If you're not familiar with Alberta driving laws, you might not realize how serious it is to operate a vehicle without the proper insurance. Auto insurance was first discussed in Canada in the early days of driving because people quickly realized how costly an accident could be to property and individuals. Today, having current and appropriate coverage on your automobile isn't just a good idea, it's mandatory.
Having a great policy is a benefit for the driver. You can rest assured that your insurance can help you recoup any damages and protect your financial interests. The reality is that these laws protect you as a driver as much as they protect the other people in your vicinity. But perhaps one of the most pressing reasons to find good insurance is that it is illegal to drive without it. Getting caught driving without insurance comes with very severe penalties.
If you're looking for the proper insurance to comply with Alberta driving laws, at a reasonable rate, we can help. Our experienced staff is familiar with the laws in each region and can give you the best advice for a plan that will fit your budget and get you safely on the road.
Not Having Car Insurance in Alberta is Not Worth the Risk
Some drivers will try to skirt around paying for car insurance, thinking that it's not a priority. Often these drivers are people who are on a tight budget. They believe that the premium isn't worth it because they never have accidents. Or they mistakenly believe that the cost of insurance will be much higher than it likely is.
The truth is that the fines are much higher than your annual auto insurance premiums would be if you got caught driving without insurance. Another thing to consider is that drivers often get caught driving without insurance because they're stopped for another driving related infraction or they have been in an accident. In either of these scenarios, not having the proper auto insurance policy makes the situation far worse.
Here are just a few reasons that driving without insurance in Alberta is not worth the risk:
- The Fines. The fines are much higher than you might realize. A first time offence can cost you up to $10,000.
- It will affect your future. If you’re caught driving without insurance, it will stay on your driving abstract and affect your future insurance premiums for 3 years. This infraction stays on your record. If you're caught a second time, the fees are even higher, up to $20,000.
- Your Car Will Be Impounded. They won't let you drive away with a warning if you're caught driving without insurance. Often it means that your car will be towed and you'll need to pay those fees in order to get the car back.
- Failure to Pay Fees Is Punishable by Incarceration. Driving without insurance is not an offence that usually puts you at risk for jail time. However, failure to pay the fees for the incident can be punished by a jail sentence that might be as long as six months.
Huge Penalties for Not Having Your Car Insured in Alberta
The penalties for not having car insurance are often a lot higher than people realize. Many people think it's a small fine and not that big of a deal. The reality is driving without insurance is a serious offence. It There are some very taxing penalties if you're ever caught driving without the proper coverage.
Here are some of the monetary penalties you might face:
- First Time Offence. Someone caught driving without insurance for the first time are fined a minimum of $2,875. Those fees aren't set in stone, though. It can be substantially more - up to $10,000.
- Second Time Offenders. Someone caught driving without insurance a second time within five years of the first incident will pay a minimum fine of $5,000. That fine can go all the way up to $20,000.
As you can see, these are not small fines. In fact, you'll pay significantly less for proper car insurance for the year than you will if you get caught without it just once.
There are other penalties that you might not have considered, as well. Getting caught driving without insurance will raise your car insurance rates. If you're not buying insurance because you're trying to save money, you can cost yourself substantially more over the long run.
Another thing to consider is the possibility of getting into an auto accident. Even the safest of drivers can be involved in a collision or have an act of nature damage their car. Without insurance, the damages will need to be paid completely out of pocket. And if your car is totalled, you'll need to replace it completely on your own.
Catch the Driving Laws of Alberta
Under Alberta law, any vehicle that's being driven needs to be insured. The law states that any vehicle on the road needs to have proper insurance. It also goes so far as to say that if you permit another person to drive your vehicle, you need to make sure that car has proper insurance. What that means is that if another person is driving your car and they get caught driving without insurance, you may be liable because you own the car.
There are several types of coverage your broker will recommend in Alberta. They include:
Third Party Liability: This type of coverage pays for any damage to another vehicle, person, or property if you were liable in the accident.
Statutory Accident Benefit: This pays for any injuries that are not already covered under your health plan. Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This type of coverage pays for your losses if the other driver wasn't insured or if you were the victim of a hit and run.
Direct Compensation: This pays for the damage to your vehicle.
How to Avoid Driving Penalties
The best way to avoid these driving penalties is to make sure that you have the proper car insurance at all times. While many drivers do take the chance that they will not get caught, the truth is that there's no foolproof way to make sure you won't face these penalties without insurance. More importantly, you're leaving yourself and your family unprotected every time you get on the road without insurance. The best way to make certain that you can avoid these driving penalties is by purchasing the best car insurance in Alberta for your needs.
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Looking for Car Insurance in Alberta?
If you’re looking for car insurance in Alberta, you’ve come to the right place. BrokerLink brokers will take the time to get to know you and find an insurance plan that works. Give us a call, visit us online or stop by one of our community branches, or get a quote online. We are always ready to help you find insurance that fits.
FAQ About Driving Without Insurance in Alberta
What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Alberta?
The minimum fine is $2,875 but can go as high as $10,000 for a first offence. You might also have towing fees and other considerations, such as a higher rate when you do purchase insurance.
Is car insurance mandatory in Alberta?
Yes. Car insurance is mandatory for all vehicles on the road in Alberta.
What is a Grid Step and how does it affect insurance premiums?
Grid is the rating program for automobile insurance in Alberta. A Grid Step is the place where you are on the scale, based on driving record and other factors, that indicates whether you qualify for discounts and helps set your insurance rate.