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Article Contents
Picture of By <span>Aren Mirzaian</span>
By Aren Mirzaian

Updated on May 16, 2024

Visit author page
Picture of By <span>Aren Mirzaian</span>
By Aren Mirzaian

Updated May 16, 2024

Visit author page

16 minute read

Article Contents

Quick Facts About Auto Insurance in Alberta

  • The average annual Alberta auto insurance rate is $1,211
  • You can save up to $859 annually by comparing quotes through MyChoice.
  • Alberta had 54.84 stolen cars per 10,000 residents, making it the province most affected by car theft.
  • On average, there are around 385 collisions per day in Alberta.

How Can You Get Cheap Car Insurance in Alberta?

You can get lower premiums and cheap car insurance in Alberta by finding the best policy deals and lowering your risk profile. Here are several ways to get cheap Alberta auto insurance:

Shop and Compare Policies

Different insurance providers offer different rates. By shopping between several companies, you can get the best Alberta auto insurance rates.

Bundle Home and Auto Insurance

Insurance companies like it when you bundle home and auto insurance because you’re giving them more business in one go. Bundling home and auto policies from one insurer typically gets you better rates than individual policies from two companies.

Remove Unnecessary Optional Coverage

Taking all the available auto insurance coverage protects you from many things but raises your premiums. If you want to lower insurance rates, double-check your policy and remove any optional coverage you likely won’t use.

Pay Yearly Premiums

Insurers often give discounts to customers who pay their auto insurance premiums in bulk. The initial payment might look expensive, but it’ll save you money compared to monthly premiums. Some insurers also offer half-year premium payments if you can’t afford to pay full-year premiums.

Drive Safely

Driving violations and accidents stay on your insurance record for years and negatively influence your auto insurance rates. If you have a clean driving record, ensure it stays that way to get the best Alberta car insurance rates.

Take Pay-As-You-Go Insurance

Consider pay-as-you-go insurance if you’re a safe driver who doesn’t travel much. This type of insurance determines your rates by analyzing your driving habits and car mileage. Pay-as-you-go insurance helps safe drivers save up to 30% on insurance premiums.

Get a Higher Deductible

You must pay deductibles when claiming insurance before the carrier covers the remaining expenses. A higher deductible means you pay more out of pocket in case of an accident, but it often comes with lower insurance premiums. Conversely, a lower deductible often means you pay less money in an accident but pay higher insurance rates.

Buy Safe Cars

Cars with high safety ratings often get lower insurance premiums because they’re less likely to experience serious damage in an accident. Check the car model’s safety rating before buying to ensure you won’t overpay for insurance.

How Does Car Insurance Work in Alberta?

Car insurance in Alberta works by providing an agreed-upon amount of money when you’re involved in an auto accident. Auto insurance in Canada is mandatory, which means you must have an insurance policy to avoid fines and suspensions.

On top of facing fines and suspensions, you could be flagged as a high-risk driver by insurers if you’re caught driving without insurance. High-risk drivers get higher auto insurance premiums, meaning it’ll be even harder for you to drive legally in Alberta.

Auto insurance coverage in Alberta is split into two types:

  • Mandatory: You need mandatory coverage to drive legally. 
  • Optional: Optional coverage provides extra protection in specific situations.

Alberta provincial law requires all drivers to have three types of insurance coverage:

Third-Party Liability (TPL)

TPL insurance coverage provides benefits if you’re at fault for an accident that causes vehicular damage or results in somebody getting hurt or killed. Alberta provincial law requires you to have a minimum of $200,000 in TPL protection.

Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD)

DCPD insurance covers your vehicle’s damage if another insured driver is at fault. This coverage became mandatory in January 2022 and is automatically applied to all current auto insurance policyholders in Alberta.

Accident Benefits

Accident benefits cover medical bills, income replacement, and potential funeral expenses if you, your passenger, or a pedestrian are hurt or killed in an accident.

