Car Insurance in Alberta: Your Complete Insurance Buying Guide (2019)

Posted on June 12, 2019
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In Alberta driving without valid car insurance can cost you a fine of between $2500 and $10000. You also get your license suspended or have your insurance rates rise.

According to a customer satisfaction survey by J.D.Power, customers in Alberta are the least satisfied with their auto insurance. The reason mentioned for the dissatisfaction is the recent hikes in auto insurance premiums. It could be most people do not know how to get the cheapest car insurance in Alberta.

So how do you find the best car insurance in Alberta?

Well, there are numerous factors to consider. Additionally, you need a systematic approach to Alberta auto insurance, lest you become unsatisfied with your choice of an insurance company.

Are you currently in search of Alberta car insurance?

Then you have come to the right place. We have compiled a step by step auto insurance buying guide.

If you want to learn more, keep reading.

Understanding Alberta Car Insurance Coverage

Before getting into how to choose the insurance cover for your vehicle, it is essential to understand the various types of auto insurance available in Alberta.

There are two types of auto insurance in Alberta. There is mandatory and optional auto insurance.

a) Mandatory/Compulsory Insurance

According to the Alberta Auto Insurance Act, drivers are required to have basic auto insurance coverage. There are two types of basic auto insurance.

The first type is Personal liability and property damage (PLPD). It also gets referred to as third party liability cover. This type of insurance protects injuries inflicted on individuals and damage to property caused by the insured vehicle.

All vehicles in Alberta are required to have Personal liability and property damage cover of a minimum of $200,000.

The second type of basic auto cover is Accidents Benefits Insurance. In the event of an accident, this form of insurance covers the passengers in the vehicle for any injuries acquired or death. The claim is always applicable irrespective of who caused the accident.

Accident Benefits covers after accident costs for the affected passengers such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Provide a source of income while the injured individual recovers
  • It also provides an uninsured motorist with coverage in case you get into an accident with a driver who is not insured.

By law, you can not get denied basic coverage for your vehicle.

b) Optional/Additional Coverage

Basic coverage provides just basic insurance against liabilities for third parties. If you want additional insurance, then you have to pick the additional cover you need.

There are three types of additional coverage you can choose.

1. Collision Coverage

This type of insurance covers repairs and part replacements for the insured vehicle in the event of an accident. Irrespective of whether the policyholder was in the wrong during the accident, the repairs and part replacements will get covered.

2. Specified Perils Cover

This type of insurance, allows policyholders to define/pick the perils they wish to get covered. It covers damage against perils such as fire and theft, but it doesn’t include collision cover. Additionally, if damage occurs as a result of a danger not specified in the insurance policy, there will be no cover. 

3. Comprehensive Insurance Cover

As the name suggests, this type of insurance protects against all damage caused to your vehicle apart from collision. The cover includes instances such as:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism,
  • Fire
  • Act’s Of God such as floods

In a nut-shell, comprehensive insurance provides the best degree of protection for your vehicle.

How to Choose the Best Alberta Car Insurance

Here are the five key steps to follow when choosing vehicle insurance.

1. Determine the Additional Vehicle Insurance You Need

From the above description of car insurance cover types in Alberta, it is evident that all policies are not equal. As far as the basic cover is concerned, you do not have a choice. You have to take up Personal Injury and Property Damage Cover as well as the Accident Benefits Cover.

However, due to the fundamental nature of these two types of cover, you may decide you need additional cover. If you only need protection against collision, you can take up collision coverage.

For people who require coverage against a selected number of perils but not all, Specified perils cover is the way to go. Finally, if you need protection for all the possible risks that could happen, the comprehensive cover is the most suitable for you.

When deciding on which additional coverage you should take, there are several considerations to make. These considerations include:

  • The age and value of your vehicle
  • The most common perils in your area
  • Who do you intend to include in the cover? Could be a spouse or your children
  • Do you want to lease out the vehicle
  • Do you need all the protection provided in a comprehensive auto insurance policy

In most cases, motorists tend to prefer the Specified Perils Coverage. Primarily because it allows for the choice of perils you want to get covered.

2. Consider the Costs Involved

There are two main types of costs involved when buying Alberta auto insurance.

  • Deductibles
  • Premiums

A deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket towards an insurance claim. Before, your auto insurance provider pays for damages or repairs; there is a stipulated amount of money that you have to produce. In Alberta, the average deductible is at $500- $1000.

A premium is the amount of money you pay the auto insurance company every month for coverage. The average premium rate for vehicle insurance in Alberta is $326. This is a bit higher than the national premium average of $298.

If you are looking for the cheapest car insurance in Alberta, you need to find an insurer with the lowest premiums.

Nonetheless, there is a catch. The less you pay in premiums, the more you pay in deductibles. Hence, based on your previous driving experience, you need to make a choice.

In the event of an accident or peril would you prefer to pay more in deductibles or premiums?

3. Get Recommendations For Auto Insurance Companies

There are two ways you can get recommendations for car insurance providers.

One method involves asking friends and relatives to provide you with the details of the auto insurance company they use. The second method consists of checking online for auto insurance companies in Alberta.

The first recommendation you get is not always the best. Hence, a bit of research and due diligence gets required before selecting a company.

It is advisable to get in touch with the recommended companies and vet them. When vetting the companies, you can use the following questions to get a better understanding of their insurance service.

  • What type of optional Alberta auto insurance do they provide?
  • What is the minimum deductible you are expected to pay?
  • Does their policy apply to a rental car?
  • If I lend out my car, will the driver get covered in the event of an accident?
  • Am I eligible for discounts?
  • How does my driving record affect my policy? (give details)
  • Are they willing to overlook your first accident under their cover policy?
  • What additional benefits do you get by choosing them?

Based on the answers you get, shortlist the most favorable insurance providers.

4. Compare and Contrast Price Quotes and Discounts

Now that you have a few shortlisted candidates, it is time to compare their price quotes. There are three ways to conduct a price quote comparison.

a. Do it manually

This option involves asking each company to provide a price quote for the insurance cover you require. You then have to compare and contrast each price quote against the others before making a decision.

b. Online Quote Comparison Service

There are numerous insurance comparison sights on the internet that you can utilize. These services enable you to view each auto insurance companies quotes. All you have to do is input the type of cover you want. Then the service will provide a detailed list of all auto insurance companies that offer it. 

c. Contact an Insurance Broker

If you know a trustworthy insurance broker, they can provide you with price information on several insurance companies. However, it is advisable to note that brokers tend to be biased towards the companies with the best commissions.

When looking at the price quotes, you should be careful not to choose an insurer because they are the cheapest.

5. Conduct Back Ground Checks On Each Company

Background checks should start with reading online reviews about each company. If possible get in touch with the people, who posted the reviews for a better understanding of the company’s professionalism and reliability.

Secondly, ensure that the company is registered and licensed by The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

Thirdly, you can check with the Bureau of Better Business if the company has multiple complaints. This step is just a precaution to ensure you do not regret your choice later in life.

Conclusion on Buying Car Insurance in Alberta

Buying car insurance in Alberta comes down to choosing the right coverage and an insurance company. Choose coverage based on what you deem necessary to get covered.

As for insurance companies, choose a company that has:

  • All the coverage options you want
  • Additional benefits such as towing coverage
  • Reasonable rates good track record of settling claims promptly
  • A company that provides discounts if you have multiple policies
  • Good reviews

Do you need car insurance in Alberta? Get in touch with us for the best auto insurance coverage in Alberta.

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