Cheapest Car Insurance in Alberta: 2024 Rates

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Looking for a simple guide to car insurance in Alberta? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know: from mandatory coverage and the best car insurance options to how to get the cheapest quotes. We'll also share tips on saving on premiums and finding the best deals and discounts.

Whether you’re a new driver or considering a new policy, this guide will help you find the cheapest car insurance in Alberta based on your unique needs.

Car Insurance Alberta: Key Takeaways

  1. The average car insurance in Alberta is $110 per month.
  2. Mandatory coverage includes liability and accident benefits.
  3. Direct Compensation Property Damage has been mandatory since 2022.
  4. Alberta uses a unique grid rating system that caps high-risk driver premiums.
  5. High claim rates due to severe weather conditions.
  6. Cheapest car insurance Alberta: Compare quotes, bundle policies, and drive well, to lower premiums.

How does car insurance work in Alberta?

In Alberta, car insurance operates under a private system where drivers purchase policies from insurance providers. Coverage is mandatory, and the minimum required by law includes third-party liability and accident benefits.

Drivers have the option to add comprehensive and collision coverage for greater protection. Premiums are determined by factors such as the driver's history, vehicle type, and chosen coverage levels.

Good to know

Anyone can buy basic car insurance even if they have a less-than-perfect driving record.

What is mandatory car insurance in Alberta?

Mandatory coverage primarily covers medical needs and a driver’s liability if they collide with another vehicle, pedestrian or property. Let's take a quick look at the mandatory car insurance coverage in Alberta.

Mandatory Car Insurance AlbertaWhat it covers
Liability insurance
  • Injury to others and property damage
Accident benefits
  • Medical expenses for drivers, passengers and pedestrians
  • Income replacement for missed work after an automobile accident
DCPC insurance
  • Claims go through your own decision without waiting for other the driver's insurance
Mandatory car insurance in Alberta

In Alberta, the minimum mandatory car insurance amount is $200,000 in third-party liability coverage and accident benefits. Policyholders must also have Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DPCD) coverage. This is true for both private and commercial vehicles.

Most drivers choose to buy more than the minimum required coverage. It's a smart thing to do. Collisions are expensive and additional insurance is relatively cheap.

Good to know

DCPC, or Direct Compensation for Property Damage, coverage was only made mandatory in the province on January 1st, 2022. Because it is so new, it may not yet be familiar to all Albertan drivers. It’s already the law of the land in many other provinces. Coverage doesn’t change, just who pays for it. Following an accident, one works with their insurer rather than the other driver’s company. Essentially it makes claims easier for policyholders.

What is optional car insurance in Alberta?

Car insurance companies also offer optional coverage. These common options offer greater protection for a driver’s vehicle and finances.

Optional car insurance AlbertaWhat it covers
Collision or upset
A policyholder's vehicle hits an object or another vehicle
Specified perils
Specifically selected risks or perils like theft, vandalism and types of weather damage (flood, hail, wind, fire, etc)
Comprehensive
Comprehensive car insurance covers all perils and collision or upset insurance.
Optional car insurance Alberta coverage

Good to know

Did you know that Alberta leads Canada in car thefts? The AIRB reports that for every 250 vehicles, one is stolen each year in the province. Therefore, protecting yourself with comprehensive coverage or a specified peril theft insurance option is a good choice.

Car Insurance Alberta: Endorsements

Finally, there are also endorsements, that are additional optional coverages. Options vary from company to company. They add to your monthly bill but add some interesting protection. Endorsements are add-ons like:

  • Accident forgiveness: your premiums won't rise after your first at-fault accident.
  • Waiver of depreciation: a reimbursement for the price you paid for a vehicle, not its depreciated price.
  • Family protection: this covers additional costs if you're in a hit-and-run or collision with an under-insured vehicle.
  • Loss of vehicle use coverage: pays for a rental vehicle if your car is temporarily unavailable following a claim.
  • Rate increase protection: your rates won't go up if you commit a minor traffic violation.
  • Comprehensive Cover Limited Glass: get a reduced premium for waving some coverage to your car’s windshield.

Optional coverage and endorsement are right for many drivers, but not everyone. It depends on one’s financial situation, risk tolerance and the vehicle's value. A car insurance broker or agent can help you balance the additional protection of endorsements and a comfortable insurance premium.

What happens if you drive without insurance?

Driving without car insurance in Alberta is illegal. Further, getting caught without insurance means a minimum fine of $2,875 the very first time. Fines and penalties escalate from there to potential jail time for not paying the fine and losing your driver's license.

How much is car insurance in Alberta?

The average car insurance premium in Alberta is $1,316 per year. That works out to approximately $110 per month. It is less than Ontario's car insurance or British Columbia's, but still higher than in many provinces, particularly, Quebec's car insurance.

