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FAQ – Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Edmonton

Is car insurance mandatory in Edmonton?

Car insurance is mandatory in Edmonton, as it is throughout Canada. If you want to own and drive a vehicle in Edmonton, you must have third-party liability insurance and accident benefits. This is the minimum coverage required by law.

How does car insurance work in Edmonton?

Alberta’s legislators require all auto insurance policies to include:

  • Third party liability insurance, officially called Personal Liability and Property Coverage (PLPD).
  • Accident Benefits, to cover medical costs in the event that you get hurt in an accident.

Insurance rates are kept in check by Alberta’s grid system, which outlines the maximum amount that motorists can be charged for basic coverage. However, thanks to the competitive nature of Alberta’s private auto insurance industry, over 90% of drivers in Edmonton pay less than the grid rate.

Check out our Alberta auto insurance page for more information about provincial regulations.

What type of optional coverages are recommended in Edmonton?

While third-party liability and accident benefits are all you need to satisfy the legal requirements of car insurance in Edmonton, you might notice that neither of these offer any protection to your vehicle. For this reason, the two most common add-ons for Edmonton drivers are:

  • Collision coverage – pays for repairs to your vehicle following a collision.
  • Comprehensive coverage – pays for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a collision (e.g. vandalism).

How much does car insurance cost in Edmonton?

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Albertans face the third highest premiums in Canada, averaging $1,316 per year or approximately $110 per month. Edmonton’s premiums are the highest in Alberta, 14% more expensive the provincial average. This means an average annual premium of $1,500, or $125 per month.

Following the provincial government’s decision to lift a 5% cap on annual rate hikes, the majority of Edmontonians will see another rate increase in 2020.

Why is Edmonton car insurance so expensive?

Edmonton is a driving city. There are 943,971 vehicles in the Edmonton area, almost one for every resident. More cars inevitably mean more accidents, which in turn means higher auto premiums. However, there are other reasons for the high rates faced by Edmonton’s motorists.

1) Distracted driving

Drunk driving offences are thankfully on their way down, but distracted driving offences are trending in the opposite direction. In a recent study commissioned by the City of Edmonton, 33% of drivers admitted to texting, emailing or looking at social media while driving in the past month, and this trend appears to be getting worse.

Over the last five years, distracted driving convictions in other Albertan cities declined, but offences in Edmonton went up 42%, to an all-time high of 5,811 (83 per 10,000 drivers) in 2019. Edmonton now accounts for 25% of the total distracted driving convictions in the province.

If you are convicted, you will receive three demerit points and a $287 penalty, in addition to much higher insurance rates in the future.

2) Auto theft

In 2018, Edmonton’s dedicated police unit recovered $4.6 million worth of stolen vehicles, and laid charges against 236 people. However, it did little to curb the problem. In 2019, there were 3,701 stolen vehicles, which represents a 97% increase since 2013.

The police have claimed smart keys are making car theft easier, especially as many owners leave their fobs hidden inside of their car. Whatever the reason, this increasing rate of car theft is contributing to more expensive auto insurance premiums in Edmonton.

What factors affect Edmonton car insurance premiums?

Insurance companies use a number of different data points to calculate your rate, including your age, driving history, address, the vehicle you choose to drive, and your annual mileage.

When you compare quotes on RATESDOTCA, we ask the same questions as the insurance companies. This means that as long as your answers are true, the rates we show to you will be accurate.

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in Edmonton?

Car insurance quotes are as unique as the drivers that receive them. As a result, it is impossible to say which company is the cheapest in Edmonton, without first knowing a bit about you.

Each insurance company will evaluate your details and assess your risk differently. This can result in a wide range of quotes, thousands of dollars apart, but all offering the same level of coverage.

With this in mind, it is important to shop around and compare rates before you buy a car insurance policy. This is the only way to know which company has the cheapest car insurance for you.

Is ridesharing insurance available in Edmonton?

Yes. Edmonton was the first city in Canada to regulate and welcome ride sharing services like Uber, although it wasn’t always plain sailing.

Uber was halted in Edmonton in February 2016, after the city passed a bylaw that required drivers to obtain commercial insurance. Uber was operational again in July of that year, following the creation of an insurance policy designed specifically for ride share services.

However, each driver must still possess a commercial (Class 4) driver’s license, which makes for fewer rideshare drivers than you would expect in a city of Edmonton’s size.

How to get the cheapest car insurance in Edmonton

While there is no substitute for experience and a clean driving record, follow these tips to get the cheapest car insurance in Edmonton:

1) Get winter tires

Edmonton is one of the coldest major cities in the world, with snowfall expected as late as May and early as October. If you own a car in Edmonton, you need winter tires. If your safety is not incentive enough, consider that insurance companies will offer discounts of up to 5% for drivers who have them.

2) Consider taking the ETS

The Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) is the city's public transit agency, operating the Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) line as well as a large fleet of buses. For a city whose history and economy is so intertwined with oil and gas, the public transit system is surprisingly extensive, stretching all the way from Edmonton to the neighbouring cities of Beaumont, Spruce Grove and Fort Saskatchewan. The entire fleet is wheelchair accessible too.

