5 Things You Need to Know About Car Insurance in Alberta
With wide open plains, rolling hills, and the Rockies, Alberta has no shortage of scenery to enjoy.
When you enjoy living in Alberta, whether you live in an urban centre like Calgary or a tiny town where everyone knows everyone, having a set of wheels is all but essential. If you’ve got wheels, the law requires you to purchase car insurance. Before you do, here’s what you should know about car insurance in Alberta.
What is basic coverage?
Basic coverage is fairly standard across the board in Canada. It consists of third party liability coverage as well as accident benefits.
Third Party Liability: Liability coverage pays for a legal claim against the policyholder in the event that he or she is in some way responsible for an accident that causes injury or damage to a third party. The minimum limit requirement is $200,000.
Accident Benefits. Accident benefits cover occupants of a vehicle in the event of injury. Coverage includes medical/rehabilitation costs, funeral expenses, death benefits, and income replacement.
The minimum requirement for insurance is $200,000 third party liability and accident benefits. However, the majority of policies go beyond this to $1,000,000 of third party liability.
Alberta operates with a no fault auto insurance system
Insurance companies in Alberta will cover your damages regardless of who is at fault. That means you won’t have to deal with the hassle of another driver’s insurance company if they hit your car. This is an important thing to know about car insurance in Alberta.
Premiums are determined by grid levels
In a lot of other places (looking at you, Ontario), auto insurance rates are an absolute mystery to the consumers. Sure you can shop around for the best rate, but once you sign up for your policy you really have no way of knowing what will happen to your rate when it comes time for renewal. Alberta’s grid system helps drivers know what rates to expect for basic coverage by defining the maximum premium for basic coverage for any driving record.
The grid shows maximum premiums. Most people don’t pay those prices, but the caps are good for drivers with less experience who may otherwise be charged exorbitant premiums without the program.
The auto insurance in Alberta grid program also rewards good drivers. Every year without an at-fault claim will result in lower maximum premiums. You can see where you fit on the grid system on the Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board website.
There are plenty of discounts available
If you’ve got a home, try bundling your home insurance with your car insurance for a discount as well. Most companies also give discounts for purchasing a multi-vehicle policy.
Insurance is your right
Car insurance in Alberta is required, and it is illegal for any company to refuse basic coverage to any driver, whether they are a new applicant or existing policyholder. They cannot refuse you based on your driving record or area you live or the car you drive. However, if you have a history of not paying your premiums, an exception may be made and you may be refused insurance.
Shop around to find the best rates available for car insurance in Alberta. You want to be a knowledgeable consumer – and save money.
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