Alberta’s AIRB sets the maximum car insurance rates using its grid rate calculator. The grid seen below for 2024 applies only to basic auto insurance coverage.

Grid Rate for Basic Coverage
Grid Rate for Basic Coverage - Car Insurance Alberta 2024

Car Insurance Alberta: How does the grid system work?

The Alberta grid system for car insurance establishes a framework for calculating premiums, ensuring that they are fair and consistent. Here's how it works in three simple steps:

  1. Starting Point: Your base premium is determined by where you initially fall on the grid, which is typically influenced by your driving experience and history. New drivers start at grid step 0, and those with driver training may start at grid step -2.
  2. Adjustments: Premiums are then adjusted based on your driving record—moving up the grid (+1, +2, and so on) with at-fault accidents or traffic convictions, which increases your premiums, or moving down (-1, -2, and so on) with years of safe driving, which can decrease your premiums.
  3. Add-Ons: Finally, after determining your grid step premium, you add the Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) premium from your insurer to calculate your total premium. This ensures your policy includes coverage for property damage in accidents where you're not at fault.

Good to know

You can check AIRB's Grid Rate calculator right now and get an idea of what your maximum coverage should cost.

What is the cheapest car insurance in Alberta?

No single insurer in Alberta can claim to offer the cheapest car insurance. The province has over 45 different insurers! Providers determine insurance rates by looking at a driver’s driving history, profile, vehicle’s make and the AIRB’s Grid Rate system. This means that there is a maximum price you can pay for mandatory coverage. AIRB does not set a minimum price.

Ways to get cheap car insurance in Alberta

Want to lower your car insurance premiums in Alberta? Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Ask about discounts: Most insurers offer cheaper rates for being a university alumnus or working for a specific company.
  • Choose a higher deductible: While a $500 deductible sounds better than one that's $1,000, it is not always the case. You can come out ahead with the higher deductible. Monthly premium savings quickly make up the difference.
  • Park in a garage: Parking inside puts your car at less risk for theft and weather damage.
  • Install approved security features: Reducing your risk can help lower your premiums.
  • Maintain a good driving record: Demerit points, convictions and at-fault claims will drive up your insurance premiums for years.
  • Install a telematics app: Downloading your insurer's phone app can save you 10% immediately and more down the line. It records how hard you brake and accelerate and how fast you drive to determine premiums.
  • Pay in full: Earn a discount by paying annually instead of the classic car insurance monthly payments.
  • Bundle home and auto insurance: Add a car and home insurance bundle or multiple vehicles under the same household to save.

Expert advice

The best way to get cheap car insurance in Alberta is by comparing offers. Don't buy car insurance after getting a single quote. Ask for at least three different car insurance quotes to figure out what is a fair price for you and your vehicle.

You can use online tools like our free HelloSafe comparator to compare car insurance from Canada's best providers.

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How to get the cheapest car insurance Alberta quotes?

Drivers in Alberta can get a quote through car insurance brokers, agents or directly from an insurer. When you request a car insurance quote, you will need:

  • The vehicle’s make and model
  • Your VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Your Social Insurance Number
  • Driver’s license
  • Your previous insurance (if any)

Good to know

Insurers may ask you who else will drive the vehicle, where you’ll regularly drive and how much. They will look at your driving record. Demerit points, speeding tickets, previous accidents and insurance gaps will mean higher quotes.

When purchasing insurance it is important to compare because companies sometimes give very different rates. You should consider if you want to add collision or upset and comprehensive coverage in addition to the mandatory insurance.

Beyond that, there are many endorsements to enhance your car insurance policy. If you have a new vehicle you might like a waiver of depreciation which reimburses you for the purchase value of your new vehicle if it is declared a total loss in the first 24 months you have it.

You can use our free tool below to explore car insurance from Canada's best companies based on your province. It's free to use and completely online.

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How are Alberta car insurance premiums calculated?

Insurance premiums in Alberta are calculated according to the following six factors:

  • The amount of third-party liability coverage (up to $2 million)
  • Your location
  • How long you have had your driver’s license
  • At-fault claims in the previous 6 years
  • Driving convictions
  • License suspensions or cancellations in the previous 15 years

Let's see how this works in practice:

Keep in mind

Maria just moved to Calgary and is getting car insurance in Alberta for the first time. She wants $2 million in third-party liability coverage, has taken driver training and has had a driver's license since 2006. Maria has no convictions, at-fault claims or license suspensions on her record. She scores a -15 on the Grid Step calculator capping her Calgary car insurance premium at $1,067.

Here’s a second example:

Keep in mind

Lindsay is also new to Alberta and wants to buy car insurance in Edmonton. She also wants $2 million in third-party liability coverage but hasn’t taken a driving training course. She first received her license in 2012. Unfortunately, she’s had two minor convictions in the past 3 years for speeding. She is a -10 in the grid step but has a 25% surcharge for those speeding incidents. Her maximum monthly premium is $1,834.

