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Commercial insurance in Alberta: the basics.

If you’re running a business in Alberta, you need to insure it.

Commercial insurance is specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses. 

It doesn't matter how large or small your operation is — even people who run businesses from home buy commercial insurance. 

We’ll delve into greater detail about the different types of commercial insurance available in Alberta and what type of risks they each cover.

The best way to get an idea of how much it will cost to insure your business is to get quotes from multiple companies. helps you shop the market.

Apply for a quote today — it’s fast, easy, and most importantly, there’s no obligation.

Your questions about Alberta commercial insurance, answered.

What does commercial insurance cover in Alberta?

Commercial insurance provides coverage for liabilities you might incur in the course of running a business. It’s available for every different type of company imaginable, and there are many different reasons you might need it.

Generally, you could be liable for things that happen at your place of business, such as an accident that damages someone else’s property; but there are also specific reasons for needing insurance as well.

A very common one is contractual liability, in which a supplier agrees to assume the liability for any harm to a third party that might come about while it completes work for a client.

Other reasons include regulatory obligations (such as laws that require shipping companies to carry insurance for potential environmental damage); workplace safety issues (such as the risks associated with operating heavy machinery); or even data security (since a business could be held liable for not protecting client information).

What type of commercial insurance do I need in Alberta?

Commercial insurance is almost as varied as the kinds of businesses it insures, but it tends to fall into a number of broad categories:

Business interruption insurance: Imagine that your business is disrupted by a flood. It might take you days or even weeks to get back up and running again. Business interruption insurance cushions the business from the loss of revenue that would inevitably follow, thereby keeping the business afloat.

Commercial general liability insurance: This is the broadest type of commercial insurance available and it protects you in the event the operation of your business causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party.  

Product liability insurance: This kind of coverage is usually included in commercial general liability, but not always. As its name suggests, it specifically protects you from liability for any harm that might come to a customer as a result of consuming or using the product you supply — whether that be cupcakes or power tools.

Professional liability insurance (errors and omissions insurance): Sometimes damage isn’t physical — instead it’s financial or intangible. This can happen when a professional, such as an accountant, provides advice that was incorrect or incomplete, resulting in the client suffering negative consequences. In order to withstand legal costs, professionals take out liability insurance.

Cyber risk coverage: In today’s world, almost all businesses rely on information technology and are thus vulnerable to cyber attacks (such as computer files being held hostage by ransomware). A cyber risk policy will protect a business against cyber crime and the blowback that usually ensues, including the legal liability that can result from customer information being hacked. Businesses that offer professional services typically need this coverage the most.

Commercial property insurance: If your business has substantial physical assets, such as office buildings, warehouses and offices, the risk that they could be damaged by things like fire, floods or even vandalism is ever-present. Carrying property insurance will protect you against that risk, and it’s often advisable to include coverage for the equipment or inventory that’s inside those structures as well.

Equipment breakdown insurance: While a property insurance policy may cover your equipment in the case of damage caused by external events (such as a fire), it won’t necessarily protect you if the equipment fails because of an internal source of damage (such as a boiler exploding). To cover yourself against that sort of eventuality, you would want to obtain equipment breakdown insurance.

Commercial auto insurance: Lots of businesses depend on vehicles. Think: trucking companies, grocery stores or furniture movers. Insuring those vehicles is a must since accidents happen. If you own several vehicles you may qualify for a commercial fleet insurance policy.

What type of commercial insurance is popular in Alberta?

When it comes to business, Alberta is synonymous with oil. The energy industry has driven the province’s economy since the 1940s, and today accounts for almost 30% of provincial GDP.

In addition to oil and gas extraction, the energy sector generates economic activity in a whole range of other areas, from petrochemicals to surveying and trucking. Not surprisingly, these sectors require a correspondingly wide range of insurance policies, such as general liability, property, auto, and equipment breakdown.

But Alberta’s economy isn’t just about oil; it also includes strong agricultural, forestry, services, and retail sectors, and businesses in these areas need various types of insurance.

Agriculture and forestry companies, for example, would require substantial coverage to protect against things like equipment breakdown or injury to workers.

The services sector, on the other hand, is much less exposed to those kinds of risks and would be more likely to need coverage for such things as cyber risk and professional liability.

How much does commercial insurance in Alberta cost?

The cost of insurance varies considerably, depending on the type of risk involved, the size of the company and the liabilities specific to your industry.

An efficient way to cost out insurance is to get quotes from multiple companies. By comparing, you'll be able to see the range of what insurers are willing to charge for the amount of insurance you want — and that can save you considerable amounts of money over the long term.