While you only need the three mandatory coverage options to drive legally in Alberta, you may need extra protection for various reasons. Here are some extra coverage options we recommend for Albertan drivers:

Additional TPL Coverage

The bare minimum $200,000 TPL coverage is relatively small, so some Albertans opt for additional third-party liability protection worth up to $2 million. 

Extra Accident Benefits

Accident benefits often have a claims cap – in 2022, the cap is $5488. If that number seems too small, ask your insurer about raising the accident benefit cap.

Collision Insurance

Many people don’t realize that the mandatory coverage doesn’t cover repair costs if you’re at fault. We recommend getting collision insurance because you never know when you might be at fault for an accident, and car repair costs can be expensive.

Comprehensive Insurance

Vehicle collisions aren’t the only potential danger to your car. Your car can also be damaged by bad weather, vandals, fire, or even animal collisions. Comprehensive insurance coverage protects you from just about any danger aside from vehicular collisions.

Limited Depreciation Waiver

Car theft is unfortunately very common in Alberta, meaning you need insurance protection from it. With a limited waiver of depreciation, you can get a refund on your car’s purchase price if it was stolen or totalled in an accident. 

Ridesharing Coverage

Regular auto insurance in Alberta doesn’t provide coverage for ridesharing drivers because they have a higher risk profile than regular drivers. Some common risks for ridesharing drivers include driving long distances, entering dangerous areas, and increased chances of theft and accidents.

Fortunately, ridesharing coverage is designed specifically for this subset of drivers. If your car gets stolen or involved in an accident when working as a rideshare driver, this coverage will pay out.

How Your Car Insurance Quotes are Calculated in Alberta

Your Alberta car insurance rates are calculated based on how risky the insurer thinks you are. Generally, you’ll pay higher premiums if the insurer believes you’re more likely to get into an accident.

Here are the key criteria for determining your Alberta car insurance quotes:

Driver Demographics

Personal demographics are one of the main consideration factors for your Alberta auto insurance premiums because they affect your risk profile greatly.

Younger drivers must pay higher premiums because insurers generally see them as accident-prone. Fortunately, insurance rates start declining at 25 years old because insurers see you as an experienced driver by then. Your rates rise again when you hit 65 because seniors tend to have worse eyesight and are more vulnerable to injuries or death in accidents.

Women often get lower insurance rates than men because insurers believe them to be more careful drivers. The same goes for married people, who insurers assume will take fewer risks because they have family waiting at home. Moreover, married people usually bundle home and auto insurance, further driving their premiums down.

Location

Insurers charge higher insurance rates if you live in big cities like Calgary and Edmonton. Big cities are riskier for drivers because there are more cars and a higher risk of theft.

Driving History

People with a clean driving history get lower premiums because insurers see them as low-risk drivers who are unlikely to get in accidents. Conversely, people with several accidents to their name get higher premiums because history may repeat down the line.

Driving Frequency

The more you drive, the more likely you will get into an accident. This is why insurers ask about your driving habits when determining your Alberta auto insurance premiums.

Vehicle Safety Record

Insurers use CLEAR (Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating) to measure a car model’s risk profile. Car models that are a frequent target of thieves and get into accidents often get a lower CLEAR score, marking them as high-risk vehicles. 

If you want to save on Alberta car insurance premiums, you should check a model’s CLEAR score before buying a car.

Coverage Chosen

More insurance coverage protects your car from more dangers, but it also increases your insurance premiums. You should skip non-essential coverage if you don’t want to spend too much on car insurance.

Most Expensive Cities to Insure a Car in Alberta

The average annual auto insurance rate in Alberta is $1,211, with some areas of the province having higher premiums than others. Alberta’s top three most expensive cities for car insurance are Calgary at $1,512/year, Airdrie at $1,454/year and Edmonton at $1,412/year.

