Alberta is not just home to amazing sceneries you can enjoy while driving. It is also home to some of the most amazing auto insurance premiums.
Yes, Alberta offers some of the lowest auto insurance rates in the country. This is mostly because of how the province regulates these services.
Now, all you need is a mechanism that will help you compare which services will work the best for you. This is where CompareMyRates.ca comes in. Read more to find out.
How Car Insurance Comparison Sites Work
Just because auto insurance rates in Canada are amazingly low, that does not mean you’ll grab the first offer that comes along. You need to have a clear system in comparing not only the rates, but the entire service all in all.
How does CompareMyRates.ca work? Using your driver information, we rank the best quotes available and give you a peek at what would match your needs the most. This can save you hours of manual research.
Who Regulates Auto Insurance in Alberta?
The government does not own the auto insurance market. All auto insurance services are private entities. However, the rates used by these services are controlled by the provincial government. These two agencies regulate the auto insurance rates all over Alberta:
- Automobile Insurance Rate Board
- Office of the Superintendent of Insurance
These agencies ensure that auto insurance rates are fair.
In 2004, the Alberta government decided on imposing a premium grid for auto insurance companies to follow. Some of the things that the grid considers include the area in which you live, the number of years you’ve been driving, the total number of claims you’ve filed in the past 6 years, and any blemishes on your driving record.
Of course, this is not an exact grid. There are still a number of other factors that could affect your insurance premiums. This is why it is still important to compare rates before deciding on a final one. You can also do some things to lower your insurance premiums.
Factors that Determine Auto Insurance Rates in Alberta
As mentioned above, there are a lot of things that insurers consider before giving you a quote. Here are some of them:
- Age and gender
- Amount of coverage needed
- Driving experience
- Driving record
- Location where vehicle is used
- Type of vehicle
- Use of vehicle
Once these things are considered, auto insurers can get a good idea of how high the risks are in insuring you. That’s where they figure out the price, or possibly deny giving you an insurance offer.
How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance in Alberta
Here are the things you need to do to make sure you get the best auto insurance rates in Alberta:
Shop around and check out every inclusion of the plan
The cheapest does not necessarily mean savings, and the most expensive does not necessarily mean the best. You may be tempted to sign up for an auto insurance plan that’s lower than anything else you’ve seen. But if its coverage is not enough, you may end up shelling out even more when an accident occurs.
You may also be tempted to get the most expensive coverage available because it pretty much covers everything. But if your car is fairly old and would soon need a replacement anyway, then it won’t do you any good.
Be on time when paying for your premiums
Auto insurers just love people who pay on time. This is why they often give the best rates to great payers.
Keep your driving history clean and impressive
The more blemishes there are on your driving history, the bigger the risk for auto insurers. Your premiums would have to cover the amount of risk that they’re taking. So if you’ve had a few accidents in the past, or have any traffic tickets, learn from them and start being a better driver. When auto insurers see the improvement, they would definitely consider pulling your premiums down.
As for those who are starting with a clean slate, take care of your driving reputation. Keeping your driving record clean will allow you to enjoy lower rates.
Think about the coverage you need and not just the price
There are a lot of coverage options in Alberta. Make sure you assess how you are as a driver. Think about the kind of car you have. Think about how risky your daily route is. This should give you a good idea of what you need to cover.
Go through a certified driver training program
This is not an assurance that you’ll be a brilliant driver. But this is an assurance on the part of the auto insurer that you are doing everything you can to become a better driver.
Stick to a single company when insuring all your vehicles
Notice how some businesses give preferential treatment to regular customers? That’s because they know that this specific customer will give them good business, not just on a one-time deal, but over a long period of time. The same principle applies here. This is also why getting bundled services can pull your rates even lower, like a home insurance coupled with your auto insurance. So you should always choose one company when shopping for auto insurance.
Add safety gear to your vehicles
Things like winter tires and alarm systems show the auto insurer that you can go out of the way to prevent unexpected accidents. This makes you more trustworthy.
Stick to these tips and you’ll find that your auto insurance rates could indeed turn out to be better. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time getting one, or if you currently have an existing insurance company you use.
Other Things You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in Alberta
Now that we’ve gone through some of the basics, here are a few other important things you should keep in mind if you’re looking for the best auto insurance in Alberta.
You can’t just decide to go for any amount of coverage. Alberta requires you to carry at least $200,000 third-party liability insurance. Of course, you can always go beyond that amount. In fact, some people would rather go a little bit beyond than end up having less than what they need when an accident occurs.
What happens if you go below the minimum requirement? Then you won’t be allowed to register your vehicle.
Alberta enforces a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that regardless of who’s at fault in an accident, the insurer would have to pay for the damages.
These are the penalties for driving without the required insurance in Alberta:
- First offense: $2,500 to $10,000 with a 15% surcharge
- Second offense: $5,000 to $20,000, with a 15% surcharge
- Repeat offenders: jail time of up to 60 days and license suspension
Any conviction will also appear on your driving record. This means you will also be charged with higher auto insurance rates in the future as a high-risk driver.
Ride-sharing insurance is also offered in Alberta. This is often used as an extension on personal policies. It is also applicable as a blanket policy for those under Transportation Network Companies like Uber and similar services.
Alberta is actually the first Western Province to offer usage-based insurance. Under this system, drivers can enjoy lower premiums for as long as they drive responsibly.
The auto insurance system in Alberta is straightforward, which is a huge advantage to automobile owners throughout the province. Now, all that’s left for drivers to do is compare services and make responsible decisions.