Situated between British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, Alberta is the westernmost Prairie province. With a range of scenery from mountains to the foothills, it’s a popular destination for tourists year-round. To be able to take in all that lovely scenery, you’ll need a vehicle to get around. And unfortunately, the insuring that vehicle will cost you more in Alberta than nearly any other province.
Auto insurance rates are set by individual insurance companies in the private market. However, the auto insurance market is regulated to ensure that the rates are fair. Two provincial government agencies are responsible for regulating the rates: the Automobile Insurance Rate Board and the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.
To help ensure auto insurance rates remain affordable, the Alberta government introduced a grid on auto insurance providers in 2004. The grid capped the maximum amount insurers could charge for basic coverage. The grid takes several factors into account when coming up with the maximum rate, including where you reside, your years of experience as a licensed driver, how many claims you’ve filed in the last six years and how many driving convictions (if any) that you have. But despite the grid, auto insurance rates can vary a lot in Alberta. That’s why it’s still a good idea to shop the market to ensure you’re getting the best auto insurance rate.
On average, drivers in Alberta pay nearly $1,200 annually. To put that into context, Alberta has the third highest auto insurance rates in the country, behind only Ontario and British Columbia. Again, it’s important to shop around to ensure you’re helping to bring down that average rather than inflate it.
If you’re driving a vehicle registered in Alberta, it’s important to have adequate auto insurance coverage. Not only does it protect you if you’re involved in an accident, it’s required by law. The province requires that you carry at least $200,000 in third party liability insurance on your car. Without sufficient coverage, you won’t be permitted to register your vehicle in Alberta.
Similar to other provinces, auto insurance rates in Alberta are set based on a number of factors. Some of it is common sense and within your control, while other factors are based on data. For example, if you have a clean driving record, all things considered equal, you’re more than likely going to get lower auto insurance rates. Your rates also depend on the type of vehicle you drive, and your gender.