Check the table below for a detailed look at the most expensive cities for car insurance in Alberta:

CityAverage Annual Car Insurance Rate
Calgary$1,512
Airdrie$1,454
Edmonton$1,412

Least Expensive Cities to Insure a Car in Alberta

On the other side of the spectrum, there are a few cheap cities for car insurance rates in Alberta. Medicine Hat takes first place at $1,119/year, while Lethbridge is second at $1,199/year while Grande Prairie brings up the rear at $1,220.

Here’s a detailed look at the least expensive cities for car insurance in Alberta:

CityAverage car insurance rate
Medicine Hat$1,119
Lethbridge$1,199
Grande Prairie $1,220

Car Insurance Cost in Alberta by Age 

Alberta car insurance premiums rise and fall depending on your age. Teens usually pay higher premiums, but these lower as they age. When you hit 65, premiums rise again because your accident risk increases.

Here’s a closer look at car insurance costs in Alberta, organized by age:

Age groupAverage costAnnual savings with MyChoice
18-20$4,323$859
21-24$2,470$491
25-34$1,646$327
35-44$1,211$240
45-54$933$197
55-64$844$167
65+$962$191

Rates as of February 2024, using the standard driver profile detailed in the methodology below.

Car Insurance for Specific Demographics in Alberta

For the most part, the most expensive car insurance rates anywhere occur in densely populated areas and this coincides with the Edmonton to Calgary corridor being one of the most urbanized areas in Canada, not just Alberta.

Here are additional tips for getting car insurance for specific demographics:

Car Insurance for Students

Students between 17 and 25 usually get higher Alberta auto insurance rates because they’re seen as inexperienced drivers. Unfortunately, these higher rates don’t come with any discounts.

However, you can lower your insurance rates as a student by choosing cheap and reliable cars, paying annual premiums, and opting out of extra coverage. You can also add a more experienced driver to your policy to potentially lower your rates.

Car Insurance for New Immigrants

All Albertan drivers must have auto insurance, and new immigrants are no exception. Fortunately, new immigrants can get auto insurance with either their country of origin’s licence or an International Driving Permit. However, you’ll need to apply for an Alberta driver’s licence within 90 days of arrival.

Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

Everyone needs car insurance to drive in Alberta legally, including high-risk drivers. However, some driving records are so bad that insurance providers may think twice before accepting their insurance application. Even if they do, they’ll saddle these high-risk drivers with extremely high rates.

Fortunately, high-risk drivers can still apply for the bare minimum protection through insurers specializing in high-risk driver insurance. They can also get insurance through the Facility Association, which provides car insurance to everyone regardless of driving record.

Car Insurance for Seniors

Car insurance for seniors is more expensive because older people are more likely to die or get injured in a car accident. The good news is that you can still get insurance discounts like younger drivers. 

Driving safely, paying annual premiums, and bundling policies can help you get lower rates. You can also get lower rates by taking accredited driving courses to prove that you can still drive safely. 

Car Insurance Cost in Alberta by Driving History

When calculating your Alberta car insurance premiums, insurers check your driving history to predict how you’ll drive in the future. Past violations could lead them to think you won’t be a safe driver.

Driving violations stay on your record for several years, so you might end up “paying” for those mistakes long after the fact. In Alberta, the premium differences between someone with a clean driving record and a bad driving record can reach up to $1,500 annually.

Here’s an example of how a bad driving record influences your Alberta auto insurance premiums:

Driving violationAverage annual car insurance rate
Clean driving record$1,211
Insurance cancellation due to non-payment$1,986
Licence suspension for alcohol-related offences$1,453
One accident$2,664
Speeding ticket$1,574

Rates as of February 2024, using the standard driver profile detailed in the methodology below.

Other Factors That Affect Car Insurance Prices in Alberta

Many factors influence your Alberta car insurance rates. In addition to the ones we covered previously, here are other criteria that may increase or decrease your premiums:

Car Model Age

Older car models tend to land higher premiums because they don’t have the safety features of newer models, and their spare parts may be harder to find. Factor this larger insurance cost into your budget before buying a vintage car.

Service Centre or Dealership Availability

Cars that are hard to repair usually have higher insurance premiums. This includes import and luxury cars without a large dealership or service centre presence in Canada.

