What does basic car insurance coverage look like in St. Paul?
Basic car insurance coverage in St. Paul is another name for mandatory auto insurance. In Alberta, all drivers are legally required to have car insurance if they want to drive. The types of car insurance coverage they must have include the following:
Third party liability coverage
The first type of mandatory coverage in St. Paul is liability insurance. Third party liability insurance is for when you get into an accident that you cause. If this happens, liability insurance will pay to repair any damaged vehicles, in addition to covering any legal fees or medical expenses that may arise from the collision.
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage is also required in St. Paul and it is designed to pay for medical expenses associated with the accident. In other words, if you are involved in an accident and someone is harmed in that accident, this type of coverage can pay for the cost of medical attention. It can also pay for funeral expenses if someone died in the accident or lost income if someone was badly injured and was temporarily unable to do their job.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage offers financial protection against the cost of vehicle repairs if your car is damaged in an accident. Since repairs can be expensive, you can claim direct compensation - property damage coverage and your insurer might issue a payout that reimburses you for the cost of any necessary repairs, less your deductible. Note that direct compensation coverage only applies if you did not cause the accident in question.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is the last type of coverage that St. Paul drivers are legally required to have in Alberta. It safeguards drivers should they get into an accident with another driver who is uninsured, underinsured, or anonymous.
What other coverages can I add to my St. Paul auto insurance policy?
A few other types of auto insurance that you may be interested in adding to your St. Paul car insurance plan include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and accident forgiveness coverage, to name a few. Each of these coverages is optional but can be extremely worthwhile due to the benefits they provide:
Collision car coverage protects drivers against expensive vehicle repairs if their car is damaged in an accident. Collision coverage has many perks. Namely, it can be claimed regardless of whether you were responsible for the accident or not and no matter if the damage was caused by colliding with another car, animal, or object on the road.
If you choose to include comprehensive car coverage in your St. Paul car insurance plan, you will be protected should your vehicle be damaged while parked. For example, if a fire broke out in your driveway and scorched your car or a falling tree branch landed on your car, your insurer would pay to help you repair or replace it. With comprehensive coverage, you will only be safeguards against damage or losses that occur due to insured perils, like theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, wind, and falling objects. Contact an insurance broker to find out which perils you can choose to include in your St. Paul auto insurance plan.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One more type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers in St. Paul is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim. Note: coverage and eligibility varies by province.
How car insurance premiums are calculated in St. Paul
Calculating car insurance premiums in St. Paul is no easy task. Insurance companies use complex algorithms that take into account a ton of different factors, some of which a driver has control over and some of which they don’t. To help you understand why you pay what you do for car insurance, BrokerLink has put together a list of factors that come into play when an insurer determines premiums:
- Where you live (and where you regularly commute)
- Model, make, and year of vehicle
- Past claims
- Average mileage
- Driving experience
- Driving record
- Insurance history
- Deductible amount
- Regulatory bodies
- How you use your vehicle
Please note that since BrokerLink is an insurance brokerage and not an insurance company, we do not determine rates. However, we can still provide you with a free and accurate quote that can help you budget for car insurance in St. Paul.
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How to lower your St. Paul car insurance premium
The goal for many customers is to keep their car insurance premiums as low as possible. BrokerLink wants to help you with this by providing you with all kinds of tips that will save you money. Cut your insurance costs today by following these broker-approved tips:
- Select higher deductibles rather than lower ones
- Pay all of your insurance bills on time and contact your provider if you are at risk of non-payment
- Ask an insurance broker for advice on how you can save money on insurance and have them compare policies on your behalf
- Enrol in a driver’s education or defensive driving course that is approved by the Government of Alberta
- Drive less by taking public transit, carpooling, or cycling, which will reduce your odds of getting into a collision and save you money on insurance
- Install a telematics device in your vehicle that tracks your driving habits
- Install snow tires on your car to make driving safer during the winter and qualify for a discount
- Drive safely to minimize infractions and maintain a clean driving record
- Add an anti-theft device to your car
- Buy a car that will lead to an insurance discount like a hybrid or electric car or one with a high safety rating
- Ask a BrokerLink insurance advisor about the car insurance discounts that may be available to St. Paul drivers
- Combine multiple insurance policies into a bundle, like home and auto insurance
- Insure more than one car in your household by purchasing multiple auto insurance policies at the same time
Claims 101: Guide to filing an auto insurance claim in St. Paul, Alberta
Filing a car insurance claim can seem like a daunting task, especially after you’ve been involved in an accident. That is why BrokerLink has put together this guide to submitting a claim. Read through this guide now, before you’re in the midst of a stressful incident, so you’ll know what to do should something happen:
Let your insurance provider know about what happened
The first step to filing a car insurance claim anywhere in Alberta is to reach out to your insurance provider and let them know what happened. They will ask a few questions about the incident before giving you clear instructions to follow. This is a great time to ask any additional questions you have, like how long you can expect the claims process to take or what kinds of evidence are worth providing.
Gather evidence to support your car insurance claim
Step number two is to gather evidence to support your claim. This can look like photos of the accident, video footage of the accident, or even witness statements. If there was a police statement, you can include that as well. If there was another driver involved in the accident, collect their contact and insurance information as this will be important to provide.
Fill out the necessary claims forms
Most insurance companies ask policyholders to fill out a form or multiple forms when filing a car insurance claim. You will likely be able to print this off and fill it out by hand or fill it out digitally online. No matter which option you choose, make sure you complete these in a timely manner as the claims process won’t officially begin until these are submitted.