Good to know

As mentioned before, Alberta has a grid rating system that uniquely caps the premiums of high-risk drivers. This system ensures that no matter how many at-fault collisions or infractions a high-risk driver has, they will not pay more than a predetermined maximum amount.

Want some more information? This PDF below can help you get started. It explains how car insurance Alberta premiums are calculated based on faults, coverage, and territory in Alberta.

The grid rate is effective May 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024.

Car Insurance Alberta 2024 - Grid

Car Insurance Alberta 2024 - Grid

What is the best car insurance in Alberta?

There are multiple providers offering car insurance in Alberta and the best one depends on your unique needs like your budget, driving behaviour, and coverage requirements. However, here are some of the best car insurance Alberta companies that offer the most diverse coverage options and policies to suit every driving profile and need.

Car insurance companies in OntarioKey FeaturesBest forOur Rating
economical car insurance main
  • Specializes in drivers with challenges

  • Robust protection against lawsuits

  • 24/7 emergency roadside assistance program

  • Tailor coverage to your exact needs
Policyholders with problematic driving records4.8/5
intact insurance logo
  • Intact recently acquired RSA Canada, one of the leading general insurance providers

  • Strong financial rating of A+
  • Offers innovative insurance products including usage-based and other telematics-based services

  • Save up to 15% by bundling Car and Home insurance policies
Best for those looking for customized car insurance coverage and innovative support services4.8/5
caa logo
  • Competitive rates
  • Several discounts for CAA members

  • Flexible payment options
  • Usage-based insurance program
  • Easy and quick claims process
Best for young drivers under the age of 254.8/5
td car insurance main
  • Choices like accident forgiveness protection

  • Savings when bundling and driving a hybrid

  • Customize premiums based on driving habits

  • Specialty insurance for cross-country travel
Customers seeking flexibility and various discount options4.7/5
sgi canada logo
  • Plans starting from as low as $5* per month
  • Discounts for longer membership with SGI

  • Basic coverage options to suit every budget and need
  • Auto e-claim options
  • Free SGI car insurance calculator for easy rate calculation
Best for customers looking for cheap car insurance Ontario options with streamlined claims process4.7/5
pafco car insurance main
  • Caters to drivers others won't cover

  • Helps improve poor driving records over time
  • Available in ON, QC, NS, NB, AB

  • Experts find the right policy for your situation
Drivers facing coverage challenges4.7/5
aviva car insurance main
  • Insurance specifically for ridesharing drivers
  • Steep discounts for safe driving and bundling

  • Save up to 20% with their telematics app

  • Handy endorsements like accident waiver
Ride-sharing service users and discount seekers4.6/5
sonnet car insurance main
  • Fully online process with 24/7 support

  • File claims easily by phone, email, chat

  • Customizable endorsements

  • Alumni savings for graduates
Users desiring quick, online policy services4.6/5
optimum car insurance main
  • Up to $2 million liability coverage

  • Discounts for mature drivers, multi-policy bundles

  • Add any combination of optional endorsements

  • Significant savings when bundling home and auto
Individuals seeking tailored insurance options4.5/5
frame 35ama
  • Offered by Alberta Motor Association
  • Free accident forgiveness coverage

  • Multiple deductible options for optional coverage

  • Discounts for green vehicles, winter tires, loyalty
  • Special rates for claims-free accounts

  • Special discounts for complete package including comprehensive coverage, accident benefits, liability, and collision
  • Multi-vehicle discount
Best for those seeking simplified and reliable expert coverage 4.5/5
lowestrates car insurance main
  • User-friendly online comparison tool

  • Get quotes from the best car insurance companies in Ontario like CAA, SGI, etc.

  • Choices for high-risk, student, and new drivers

  • Sample quotes ranged $70 - $167 per month
Users seeking multiple quotes from top insurers4/5
co operators car insurance main
  • Co-op business structure that gives back locally
  • Mandatory coverage plus helpful add-ons
  • Choices like accident forgiveness, family protection
  • Demutualized to expand nationally
Customers valuing community-driven service3.5/5
all state car insurance main
  • Vast selection of coverage add-ons
  • Specialty insurance for ridesharing
  • Savings for good students and safe habits
  • Robust theft protection and parking tools
Customers seeking feature-rich auto insurance4/5
onlia car insurance main
  • Manage your policy entirely online

  • Easily customize coverage amounts and options

  • Add-ons like increased accident benefits, ridesharing

  • Digital experience without involving brokers
Individuals seeking online policy management4/5
rbc car insurance main
  • Useful add-ons like Family Protection

  • Satellite Program for towing and repairs

  • Prompt emergency roadside assistance

  • Many choices beyond basic coverage
Policyholders in need of emergency assistance services3.75/5
desjardins car insurance main
  • 5-year replacement coverage option

  • Discounts for eco-cars, bundling policies

  • Rebates available for young drivers
  • Telematics app provides significant savings
Customers seeking distinct coverage add-ons4/5
costco logo 1
  • Free Online Quotes and buy policy online in minutes
  • Insurance through Inova
  • Coverage for RV, Boat, ATV, Motorcycle, Motorhome, Snowmobile, Cottage and Rentals
  • Big discounts for existing customers
  • 24*7 support
Best choice for Costco customers with significant discount options4/5
Best car insurance Alberta

How much is car insurance in Alberta for new drivers?

