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Alberta is home to two of the largest cities in Canada: Calgary and Edmonton. With high-density areas comes auto theft and vandalism, a greater chance for collisions and increased claims leading to higher insurance costs. Recent spikes in vehicle theft, collisions and distracted driving convictions have also increased rates province-wide.
An increase in fatalities
According to Transport Canada, in 2021, there was a slight increase in the number of fatalities, serious injuries, and total injuries, with Alberta fatalities well above the national average, as seen below:
Canada fatalities per 100,000 population = 4.7
Alberta fatalities per 100,000 population = 6.2
Canada fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers = 6.5
Alberta fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers = 8.2
This explains, in part, why Alberta premiums are higher than other parts of Canada.
In addition to any liability protection insurance providers must offer following a collision to cover medical expenses, they must also cover costs associated with repairing or replacing vehicles. Higher repair and replacement costs lead to more expensive premiums. This is especially expensive for newer cars which tend to have many electronic components and may be self-driving.
There is no one car insurance company that is the cheapest overall. Insurance companies assess drivers based on unique risk factors like your home address and personal claims history, which is why rates for the same coverage can vary substantially from one company to another. What is cheapest for you, might not be what’s cheapest for someone else.
To find the company that offers you the best rate and coverage, shop around and compare quotes. This savings technique is something that you should do annually whenever it's time to renew your policy.
It depends on who you ask. In many cases, having a private insurance system breeds competition and the desire of providers to attract customers with benefits and competitive pricing.
However, inflation has taken a toll on drivers in Alberta. So much so that the government froze any new rate increases at the beginning of 2023. This has upset private insurers who say the freeze does not help that affordability and new challenges will emerge when the freeze lifts.
Because inflation is slow to abate, and the freeze has not been in effect for that long, more time will be needed to see who benefits and if the private system is helping drivers in the near and long term.
*Shoppers in Alberta who obtained a quote on InsuranceHotline.com from January to December 2021 saved an average of $727 per year. The average savings represents the difference between shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of all other quoted premiums generated by InsuranceHotline.com.
Insurance rates are going up in Alberta, but there’s a lot you can do to ensure that you’re getting the best price.
In Alberta, rate changes are regularly approved. Compare quotes before renewing your policy to find the cheapest option.
Save in the neighbourhood of 5 to 10% by increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000.
Pay your premiums annually, in one lump sum, to avoid administrative fees that sometimes accompany monthly payments.
Save 5 to 15% when you bundle your home and auto insurance from the same company that covers your car.
If you have more than one vehicle, save 10 to 20% by insuring them on the same policy.
Each year, review your optional coverages to ensure they are still necessary. If not, getting rid of these excess coverages will lower your premiums.
Some insurers offer discounts to members of local organisations like the Alberta Motor Association, AUPE members, or university alumni. Ask your provider about the group discounts they offer and see if you qualify.
Let your insurer know if you have winter tires, as some providers offer a winter tire discount of about 5%.
Encourage young drivers to take driver’s training. Once the course is completed, the insurance savings will offset the initial cost.
Where you live and what you drive are two important factors in what you pay for coverage. If you move or buy a new vehicle, don’t assume your current provider will continue to offer you the best price. Shop around to be sure.
Alberta is responsible for a third of all stolen vehicles in Canada, despite being home to only 10% of the population. Every year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada release a list of the most frequently stolen vehicles in each province. If the vehicle you own appears on this list, you may find your premiums have gone up.
|1||2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD|
|2||2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD|
|3||2006 FORD F250 SD 4WD|
|4||2004 FORD F250 SD 4WD|
|5||2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD|
|6||2005 FORD F250 SD 4WD|
|7||2000 HONDA CIVIC Si 2DR COUPE|
|8||1999 HONDA CIVIC 2DR HATCHBACK|
|9||2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD|
|10||2007 FORD F250 SD 4WD|
Data source: Insurance Bureau of Canada – Top 10 Stolen Vehicles
Auto insurance rates are rising in Alberta. The real problems began in 2012, when smartphones became widespread and drivers started using them behind the wheel. Collisions resulting from this dangerous behaviour led to a surge in claims, causing premiums to rise.
|Year||Average accident benefit claim payouts||Average total injury claim payouts|
Data source: IBC – Comparison of auto insurance in BC and Alberta, 2020
Alberta’s insurance rates had been declining up until 2012, but insurers responded to this new threat by upping premiums. You can see the impact by comparing changes to the average provincial premium over the last 10 years.
The most recent complete data goes up to the end of 2019, but premiums continued to increase through 2019 and further rate increases are expected in 2020.
|Year||Average annual premium||Average monthly premium||Year over year change|
Car insurance rates keep going up in Alberta, and if you renew your policy with the same provider you will almost certainly have to pay more than you did last year. The only way to buck this trend is to shop around for a better rate.
InsuranceHotline.com works with over 50 insurance providers. We aggregate their rates and give you multiple quotes side by side so you can choose the policy that’s best for you. If you like what you see, we’ll connect you to a licensed broker to secure the policy.
Alberta drivers who used InsuranceHotline.com saved an average of $727* on their car insurance. Find out how much you could save today.