The insurance adjuster will investigate your claim
After the insurance company has received your forms, they will get an insurance adjuster on the case. Some insurance adjusters are in-house while others are hired independently. Either way, it is the adjuster’s job to investigate your claim and make a recommendation to your insurer. In the process of evaluating your claim, they may have questions for you. Make yourself available to them and answer their questions as quickly as you can so that they can move on with the investigation.
Wait to hear from your insurer
Finally, all there is left to do is wait. Your insurance company will notify you as soon as they have an update. You may be notified by phone or email. Once there is a change to the status of your claim, you will find out if it has been approved or rejected. If it has been rejected, you might be able to fight it, and if it has been approved, they will let you know how much money you will receive and the method that it will be sent to you.
For help filing a car insurance claim in St. Paul, reach out to BrokerLink today. We can answer general questions about the claims process or help you navigate it in the wake of an accident.
We’re in your community
BrokerLink prides itself on being a member of the St. Paul community. We value the community just as much as we value our individual customers. If you want to learn more about the community initiatives we’ve gotten involved in all across Alberta, reach out to BrokerLink today and speak directly with a licensed broker.
Alberta Insurance Links
If you’re a member of a group or association, you may be eligible for more discounts.
At St. Paul BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible.
You can reach us by phone, email, or in person by visiting any of our locations across Alberta. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.
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FAQs on car insurance St. Paul
Do snow tires result in a car insurance discount in St. Paul?
Winter tires are one way that you might qualify for a winter tire discount in Alberta. Many insurance companies in the province offer this type of discount to customers to incentivize them to install snow tires on their cars. Why do snow tires matter? They make driving in the winter much safer, as they have better traction than all-season tires on snowy or icy roads. In turn, this increased traction minimizes your chances of getting into a car accident. As such, an insurance company will give you a break on your insurance rates. If you want to learn more about winter tire discounts in St. Paul, contact an insurance agent or broker near you. They can provide you with more details, like how much money you can save on car insurance and what conditions you need to meet to be eligible.
How do I renew my St. Paul car insurance coverage?
Renewing car insurance in St. Paul is usually a relatively quick and simple process. It all begins with you contacting your insurance provider. Let them know that you want to renew your policy upon its expiry and ask them what the next steps are. Insurance companies like to make the renewal process as straightforward as possible, so chances are, you will likely just need to sign a form or two. If there are any changes to your premium, they will let you know at this time. You can also request changes be made to your coverage, like adding a new optional coverage type or changing your deductible amounts or coverage limits. Overall, the trick to making the auto insurance renewal process as quick as possible is to speak with your insurance provider about renewing before the policy has expired. Renewing an expired policy might still be possible but is usually more complicated and could be more expensive, as a gap in coverage can increase premiums. For more information on expired car insurance renewal, contact your local insurance provider.
How do I buy St. Paul car insurance without an Alberta driver’s licence?
The short answer? You can’t. Car insurance is only available in St. Paul to drivers with valid driver’s licences. Thus, if you do not hold an Alberta driver’s licence, you will not be able to purchase car insurance coverage. You will also need a licence to register your car with the provincial government, another must-have to buy auto insurance.
Will my friend be covered by my St. Paul auto insurance coverage if they get into an accident while driving my vehicle?
Auto insurance coverage follows the car rather than the driver, so chances are, your friend will be covered if they are involved in a collision while driving your car. The only situation in which this wouldn’t be the case is if your friend was doing something illegal at the time of the accident or if you had not given them permission to drive your car in the first place. Further, if this friend is listed as an excluded driver on your policy, then your coverage would also not apply. However, in most situations, your friend would be covered under your St. Paul auto insurance plan.
What punishments will I face if I drive without insurance in St. Paul?
The punishments that may come from driving without auto insurance coverage in St. Paul vary but can be severe, especially since uninsured driving is illegal in the province of Alberta. While it is ultimately up to the authority figure who stops you, fines for driving without car insurance in Alberta can go up to $20,000. This is in addition to other consequences like having your car impounded or your driver’s licence suspended. You may also be put in jail if you are unable to pay your fines. It should be noted that punishments for uninsured driving become more severe if you are caught a second or subsequent time.
How much should I expect my car insurance policy to cost in St. Paul?
In Alberta, car insurance costs an average of $1,500 annually or $125 monthly. Take this average with a grain of salt, though, as this is just the average for the entire province, not St. Paul specifically. In addition, there are so many factors that go into calculating auto insurance rates that just because $1,500 is the average doesn’t mean that this is the amount you will pay. Ultimately, the price you pay for auto insurance coverage will depend on several factors that are unique to you, like your address, age, gender, driving record, claims history, and the type of vehicle you drive. Therefore, if you want to know how much you can expect to pay for a St. Paul car insurance plan, your best bet is to request a free car insurance quote from an insurance agent or broker in St. Paul.
How much third-party liability coverage do I need if I want to drive in St. Paul?
In order for your car insurance policy to be valid in St. Paul, it must contain a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage. If you purchase less than this amount or fail to purchase any third party liability coverage at all, you will be in breach of the law. If you choose to get behind the wheel and are caught driving uninsured, you could face serious consequences, like having your driver’s licence suspended, your vehicle impounded, hefty fines, and jail time. It is also worth noting that even though Alberta drivers are only required to carry $200,000 in liability coverage, many do not believe this amount to be sufficient, and so they add extra coverage to their policy. You will find that many St. Paul drivers have upwards of $500,000 or even $1,000,000 in third party liability coverage added to their policies.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.
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