Getting car insurance in Alberta

By: Robb Engen on August 3, 2016

In Alberta, like the rest of Canada, you must have insurance before taking your vehicle on the road. Insurance covers the cost of any damage you may cause with your vehicle to other people or property. You should have insurance even if your car is parked on a public street.

What is required when getting car insurance in Alberta?

Drivers must provide proof of insurance before purchasing license plates or registering their vehicle with a Motor Vehicle Registry.

Auto insurance policies must include Public Liability and Property Damage (PLPD), which cover any damage or injury to other people and their property. Your coverage must also include medical expenses for you or another person when you are responsible for a vehicle accident.

The minimum coverage for PLPD by law in Alberta is $200,000. Medical expenses are covered for $50,000 per person.

A third (and optional) policy covers damage to your own vehicle whether you are responsible for the accident or not. This policy includes:

  • Collision coverage: covers when you collide with another vehicle or roll-over your own vehicle

  • Comprehensive coverage: covers everything not related to the collision

  • All perils coverage: a combination of collision and comprehensive insurance

  • Specified perils: for fire, theft, plus damage caused by lightning, earthquake, hail, explosion, and attempted theft.

Alberta drivers are not required by law to carry this optional coverage. In fact, many vehicle owners drop collision coverage if their automobile is worth less than $5,000.

Alberta has a no-fault insurance system, which means that if you are hurt or your vehicle gets damaged in a car accident, you work through your own insurance company to make a claim.

How to get the best car insurance rates in Alberta

Drivers in Alberta enjoy relatively cheap auto insurance premiums, thanks, in part, to the province's regulators. Auto insurance in Alberta is sold through private companies in a competitive market with over 60 providers. That means you’ll get the best deal by shopping around and comparing rates from various insurance providers.

The best way to shop around for rates in Alberta is through a rate comparison site like LowestRates.ca. I live in Lethbridge, Alberta and recently used the comparison service to see what it would cost to insure my 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe. Here’s what I found:

Insurance ProviderAnnual Premium ($)

Monthly Premium ($)

Peace Hills Insurance

713

59.42

SGI Canada

811

67.58

Aviva

912

76.00

Dominion

993

82.75

Intact

1,062

88.50

Wawanesa

1,084

90.33

Economical

1,108

92.33

Royal Sun Alliance

1,156

96.33

As you can see, Alberta insurance providers vary in the rates they offer – in this case by as much as $443 between quotes at the time I looked, and for my specific situation. (You experience might be a little different.) It pays for consumers to shop around. Speak to an insurance broker who can decipher the terms and conditions of each individual policy and help you decide which is best for you and your situation. 

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