New and young drivers in Alberta typically pay more as they are considered riskier to cover than drivers with a long and clean driving record.

A driver who just received their class 5 Alberta driver’s license and is purchasing insurance for the first time scores a zero on the Grid system. Here are the maximums that they could expect to pay. Over time they may move up the grid (+1, +2, and so on) if they commit infractions or move down (-1, -2, and so on) for years of safe driving and see their rates fall.

These are the prices for basic mandatory coverage. With optional coverage and endorsements, the average cost would be higher:

AreaMax Premium Per Year
($200,000 third-party liability coverage)
Max Premium Per Year
($2 million third-party liability coverage)
Calgary/Edmonton
$2,563$3,287
Northern Alberta
$1,739$2,230
Rest of Alberta
$1,831$2,348
Cheapest car insurance Alberta for new drivers - Grid rates

To arrive at the final grid premium for your car insurance, you'll need to first calculate the base grid premium and then add the Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) premium as quoted by your insurer.

Expert advice

Did you know that taking a registered driving course will drop your 2 points on the AIRB grid? It's a great way to save.

It's easy to find a recognized driving course near you using the PDF below whether you're in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Banff or somewhere else. The PDF is updated for 2024.

FAQs on car insurance in Alberta

How to cancel car insurance in Alberta?

To cancel car insurance in Alberta, contact your insurance provider directly through phone or email to express your intent to cancel. You must provide details such as your policy number and the desired cancellation date. Be sure to ask about any potential cancellation fees and refund policies.

Watch out!

Always ask for written confirmation of your cancellation. You must note that you should have your new policy in place before your old insurance ends as driving without insurance is illegal and can lead to penalties. Insurance coverage gaps will drive up future insurance rates.

How much is car insurance in Alberta per month?

The average car insurance in Alberta can typically cost around $110 per month for a reliable policy from a noted insurance provider. More comprehensive coverages with add-ons like theft protection and specified perils might cost over $200 per month.

Who can drive my car under my insurance in Alberta?

Car insurance in Canada covers a vehicle, not a single driver. This means that you may temporarily lend your car to your brother or sister who flew in for a visit. There is one caveat. It will affect your car insurance rates if the person borrowing your vehicle commits an infraction or gets in an accident. Only lend your car to someone that you trust.

The person borrowing your car needs to be licensed and have your oral or written permission. Your insurance will not cover them if they operate the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while committing an illegal act.

Good to know

Anyone who regularly uses the car needs to be added as a secondary driver to your policy. Have multiple drivers in your home? They should all be on your policy. For example, a teenager at home who uses the car a couple of times per week is considered an occasional or secondary driver.

What do I need to get car insurance in Alberta?

To get car insurance in Alberta, you'll need your driver's license, vehicle registration details, driving history, and personal information (like your address and date of birth). Additionally, be ready to discuss your desired coverage levels and any other specific insurance needs.

How long do you have to switch insurance on a new car in Alberta?

In Alberta, when you buy a new car, you typically have 14 days to transfer or update your car insurance to cover the new vehicle. It's important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to arrange coverage and ensure there is no lapse in protection.

Why is Alberta car insurance so expensive?

Car insurance in Alberta can be relatively expensive due to several factors:

  1. High Claim Rates: Alberta experiences a high volume of claims, partly due to severe weather conditions like hail and snow, which can increase insurance payouts.
  2. Cost of Claims: The costs associated with claims, including repairs and medical expenses, are higher compared to some other regions.
  3. Fraud: Insurance fraud, though not unique to Alberta, contributes to higher overall costs for insurers, which are often passed down to consumers.
  4. Legal Framework: The regulatory and legal environment in Alberta can also affect insurance rates, including the way claims are processed and settled.

Can you get temporary car insurance in Alberta?

Alberta does not offer car insurance for any less than six months-long contracts.

A temporary car insurance is a solution for drivers who need insurance for less than the classic one-year car insurance contract. This type of policy can last for days, weeks, or even a few months, and is most often needed for Canadians wanting to go on a trip.

Check out our complete guide on temporary car insurance to explore your options.

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Alexandre Desoutter
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Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

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