory and optional coverages, as well as Alberta’s grid system, check out our Alberta car insurance page.
As you may have noticed, the mandatory minimum coverage in Alberta does not actually provide any insurance for your vehicle. In a busy city like Calgary, the risk of getting into an auto collision is a lot higher than in rural areas. If you only have basic coverage, you will have to pay for repairs to your car yourself.
With this in mind, popular insurance add-ons include:
Calgary lies within Alberta’s Hailstorm Alley and is prone to severe hailstorms every few years. These storms cause millions of dollars in damage to vehicles, so “hail” damage is a good example of something that would be covered under the comprehensive portion of your plan.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Albertans face the third highest premiums in Canada, an average of $1,316 per year, or $109.67 per month. To make matters worse, Calgary is the second most expensive city (behind Edmonton) for car insurance in the whole province.
As with most large cities, busy roads, distracted driving and crime are responsible for high car insurance rates.
Calgary’s population has increased by over 100% since the early 1990s, swelling to more than 1.5 million residents. 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 know, more cars on the road means more collisions which leads to higher auto insurance premiums.
Along with the rest of Canada, Alberta has a distracted driving problem. Convictions started spiking in 2012 (24,428 convictions vs. 7,829 the year before). This increase coincided with a boom in smart phone sales, and the vast majority of these convictions are indeed for people using cell phones while driving.
While the number of convictions has gone down in Calgary since peaking in 2015, the city still had 4,395 distracted driving convictions in 2019, equivalent to 45.3 per 10,000 licenced drivers. From an insurance perspective, cell phone use behind the wheel remains a serious problem, and until the data shows a significant improvement, Calgarians will continue to pay the price via elevated premiums.
The Calgary Police Commission claims that Calgary has the highest vehicle theft rate in the country, and the statistics are alarming.
In 2018, nearly 7,000 passenger vehicles were either stolen or attempted to be stolen in Calgary, which is equivalent to over 19 per day. One particularly bad period saw $1.1 million worth of cars stolen in just three months.
A significant portion of Calgary’s vehicular theft is a result of drivers leaving their unattended vehicles running in the winter months. Opportunistic criminals simply hop in and drive away. Even residents of Calgary’s safest neighbourhoods fall victim to this type of crime, and Alberta’s insurance companies respond with high premiums.
No two drivers are the same and the quotes you receive will be equally unique. As a result, it is impossible to say which company offers the cheapest rate, which is why we recommend trying our free quoting tool.
What we can tell you is that last year, Calgary drivers who used RATESDOTCA saved an average of $407.42.*
When insurers calculate Calgary auto 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 downtown Calgary, the chance of a collision (and ensuing insurance claim) is higher than it is in quieter neighbourhoods like Hamptons or Edgemont. Insurance companies consider neighbourhood crime and collision statistics before writing premiums.
While you are unable to influence many of the factors that make up your insurance rate, the best way to save is to practice defensive driving, maintain a clean driving record, and compare quotes regularly on RATESDOTCA. If you do this, it might be possible to enjoy living in Calgary while paying small town prices for car insurance.
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 for a ridesharing platform in Calgary, you must inform your insurance provider to modify your coverage.
Use RATESDOTCA to shop around and compare multiple quotes at the same time.
Finding cheap car insurance in Calgary is possible! Follow these tips to secure the lowest available premium:
1. Get winter tires
In 2019, Calgary recorded over 75 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, some 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!
2. Take precautions against theft
Calgary has the unfortunate distinction of being the car theft capital of Canada, averaging almost 20 stolen vehicles per day. While law-abiding citizens are not to blame, you should take some precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
3. Bundle insurance products
If you own a home in Calgary, you should use the same insurance company for your home and car insurance needs. Insurance companies offer “multiline” discounts when you buy more than one of their products. If you rent in Calgary, bundle your car insurance with a tenant insurance policy.
Similarly, if you have more than one vehicle, ensure they are all insured by the same company for more savings.
4. Take a driver’s education course
If you are a new and inexperienced driver, you will face higher-than-average insurance premiums in Calgary. This might seem unfair, but statistics show that drivers who have held their license for less than six years are more often involved in car accidents. If you complete an approved driver’s education course, insurance companies will be more willing to offer a cheaper rate.
The government of Alberta maintains a list of approved driver training schools in the province. Find the Calgary location closest to you.
5. Try to drive less
When requesting car insurance quotes, insurers will ask for your annual mileage. This affects your premium because the more time you spend driving, the more chance you are involved in a collision.
While it is not always possible, finding an alternative way to commute to work, other than driving, will massively reduce your mileage.
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.
Leaving the car at home is not only better for the environment, but it’s better for your wallet too.
6. Review your existing coverage
Every year, before your policy is up for renewal, review your existing coverage and make sure it is up to date. For example, if you have changed jobs and your new commute is half of what it was, you should be able to reduce your reported annual mileage, thus lowering your rate.
A quick way to get cheaper Calgary car insurance is by increasing your deductible, but this only makes sense if you can afford to pay it in the event of a claim.
7. Shop around for a deal
The quickest and easiest way to save on your Calgary auto insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers. While this sounds time consuming, on RATESDOTCA you can compare multiple quotes in the time it takes to get just one!
Spend a few minutes completing our simple quoter form and we’ll show you several rates in one place. Comparing and saving on car insurance has never been this easy.
Consistent with a growing population, the number of licensed drivers in Calgary is steadily increasing.
|Drivers and Vehicles in Calgary||2017||2018||2019|
|Motorized Vehicle Registrations||990,144||1,000,567||1,021,618|
As you would expect with more drivers on the road, some areas have seen an increase in motor vehicle accidents. If you live near to one of these collision hotspots, you may find your insurance rate is higher than average.
|Intersection||# Collisions Per Year|
|Deerfoot Trail SE & Memorial Drive NE||249|
|Deerfoot Tail NE & 16 Avenue NE||233|
|Glenmore Trail SE & Deerfoot Trail SE||175|
|Deerfoot Trail SE & 17 Avenue SE||132|
|Peigan Trail SE & Deerfoot Trail SE||124|
|Kensington Road NW & Crowchild Trail NW||94|
|Glenmore Trail SW & Crowchild Trail SW||94|
|Glenmore Trail SW & 14 Street SW||94|
|36 Street NE & 16 Avenue NE||91|
|19 Street NE & 16 Avenue NE||80|
However, the overall number of collisions on Calgary's road network has been remarkably consistent over the last few years.
|Collisions per 1,000 population||29||30||29|
Driving offences under the criminal code appear stable.
|Criminal Code Traffic Offence||2017||2018||2019|
|Impaired Causing Death||2||1||1|
|Impaired Causing Harm||4||4||7|
|Impaired > .08||144||127||91|
|Dangerous Operation Causing Death||1||0||3|
|Dangerous Operation Causing Harm||8||13||9|
|Dangerous Operation of Motor Vehicle||154||158||169|
|Violations per 100,000 Population||123.2||115.4||117.4|
But the number of vehicle thefts in Calgary continues to rise year over year.
|# Vehicle Thefts||6866||6919||6927|
|# Vehicles with Criminal Damage||2869||3037||3155|
|Vehicle Theft per 100,000 Population||550.9||545.9||538.8|
Calgary, stop overpaying on car insurance!
Our service is free and it only takes a few minutes to compare quotes from Canada’s best insurance companies.
Last year, drivers who shopped for car insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA paid 30% less than the average market rate.*
Let us help find you a great deal today.
*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA and transacted via our contact centre from August to December 2020 saved an average amount of $676. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA.