Guide to Shopping for Auto Insurance in Alberta

As a driver, you have many choices when deciding the auto insurance coverage you want to purchase. The amount of coverage affects the cost of your premiums. The key to getting the most out of your insurance dollars is comparison shopping, comparing coverage prices from different insurance companies .  

What type of coverage is right for you? 

No matter what type of insurance you get, make sure you understand what your policy covers in the event of a collision. Mandatory coverage is auto insurance you MUST have as a driver. Without this coverage you are driving uninsured. Driving uninsured can result in fines, jail time, and the suspension of your licence. Mandatory coverage includes: 

  • Third-party liability covers legal claims against you if you are at fault for an accident causing injury or damage to someone else’s property.  
  • DCPD helps cover physical damage, damage to contents, and loss of use when drivers are not at-fault. 
  • Accident benefits helps cover medical expenses of drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved no matter who is at-fault. 
  • Uninsured automobile helps cover damage and expenses of drivers and passengers if involved in a collision with an underinsured at-fault driver or potential hit-and-runs. 

Some drivers may also get optional coverage for additional charges to cover more damage scenarios. Examples of optional coverage include: 

  • Collision helps cover damage to a vehicle from collisions with other vehicles or objects on the road, no-matter who is at-fault. 
  • Comprehensive helps cover damage to a vehicle from unforeseen, non-collision events like theft, vandalism, and weather damage.  

If you lease or finance your vehicle, your financing agreement might require certain additional coverages. If your vehicle is older and run-down, you may not want collision coverage if the additional cost is around the same amount you would receive from a claim. Know your budget and coverage needs. 

What information do you need to provide? 

  • Current insurance policy– if this is not your first-time purchasing insurance, know your current coverage and insurance company. 
  • Driver’s licence – your licence must be valid to attain insurance, and anyone driving your vehicle must also provide their valid licences. 
  • Vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN– insurance companies need to know the value of your car since it will affect your rates. The condition of the car and safety features also affect rates.  
  • Driving record– This includes driving experience, years licenced, traffic violations, and claims history. 
  • Letter of experience– If you recently moved from another province or country, this might be required to provide your insurance company with an up-to-date record of your insurance history. 
  • Geographical location– where you drive and park your vehicle affects your rates. 
  • Vehicle use– the distance you drive to work or school, and whether it is used for business or personal use may affect rates. 

Who do you contact and how? 

After deciding what coverage is right for you, look around at the price for coverage at different insurance companies. To decide which company would provide the best price for your situation, use our rate comparison tool. To do this, you can talk to: 

  • Insurance Broker – works independently from insurance companies. They may be able to comparative shop on behalf of their client by providing quotes from three to four companies. For a list of brokers in Alberta, click here. 
  • Insurance Agent– represent one specific company and specialized in the company’s offerings. To talk to an agent, contact the insurance company directly.  

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