Alberta Auto Insurance Rate Change Decisions: Fourth Quarter 2020

By Liam Lahey
Concept image of a miniature car on top of insurance and bank papers, calculator and few coins nearby

Alberta’s auto insurance provincial regulator, the Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB), approved several rate changes in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 (October to December).

Some drivers could see their basic coverage rate increase by more than 9%, others may see a modest decrease. Basic coverage includes the mandatory coverage that all Albertans are required to have to drive in the province. Prices for additional coverage such as collision and comprehensive are also going up in some cases, resulting in an overall combined change in rates between 0.01% and 9.51%.

It all depends on which insurer you have your coverage through and the change they’re allowed to implement.

Approved Alberta auto insurance rate changes: Q4 2020

The AIRB approves rate changes for basic coverage (i.e. mandatory) which includes third-party liability and accident benefits coverage, as well as changes to pricing for additional (optional) coverage which includes collision, all perils, comprehensive, specified perils coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. The results are released quarterly.

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What follows are the approved rate changes for basic and additional coverage for private passenger vehicles in Alberta for Q4 2020:

Insurer Basic Additional Combined New Business Date Renewal Date Market Share
Allstate Canada 0% 0.92% 0.39% October 15, 2020 December 15, 2020 3.73%
Belair -0.55% -0.35% -0.49% December 13, 2020 February 6, 2021 1.88%
Chubb 0.06% 3.69% 1.94% December 1, 2020 March 1, 2021 0%
Facility Association* -0.01% 1.84% 0.50% October 1, 2020 October 1, 2020 0.22%
Federated Insurance -0.01% -2.95% -1.63% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021 0.10%
Pembridge* 0.01% 0% 0.01% November 9, 2020 January 9, 2021 0.98%
Pembridge** 7.26% 7.53% 7.37% December 1, 2020 December 31, 2020 0.73%
Royal & Sun Alliance* 8.26% 0.76% 5% December 1, 2020 January 1, 2021 1.01%
SGI Canada* 9.25% 9.78% 9.51% December 1, 2020 December 1, 2020 1.73%
Wawanesa* 5.35% 4.44% 5% December 15, 2020 December 15, 2020 13.80%
Zurich 0.06% -2.29% -0.87% December 31, 2020 December 31, 2020 0%

* – denotes rate change approvals before October 29, 2020 legislative change announcements

** – denotes rate change approvals delayed from May 28, 2020 due to COVID-19

AIRB also approved rate changes for commercial and interurban vehicles in Q4 2020:

Insurer Category Basic Additional Combined New Business Date Renewal Date Market Share
The Co-operators* Commercial vehicles 13.43% 6.21% 9.05% October 14, 2020 November 28, 2020 6.57%
Economical* Commercial vehicles 14.66% -1.12% 6.36% October 22, 2020 December 26, 2020 4.46%
Federated Insurance* Commercial vehicles 0% 3.02% 1.65% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021 2.67%
Intact* Commercial vehicles 8.07% 1.71% 4.96% October 19, 2020 November 19, 2020 28.16%
Intact* Interurban vehicles 22.32% 5.95% 9.99% October 19, 2020 November 19, 2020 28.16%
Royal & Sun Alliance* Commercial vehicles 12.92% 7.25% 9.76% November 1, 2020 January 1, 2021 6.83%
Wawanesa* Commercial vehicles 21.80% 0% 9.51% December 1, 2020 December 1, 2020 13.21%

* – denotes rate change approvals before October 29, 2020 legislative change announcements

Miscellaneous vehicles – snow vehicles, motorcycles, trailers and campers, motorhomes, all-terrain vehicles, taxis and limousines – also had rate changes approved in Q4 2020:

Insurer Category Basic Additional Combined New Business Date Renewal Date
Allstate Canada Motorhomes 10% 10% 10% October 5, 2020 December 5, 2020
Aviva General Insurance Motorcycles 0% -1.89% -0.81% November 1, 2020 November 1, 2020
Aviva Insurance Motorcycles 0% -1.83% -1.06% November 1, 2020 November 1, 2020
Federated Insurance Motorcycles 0.05% 0.02% 0.03% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Federated Insurance Trailers and campers 0% -0.01% -0.01% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Federated Insurance All-terrain vehicles -0.15% 0.10% 0% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Federated Insurance Antique vehicles 0% -20.77% -20.77% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Federated Insurance Snow vehicles 0.79% -0.14% -0.03% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Federated Insurance Motorhomes 0.24% 0.05% 0.11% November 21, 2020 January 15, 2021
Pembridge Motorhomes 10% 10% 10% November 5, 2020 January 5, 2021
Traders General Insurance Motorcycles 0% -1.93% -1.22% November 1, 2020 November 1, 2020

Why car insurance premiums increase

According to AIRB’s fourth-quarter filing decision, the regulator says the increases will help ensure insurance is accessible to all Albertans: “The AIRB reviews all filings for rate changes based on their merits under our filing guidelines considering actuarial justification and the insurer’s individual circumstances to ensure insurance is accessible, equitable, and sustainable for all Albertans.”

No one fancies seeing the cost of their auto insurance policies increase. Although general premium hikes are not necessarily a reflection of your driving profile, they are typically in response to of a myriad of factors such as an increase in collisions, claims, and vehicle repair costs as insurers in Alberta grapple with challenging economic conditions amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does it all mean for Alberta’s drivers?

Car insurance increases are a fact of life for many drivers.

AIRB notes, “Alberta has a competitive marketplace, with 69 active insurers and 46 that offer private passenger vehicle insurance. Consumers are encouraged to shop the market as insurance premiums vary from insurer to insurer.”

How can you offset a rate hike if you are subject to one? Ask your insurer about any discounts you might be eligible for, find things you can do to reduce your premium, drive cautiously, and talk to your broker to see if you can make changes to your policy to help reduce your rate.

Otherwise, take the regulator’s advice and compare car insurance premiums and policies to find the most affordable premium you can.