It is mandatory to add insurance to your car in Canada. Be it an active ride or something just sitting in the garage, a vehicle in Alberta cannot go without a proper policy.
Before buying valid car insurance in Alberta, it is always best to learn from the experts. You must understand all about this basic coverage before buying one for your vehicle. In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive knowledge on auto insurance in Alberta:
Types of Car Insurance Policies
When you buy insurance in Alberta, make sure they are from a well-known insurer. All car insurance policies must follow the same terms and conditions as other insurance coverages. You can find three types of insurance policies in Alberta:
Section A: Third-party liability, including property damage and public property
Your minimum coverage amount for damage to any third party is $200,000. If you are at fault for any accidents and crashes, you can use this coverage to pay off the legal expenses for damage to vehicles and the third party. It is always advised that you buy insurance a tad higher than the mandated amount.
For example, the injured might sue for $800,000, and the court deems you liable to pay. You are then liable to compensate on time. If you have $700,000 liability insurance, your insurer can reimburse the amount while you cover the rest of $100,000 from your pocket.
As the car owner and the policyholder, it is advisable to brush up on your driving skills. Not doing so can have you crashing into another vehicle and causing distress on the road.
Section B: No-Fault or Accident Benefits
No-fault insurance covers you and anyone else involved in a car accident. Suppose you hit a cyclist with your car; this policy would reimburse the victim’s medical expenses. It can pay off the hospital bills, rehabilitation therapies, funeral services, and more.
It can also pay the dependent relative for up to two years. That is not all; the no-fault coverage also provides coverage for income replacements if the victim sustains any disabilities from the accident. This coverage is available for up to two years.
Section C: Physical Damage Coverage Policy
Physical damage coverage is not mandatory. However, if you own an expensive vehicle, paying for this coverage is advisable. The coverage can be classified into four parts:
- Comprehensive coverage for theft, vandalism, natural disasters, etc.
- Collision coverage for car accidents, hit and run, or if your car rolled over a slope.
- All perils coverage which is both comprehensive insurance and the collision policy
- Specialized peril coverage is an add-on you can get for the policy. This can be a hailstorm, or just theft, or even an earthquake.
As the policyholder, you must follow some rules for claim approvals. For example, do not allow anyone else to drive your car, especially if they have no license on them. If the vehicle was in a racing game or was rash driving, its insurer can refuse a claim for any damages.
Informing Your Insurer of Traffic Violation Speeds Up Your Claim
If you face an accident, make sure to inform your insurer within seven days of the mishap. Delayed updating can have your insurance company deny the claim application. The same applies to traffic violations and parking tickets. Make sure to let your agent know that you have traffic infringement cases on your vehicle.
Updating your insurance agent right away can guarantee a smooth claim settlement, as you can cooperate with your policymaker and receive timely compensation for losses.
Disclosing The Entire List of Drivers Using Your Car
Car insurance does not just cover the car but also the driver who will be using it. In this case, you are legally required to disclose the list of people using your car and get them added to the policy. The one who uses the car most is termed as the primary driver and the other are all secondary drivers. Each of these secondary drivers are added at an additional cost which depends on their driving records and a few other factors.
If you withhold this information, you will be committing insurance fraud, a punishable offence in Alberta. Also when your insurer finds out that a driver who is not listed in your policy uses the car, your policy might be immediately cancelled leading to a huge financial loss.
Premium Works in a Grid System
Unlike in other Canadian territories, Alberta has a grid system. The grid system is popular for helping drivers know about the maximum expected premium rate on their coverage. These are the capped amounts that usually do not occur on any owned policies. However, it helps new drivers avail affordable premiums within Alberta. It also helps responsible drivers check for discounted premium rates on their car insurance.
By knowing the premium cap, new drivers can work towards reducing their expected rates. An inexperienced driver can save up to $200 by passing a driving training course. They can also bundle their car insurance with home coverages to avail special discounts on the total premium rate.
Avoiding Policy Lapse At All Costs
A policy lapse usually happens when you fail to renew a policy on time or if you are switching insurers and the old policy expires before the new one kicks in. In this case, you cannot drive your car until it’s insured again. Driving around with an expired policy is against the insurance laws in Alberta and can invite high fines. Also, if your uninsured car gets into an accident, you will not only face substantial financial loss without insurance coverage but might also invite higher penalties.
The car insurance laws in Alberta are about following strict driving safety protocols and receiving affordable premium rates for doing so. If you live in Alberta, check out online insurers like Surex to receive the best insurance quotes that are light on your pocket. Also, if you have even an iota of doubt about insurance laws, consider talking to a professional.