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Essential Car Insurance Facts for Calgary

In Calgary, driving isn’t always easy. Drivers must brave weather that can change quickly, and heavy rush hour traffic. Regardless, you’ll always need car insurance, whether you are daily commuter, weekend adventurer, or an occasional driver.

Average Car Insurance Costs in Calgary and Alberta

Although Alberta has a private insurance market, the insurance rates themselves are still regulated by the provincial government. There are two agencies in Alberta that oversee car insurance rates: The Automobile Insurance Rate Board and the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

In 2004, Alberta implemented a premium grid on auto insurers, settings maximum premium levels for basic coverage. The grid takes into account where you live, the number of years you’ve been licensed, the number of claims you’ve had in the last six years, and how many driving convictions you have on your record. But it is still important to shop around because even with the premium grid, auto insurance rates vary wildly within Alberta.

If you are aged 25 or under in Alberta, you are considered young and will pay around $187/month for Alberta car insurance. However, as you get older your premiums will go down. For example, you’ll pay around $152/month at ages 31-35, about $122/month at ages 46-50, and around $100/month at ages 56-60.

Auto insurance rates in Alberta are determined by a variety of factors:

  • Your gender and age
  • Your driving experience
  • Type of vehicle you drive
  • Location and use of your vehicle
  • Your driving record
  • The amount of coverage you’ve selected

How to get the Cheapest Auto Insurance in Alberta

  1. Compare rates among various companies and don’t feel like you must stick with the insurers your parents used. There are many insurance providers available, and often they use competitive pricing, meaning different providers may offer the same policies at greatly different prices. Talk to a broker (who compares auto insurance rates in Calgary for you) or use online tools to see where you can get the best rate for the coverage that is right for you. As well, reading auto insurance reviews will help you avoid unexpected issues. Search online for opinions using blogs and forums.
  2. Sometimes you can get better rates if you bypass the broker or agent and deal with a direct insurer, like Belairdirect or TD Insurance.
  3. Use rate tools and calculators. For instance, if your credit card includes rental car protection, you can save 20 per cent by paying with it. You can use a credit card navigator tool to assist you in finding insurance for a rental car compatible with the value add-ons on your credit card. You can also use an insurance price comparison tool to compare insurance premiums.
  4. Bundle your car insurance in Calgary with other policies. For example, if you have multiple vehicles and a home to insure, you can bundle them with one insurance company to get a bundle discount. Insurance companies reward their customers for giving them more business.
  5. If you got your policy you were a smoker and can prove you have quit smoking since then and have not returned to it for at least one year, they will reduce your insurance premiums. Smokers typically pay double the amount for premiums!
  6. Invest in driving a hybrid vehicle. By purchasing a hybrid, you may save on more than just gas! Inquire with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for hybrid vehicles.



by Alexey Saltykov