Vehicle Mileage

The more you drive, the higher the likelihood of you getting into an accident – this is why high-mileage cars get higher rates.

Local Crime Rates

Living in high-crime areas means your car is at a higher risk of being stolen or damaged. Insurers generally give residents of high-crime areas higher rates because they’re more likely to make theft or vandalism claims.

Loyalty Bonuses

Insurers love loyal customers and may even reward a long-term policyholder with discounts or other benefits. Ask your insurance agent about rate reductions or discounts if you’ve had your policy for years.

Main Mode of Commuting in Alberta

The vast majority of commuters in Alberta travel by personal vehicle, making it the most popular commuting method in the province. At 87.3%, personal vehicle commuters are far more numerous compared to public transit users and other kinds of commuters in Alberta. Here’s a detailed look at how Albertans commute:

Main mode of commutingCountsRates
Total – 25% Sample Size1,578,980100.0
Car, truck or van1,378,68587.3%
Car, truck or van – as a driver1,287,94081.6%
Car, truck or van – as a passenger90,7405.7%
Public transit88,2555.6%
Walked62,8104.0%
Bicycle11,3700.7%
Other method37,8652.4%

Commuting Duration in Alberta

Nearly 70% of Alberta’s commuters spend less than half an hour getting to work. The remaining 30% spend over half an hour on their commute. While somewhat rare, there are over 90,000 commuters who take over an hour getting to work in Alberta. Here’s a closer look at the commuting duration in Alberta:

Commuting durationCountsRates
Total – 25% Sample Size1,678,980100.0
Less than 15 minutes487,71030.9%
15 to 29 minutes610,48538.7%
30 to 44 minutes302,73519.2%
45 to 59 minutes87,2305.5%
60 minutes and over90,8155.8%

Who Provides Car Insurance Quotes in Alberta?

Insurance agents, brokers, aggregators, and direct writers provide car insurance quotes in Alberta. What are the differences, and what does each offer? Here’s a closer look at the four insurance provider types:

Insurance Brokers

Insurance brokers are independent providers who can compare insurance providers and find you the best policy deals. Brokers are often very knowledgeable about the Alberta auto insurance market, so they’re well-equipped to answer your questions about insurance.

Direct Writers

Direct writers are similar to agents in that they only sell products from one insurer. They are usually cheaper because they don’t have physical offices, but you can’t book a face-to-face meeting with them.

Insurance Agents

Insurance agents are employed under a certain insurer, so their policy selection may be limited compared to brokers. However, they know the company’s insurance policies like the back of their hand and can give you discounts not available to brokers. Insurance agents can also close sales independently, ensuring your policy sale finishes quickly.

Insurance Aggregators

Aggregator websites like MyChoice gather offers from multiple insurers in one place to help drivers find the best deals. These sites are entirely free for customers, so you can get quotes and find the right policy without spending anything.

Most Common Questions About Car Insurance in Alberta

Can I drive a car insured by someone else in Alberta?

Yes, you can drive a car insured by someone else in Alberta. You’ll be protected under their policy if the policyholder gives you permission to drive. However, this applies only if you drive their car occasionally. If you drive the person’s car frequently, they must inform the insurer.

Can I drive my parent’s car without insurance in Alberta?

You can’t drive your parent’s car without insurance in Alberta, but they can include you in their policy instead of you having to get one yourself. Additionally, if you drive with a learner’s licence, you still need a responsible adult accompanying you.

Can I get 6-month car insurance in Alberta?

You can’t get a dedicated six-month car insurance policy in Alberta. However, you can buy a regular policy and cancel it after six months.

Can I get car insurance for a month in Alberta?

You can’t get one-month car insurance policies in Alberta because the standard policy lasts 12 months. However, you can get a policy, pay premiums once, and cancel it after 30 days.

Can I have Alberta car insurance while living in BC?

