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Car Insurance in Alberta, Canada

Car insurance, once a luxury or option to drivers and car owners, is now mandatory in both the United States and Canada. Canadian residents living in a few provinces, such as Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba, can utilize public auto insurance systems for their car insurance needs. Residents in Alberta and various other provinces have the choice to purchase private car insurance. To learn some important facts about car insurance in Alberta, Canada, continue reading.

What Types of Alberta Car Insurance is Available?

In recent years, there have been changes made regarding Alberta car insurance. These changes are not only regarding the prices that can be charged but also the type of coverage required in this province. Therefore, there are various types of car insurance available in Alberta. In addition to the mandatory insurance coverage, which covers property damage, death, injuries and liability, drivers can also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage provides coverage for damages to your vehicle if it's involved in a collision. Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages to your car from vandalism, theft or other acts of God. To make this simpler, the main types of car insurance coverages are:

1 Liability

2 Accident Benefits/Bodily Injury aka AB/BI

3 Comprehensive

4 Collision

Alberta car insurance is available for cars, trucks, motorcycles and other motorized vehicles. It's also available as private or commercial auto insurance. With so many auto insurance companies in Alberta, drivers and residents are assured there is a policy out there to meet all their needs. Man on cellphone while reading bill Man on cellphone while reading bill
Main Features of a Good Auto Insurance Policy

When purchasing auto insurance, it's more than just getting the cheapest policy on the market. To be a good auto insurance policy, it should offer the type of coverage we need at an affordable price. It should also cover, at the very least, the minimum requirements set by Alberta laws. The following is a list of mandatory Alberta car insurance coverages.

Compulsory minimum third-party liability - Up to $200,000 per accident. There is a maximum of $10,000 for property damage if a claim involves both property damage and bodily injury.


Medical payments - Up to $50,000 per person per accident with a limit of two years. For chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture, the limits are $750, $250 and $250 respectively.


Funeral expense - Up to $5,000


Death benefits - $10,000 for head of household plus $2,000 to each surviving dependent after the first survivor, plus up to $15,000 for first survivor and $4,000 for each other survivor; $10,000 for the death of the spouse of the head of the household and up to $400 for family grief counseling


Disability income benefits - Disabled individual shall receive 80% of his or her gross weekly earnings (maximum of $400 per week) for up to 104 weeks if totally disabled. The non-earner, which must be at least 18 years old, shall receive up to $135 per week for up to 26 weeks.


Benefits for pain and suffering lawsuits - Maximum award is $4,504.


Impairment benefits - none

Right to sue for no-fault or loss of income benefits - No Drivers living in Alberta who are involved in accidents in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba can receive benefits from their own insurance carriers that would be equivalent in they were living in these provinces. When searching for a company that offers a good auto insurance policy, there are other things to look or In addition to adequate coverage and good premiums. You want a company that meets your specific insurance needs, whether they're private, public or commercial. They should also provide good customer service, convenient hours of operation and a suitable location. You may also want to check on what type of payment plan options they can offer.

What Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums?

Traffic jam with many cars

I mentioned above that there have been recent changes to the way Alberta auto insurance companies can do business. One of these changes is that no one can be denied auto insurance, regardless of how bad their driving record may be. However, drivers in this group may also be charged the maximum amount in premiums, although it depends on the discretion of the insurer. Another change is that since 'bad drivers' are being insured along with good drivers, they may not be paying as high as they should and good drivers may be paying slightly higher premiums than they should. On a bright note, the government has been duly working with insurance companies in an attempt to see to it that good drivers are not feeling like they're being penalized with high premiums. There are other factors that affect your car premiums other than your driving and accident records.

1. At-Fault Accidents - If you've been in an accident in the past six years in which you were at fault, your premiums may increase.


2. Age -

Young drivers are typically charged higher premiums because they're at greater risk of being in an accident and making a claim.


3. Discounts - Most insurance companies offer discounts for multiple vehicles, anti-theft devices in vehicle, hybrid vehicles or if they use this company for both their car and home insurance.


4. Driver training - Newly licenced drivers who have completed a driver training program may see lower premiums.


5. Driving convictions - The better your driving record is, the lower your premiums are going to be. When you have driving convictions, your premiums may be based on if the conviction was for a minor, major or criminal infraction.


6. Gender - Females generally pay lower premiums because they're involved in few collisions.


7. Insurance coverage lapse - Your premium may be affected if you were without auto insurance for two or more years.


8. Licence suspension - Depending on how long your licence was suspended; your premium may be affected.


9. Coverage limits & deductibles - The amount of coverage you choose, as well as the deductible, will play a part in how much you pay for premiums.


10. Location - Where you live can affect your premiums. Drivers living in the city typically pay higher premiums than those living in rural areas.


11. Marital status - Marital status can play a part in determining premiums, especially for those under the age of 25.


12. Type of vehicle - Yes, it's true that you'll probably pay higher premiums if you drive a sports car than a family sedan. Particular makes and models may also be charged higher premiums if they have a history of requiring repairs or needing expensive parts.


13. Vehicle use - A driver who only uses his vehicle occasionally will pay lower premiums than one who puts on a lot of miles each day.

14. Years driving - The more years you've been driving, the lower your premiums if you continue to have a good driving record.

Things to be Aware of when Comparing Car Insurance Companies in Alberta

In the same way that we comparison shop when purchasing appliances, clothing and food, we should also comparison shop when purchasing car insurance. It's often been said that your insurance is only as good as its coverage. One of the most important things to be aware of when comparing car insurance companies in Alberta is that what they are offering or quoting actually meets the legal requirements set by this province. In addition to meeting the legal requirements, it should also meet the needs of your pocketbook. Do not just look at what's the cheapest. Look at what's the most economical for the coverage it's providing. Although we all like to think we'll never get in an accident, the sad and harsh truth is that it happens every day and, if it happens to you or your family, you want to be adequately covered. An advantage to there being so many insurance companies in Alberta is that it's fairly easy to find a competitive rate. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has also made many recent changes to how insurance companies can do business in an attempt to keep premiums down and make auto insurance more affordable to Alberta residents. Consumers contemplating purchasing car insurance can utilize an Alberta car insurance calculator to help determine what their premiums may be based on different coverages. These calculators, which are also used by Alberta auto insurance agents, can be found on many of the insurance companies' websites. This makes it easier, more convenient and less time-consuming than making numerous phone calls or visits to the many Alberta car insurance companies.

Who Are the Major Players in the Car Insurance Market in Alberta, Canada?

Like in most areas, some companies seem to almost 'control' the market in specific areas. When it comes to car insurance in Alberta, Canada, or almost any place in Canada, one will always here certain names. One of the most commonly referred to companies is Intact Financial. Formerly known as the ING Group, Intact Financial is the leading provider of home, business and auto insurance in Canada. In fact, it carries approximately 17 percent of the Canadian market, while covering the public, private and commercial vehicle market. Although Intact Financial is a major player in the car insurance market in Canada, there are currently about 70 insurance companies available to Alberta residents in need of car insurance, according to the IBC. The IBC is also available to keep consumers aware of changes in the laws regarding Alberta auto insurance and the various Alberta car insurance companies.

Another company that would definitely be considered a major player in the car insurance market is the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB), an organization that regulates how much an insurance company can charge for basic and additional auto insurance premiums in Alberta. Additional information on the Alberta car insurance system can also be found on the AIRB website (http://www.airb.alberta.ca/).


Category: Auto Insurance

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