Insurance companies take your annual mileage and daily commute into account when calculating your premium, so leave the car at home and save on insurance!

3) Protect against theft

Shockingly, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates that as many as 60% of Edmonton’s stolen cars are left with keys inside prior to being stolen. In an effort to combat these numbers, Edmonton Police Service, the RCMP and the IBC have launched the “Lock Out Auto Theft” campaign to help drivers protect themselves and their vehicles from crime.

Make your car less attractive to thieves by securely locking it, and installing an approved car alarm or GPS tracker.

4) Bundle your insurance needs

One sure-fire way to reduce your car insurance premium is to bundle it together with home or tenant insurance. By using the same insurer for multiple products, you will receive what’s known as a multi-line discount, sometimes saving you as much as 15% off each individual policy. This is also true if you have more than one vehicle. Insuring them all with the same company will incentivize the insurer to offer a better deal.

5) Take an advanced driving course

If you are a young driver under the age of 25, or only recently got your license, you will face the highest insurance rates. You are paying for a lack of experience. Once you have had your licence for six years, assuming you have a clean record, you can look forward to more affordable premiums.

In the meantime, driver education courses are available. Insurance companies offer reduced rates for successful completion of these, because not only are you learning valuable skills, but it demonstrates a willingness to be safe and considerate behind the wheel. Find available programs by consulting this list of licensed training schools in Edmonton.

6) Take advantage of Usage Based Insurance (UBI)

Usage based insurance (UBI), sometimes called telematics or pay-as-you-drive insurance, makes use of a device installed in your car to monitor your driving habits.

Most companies offer a discount simply for signing up to such a program, and if you demonstrate good, defensive driving, you will be rewarded with even greater discounts. Some of the metrics used to determine your rate are average speed, acceleration, braking and time spent driving.

If the UBI device determines you are not driving safely, you will not receive the discount, but your rates cannot be increased because of it. In an expensive city like Edmonton, this is a great solution for good drivers who are sick of paying high premiums caused by the bad habits of others.

7) Review your coverage before renewal

Every year, when your auto insurance is up for renewal, spend a few minutes reviewing your existing coverage. If circumstances have changed you may be able to remove some protections that you no longer need. If you are confident that you are a safe driver and can afford to pay a higher deductible in the event of a claim, commit to a higher deductible and you will receive lower quotes.

8) Ask about discounts

If you are alumni of the University of Alberta, a City of Edmonton employee, or a member of a local trade union like Local 488 or CUPE Alberta, additional discounts may be available. Look on your organisation’s website for information about which insurance companies are affiliated.

Additionally, ask if you can pay your entire annual premium in one lump sum in exchange for a better deal. Many insurers welcome this as it cuts down on their administrative costs.

9) Shop around

Comparing quotes from top insurance providers is the best way to save on Edmonton car insurance. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on our site and we’ll show you multiple rates side by side. Finding the best coverage for the lowest price has never been this easy.

Facts and statistics about auto insurance in Edmonton

Distracted driving convictions in Edmonton

Edmonton has the highest rate of distracted driving convictions in Alberta, and one of the highest rates in Canada. This table shows the number of convictions in Edmonton, the rate per 10,000 drivers, and the percentage when compared to the provincial total.

Year # Distracted Driving Convictions Rate % of Provincial Total
2015 4,094 62.9 14.93%
2016 4,898 73.5 17.95%
2017 6,594 98.2 26.73%
2018 5,159 75.5 21.91%
2019 5,811 83 24.79%
Distracted driving convictions in Edmonton
5 year average

Car theft in Edmonton

Edmonton Police recently launched a new campaign to raise awareness of auto theft in certain neighbourhoods. If your neighbourhood is particularly affected by crime, your car insurance premium may be higher than average. According to police data, these are the nine vehicle theft hotspots in Edmonton:

Neighbourhood # Vehicles Stolen # Thefts from Vehicle
Downtown Core 78 378
Garneau 27 188
Belvedere 68 65
Alberta Avenue 67 128
Strathcona 41 167
Summerside 41 56
Killarney 46 68
Inglewood 34 60
Westmount 17 75

Motor vehicle collisions in Edmonton

While the latest report shows the total number of collisions in Edmonton has increased slightly, the number of collisions resulting in injury or death has gone down. In 2018, 13,587 (56.6%) of Edmonton’s motor collisions happened at intersections.

Year Injury Collisions Fatal Collisions Total Collisions (YoY Change)
2014 2,912 22 24,627 (-0.7%)
2015 3,033 30 25,517 (+3.6%)
2016 2,656 21 23,139 (-9.3%)
2017 2,710 26 23,906 (+3.3%)
2018 2,611 19 24,003 (+0.4%)

Save on Edmonton car insurance today!

Crime and distracted driving statistics paint a bleak picture for Edmonton auto insurance rates, but RATESDOTCA can help. Compare quotes to find the best deal.

Our service is free and there are no strings attached. If you don’t like what you see, there is no obligation to buy. With that said, we are confident we can beat your current rate.

*Shoppers in Alberta who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA and transacted via our contact centre from January to December 2021 saved an average amount of $736. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of all other quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA.

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