You can’t have an Alberta car insurance policy while living in BC. Once you arrive in BC, you have 30 days to get a BC car insurance policy and 90 days to get a BC driver’s licence.

Can I insure a vehicle I don’t own in Alberta?

You can insure a vehicle you don’t own in Alberta, but you need to prove insurable interest first. You can do this by adding the car’s owner to your insurance policy.

Can I transfer my insurance to another car in Alberta?

You can transfer your insurance to another car in Alberta. Notify your insurance provider, and follow their instructions.

Can someone else insure my car in Alberta?

Someone else can insure your car in Alberta, but they need to prove insurable interest. A good way to do so is by adding your name to the policy.

Can you be refused auto insurance in Alberta?

You can’t be refused auto insurance in Alberta thanks to the All Comers Rule. The rule states that no insurer can deny mandatory insurance coverage to drivers in Alberta as long as they continue to make payments and don’t have debts with another insurer.

Can you bundle car insurance in Alberta with a girlfriend or partner?

You can share car insurance in Alberta with a girlfriend or boyfriend. This is usually done in more committed relationships where the partners live together and share a car.

Can you get temporary car insurance in Alberta?

You can’t get temporary car insurance in Alberta. However, the province offers a temporary driver’s permit for 14 days. Note that this temporary permit still requires auto insurance.

Can you insure a car in Alberta with a BC licence?

You can insure a car in Alberta with a BC licence, but you need to apply for an Alberta licence within 90 days.

Can you insure a car without a licence in Alberta?

You can insure a car without a licence in Alberta, but you must name a licensed driver in the policy.

Can you register a car without insurance in Alberta?

You can’t register a car without insurance in Alberta. A valid policy is one of the registration requirements.

Can you suspend auto insurance in Alberta?

You can’t suspend auto insurance in Alberta. If you want to stop driving for an extended period, you have to cancel your policy.

Do Alberta car insurance companies check your credit score?

Alberta car insurance companies can only check your credit score with your consent – if you say no, they can’t check it.

Do I have to add my child to my car insurance in Alberta?

You only need to add your child to your insurance policy if they drive your car. Otherwise, there’s no need to do so.

Do I need insurance to register a car in Alberta?

You need insurance to register a car in Alberta because it’s one of the requirements.

How do insurance companies write off vehicles in Alberta?

Insurance companies in Alberta write vehicles off when the estimated repair costs exceed the car’s pre-accident cash value.

How does not having a full licence in Alberta impact my insurance rate?

Not having a full licence impacts your Alberta car insurance rates because you’re seen as an inexperienced driver. You may get higher rates if you own insurance with a learner’s licence.

How does the Alberta driver’s licence system work?

Alberta’s driver’s licence system works like in many other provinces, where you go through certain stages to become a fully licensed driver. To graduate from each stage, you must earn enough driving experience and pass the tests.

There are three levels of licences for Albertan drivers:

1. Learner’s licence
2. Probationary licence
3. Full licence

How does tort auto insurance in Alberta work?

The “tort” or “at-fault” insurance system in Alberta works by requiring the at-fault driver’s insurer to pay for damages. Simply put, the bad driver covers the damage caused in an accident.

How much is car insurance for a new driver in Alberta?

The cost of car insurance for new drivers in Alberta varies depending on your personal demographics, vehicle choice, and other factors. With the average being $1,211 you can expect to pay a higher amount than that.

How much is it to insure a used car in Alberta?

Insurance for a used car in Alberta depends on its age, safety track record, and modifications. If it’s in relatively good condition and hasn’t been involved in any accidents, your used car insurance rates might be close to new car insurance rates.

How do you insure a classic car in Alberta?

You can insure a classic car in Alberta by applying for insurance, just like any other car. However, keep in mind that classic car insurance rates are typically higher than regular car insurance rates.

How do you register and insure a car in Alberta?

To register a car, go to a registry agent with the required documents, like proof of ownership, a valid insurance policy, and identification. Meanwhile, get insurance by applying with an insurance broker or agent.

