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How To Report a Car Accident in Alberta

October 4, 2013

After an accident many drivers are not certain what they should do or if it is necessary to involve the police. Reporting an accident to the police is required in Alberta when a few basic circumstances exist at the scene of the accident. In some cases, you will need to call 911 immediately, while in others the report can be made once the accident scene is dealt with. In all situations, accidents should be reported to your insurance company.

When To Call 911

There are two main circumstances under which you should call emergency services via 911 in an accident. Police must be dispatched to the scene of an accident when the following conditions exist:

  • There has been a serious injury or fatality
  • A driver involved in the accident appears to be in violation of the Criminal Code, such as signs of intoxication

While these are the cases in which you must call for immediate police assistance, there are other circumstances in which making a report to the police is necessary.

Making a Police Report

A police report must be filed in certain circumstances. If any one of the following situations exists, you should call the police to attend the scene of the accident:

  • Any vehicle involved is not drivable
  • Any driver fails to produce proof of insurance or of a driver’s license
  • You see signs of intoxication in a driver

You should make a police report at your local police station after the accident has been dealt with, but don’t need the police to come to the scene, in any case where:

  • There is any injury, even minor
  • There appears to be $2000 or more in damage

If you aren’t sure how much the damage is, and whether or not it meets the $2000 marker, you can obtain an estimate first. Bear in mind that Alberta law prohibits any auto repair shop from making repairs on a car with damage in excess of $2000 unless it has a sticker indicating that the accident has been reported to the police. If you aren’t sure about the damage amount but suspect it’s close to the $2000 mark, you should go file a report. Go to the nearest police station and file a Collision Report Form.

Reporting a Hit and Run Accident

Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and such drivers will face criminal charges. If your car has been struck and the driver leaves without making an effort to exchange information with you, you should report the accident to the police. If possible, record the make, model, and license plate number of the other vehicle. IF your car has been struck when parked and no note is left, report the incident to police right away.

Reporting an Accident To Your Insurance Company

The terms of your insurance policy require you to report any accident you are involved in to the insurance company as soon as possible; failure to do so could have consequences for your claim.

Filing a police report does not mean your insurance company will be notified; it is up to you to contact the insurance company to file a claim. The police report will be used in the insurance company’s investigation, but they will require their own statement from you and may ask to see the car as well.

To report an accident to your insurance company, you can call your agent or broker or a claims hotline, which many insurance companies offer 24 hours a day. Look on your insurance card for information about what to do in an accident situation; if there is no information, call your insurance company’s customer service line to be directed.

Your insurance company will take your report and assign an adjuster who will investigate the claim and handle all of the communication with the other driver’s insurance company.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Thank you for the post..There’s some excellent advice here.

  • DM_01_2101

    Hi. A little less than a month ago I rented a car to run
    some daily errands in Alberta (where I live). When they asked me for general
    insurance I told them I didn’t need any as my credit card provided me insurance
    for rental cars. They then asked me if I wanted to purchase windshield and tire
    insurance, which I proceeded to decline as well as I assumed that was covered
    by my credit card’s insurance (which it is). At no point was I offered
    liability insurance and I wasn’t aware, at the time of the rental, that the
    credit card insurance only offers collision insurance for the rental vehicle
    itself with various restrictions and unfortunately I don’t own a vehicle and I
    don’t have any liability insurance (you can see where I am going with this). During
    the day I ended up getting into an accident in a shopping mall parking lot
    where there was damage done to my car and another car. Fortunately there were
    no injuries and I was able to drive the rental car after the accident (the
    other party’s car was drivable, however they had to commute about an hour to
    get home and took a tow truck, called through CAA, to be on the safe side). The
    shopping mall had a police station inside and both, myself and the other party,
    went in and filled out a joint police report (the police issued our cars
    stickers for the insurance companies as well), where essentially no blame was
    assigned to either side (also there were no witnesses), we also exchanged
    information (myself and the other party in the accident). The rental car had registration
    and insurance information which I used in the police report. That day I called
    my credit card’s insurance company’s claims division and started a claim (I
    have since given them all the relevant documents to the adjuster but am still
    awaiting the estimates from the rental car company which will be forwarded to
    my credit card’s insurance company once it becomes available). The next day,
    when I returned the rental car, I filled out the incident report, provided them
    with police report and other relevant documents and with information for my
    credit card’s insurance company. A few days later I get a call from the other
    party’s insurance company asking for details (I reiterated what was in the police
    report) and for insurance information (which I tell them is in the police
    report). I get another call a few days later from the other party’s insurance
    company saying the insurance in the police report (that of the insurance car
    company) says they don’t handle liability claims. I contact my credit card’s
    insurance company’s adjuster (the one assigned to my case) and advised them of
    the other party’s insurance information and that they are looking to get in
    touch with my insurance company. The adjuster advises me they will contact and
    verify liability with the other party. I provide the other party’s insurance
    company with my credit card’s insurance company and adjuster’s information
    (just to ensure they have it) and I assumed that they would then take care of
    it. Fast forward about 1-2 weeks and I hear from the other party’s insurance
    company that my credit card’s insurance company doesn’t handle liability (I
    confirmed this with my credit card’s insurance company’s adjuster shortly after
    – the person indicates they will cover rental car damages with the rental
    company directly) and for my liability insurance information, which I indicate
    to them I don’t have as I don’t own a vehicle. They inform me that the rental
    car should have liability insurance (as it is required by law), so I provide
    them with the rental car’s local Canadian claims number I was given and they
    were able to get a liability claims contact at the rental car company (which I
    also have obtained, I have since let that person know my situation via e-mail
    and am waiting to hear back). After speaking a bit more with the other party’s
    insurance company they indicate to me that most likely they will put forth a
    50/50 liability claim (no amount was specified) for property damage (i.e the
    vehicle) with the liability insurance on the other side (whomever that may be). My question is, given I don’t have liability
    insurance and didn’t purchase any (as it wasn’t offered to me and I did not
    know my credit card’s insurance did not cover that) how will the liability
    claim go through (will the other party’s insurance company go through liability
    claims at the rental car company)? Assuming the rental car company’s liability
    claims group will be handling the liability claim will they also put forth a
    50/50 liability claim with other party’s insurance company? What will I
    ultimately be responsible for (the difference between the 2 liability claims)?
    Any help/feedback would be appreciated.

  • Dezerae

    Say an individual had a vehicle length distance behind them to parallel park and the vehicle that was a vehicle length away began to pull up and attempt to go around you when you had already started to back up, resulting in rubbing bumpers. Both people take pictures of each others license plates and only exchange phone #’s, then they both leave. They both had said they would just cover their own damages, now the one that pulled up wants the other individual to claim the bumper rubbing on their insurance or to pay for the replacement of their bumper or they’re calling the cops. What now?

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Since you were the driver who was reversing you may be considered to be at fault for the collision and may see an increase in your insurance premium.