I have a Class 7 (learner’s) licence. Can I insure my vehicle?

You can insure your vehicle with a Class 7 licence, just like any other licence.

Is car insurance cheaper in Alberta than in BC?

Car insurance is cheaper in Alberta than in BC. Alberta has an annual average auto insurance premium of $1,211, more than $400 cheaper than BC’s $1,685.

Is car insurance cheaper in Alberta than in Ontario?

Car insurance is cheaper in Alberta than in Ontario. There’s a nearly $450 difference between Alberta’s annual average rates of $1,211 and Ontario’s $1,673.

Is car insurance mandatory in Alberta?

Car insurance in Alberta is mandatory, like in the rest of the country.

Is hail damage covered by car insurance in Alberta?

Hail damage is covered by car insurance in Alberta if you have comprehensive insurance coverage.

Is ridesharing insurance available in Alberta?

Ridesharing insurance is available in Alberta. It is required when working as a driver.

Is there GST on auto insurance in Alberta?

Alberta charges a 4% goods and services tax (GST) on auto insurance premiums.

Is usage-based insurance available in Alberta?

Usage-based insurance is available in Alberta. Ask your insurer if you want to apply for a policy.

Is there parked car insurance in Alberta?

You can get parked car insurance in Alberta to protect cars you’re not driving for an extended period.

What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Alberta?

The penalties for driving without insurance in Alberta are:

First offence: A fine of up to $10,000
Second offence within five years: A fine of up to $20,000

Failure to pay either fine may result in up to six months of jail time.

What is the grid level for auto insurance in Alberta?

The grid level for auto insurance in Alberta is a system that determines the maximum rate insurers can charge for mandatory coverage.  Every driver gets assigned a grid level based on how long they’ve been driving and how many at-fault accident claims they’ve made. The more at-fault claims the driver makes, the further they move up the grid – landing them higher rates.

What is the minimum coverage for auto insurance in Alberta?

Alberta’s minimum auto insurance coverage includes third-party liability, accident benefits, and DCPD. All other coverage is optional.

What’s the minimum legal driving age in Alberta?

The minimum legal driving age in Alberta is 14 years old. However, 14-year-old drivers with a learner’s licence must be accompanied by an adult until they get their probationary licence at 16.

Who can drive my car under my insurance in Alberta?

Anybody can drive your car under your insurance in Alberta as long as they have permission.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Alberta?

The cheapest car insurance in Alberta will depend on your coverage needs, risk profile, and other factors. Compare quotes through MyChoice to find the cheapest car insurance provider for you.

Who regulates auto insurance rates in Alberta?

The Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) regulates car insurance rates in Alberta. It’s responsible for approving all rate changes for auto insurance providers in Alberta.

Why did my car insurance go up in Alberta?

Many things can cause your car insurance to go up in Alberta. Here are some common causes:

– Recent insurance claims
– Inflation
– Traffic violations
– Increase in vehicle theft
– Rise in auto repair costs

Why is car insurance so expensive in Alberta?

One of the reasons why car insurance is so expensive in Alberta is the city’s high theft rate. The more vehicles are stolen in an area, the more insurers have to pay out – increasing rates for everyone.

Sources

1. Mychoice.ca Internal Data, Most Expensive Cities to Insure a Car, Alberta, Car Insurance Quotes Collected, 2024.

2. Mychoice.ca Internal Data, Least Expensive Cities to Insure a Car, Alberta, Car Insurance Quotes Collected, 2024.

3. Mychoice.ca Internal Data, Rate Cost By Age, Alberta, Car Insurance Quotes Collected, 2024.

4. Mychoice.ca Internal Data, Rate Cost By Driving History, Alberta, Car Insurance Quotes Collected, 2024.

5. Statistics Canada, 2021, Census of Population, Alberta, Main Mode of Commuting. Data Published March 29, 2023.

6. Statistics Canada, 2021, Census of Population, Alberta, Commuting Duration. Data Published March 29, 2023.

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