Alberta driving laws are strict in order to ensure the safety of not just the drivers, but also the pedestrians. And if you’re not acquainted with the Alberta driving regulations, especially insurance laws, you might not understand how serious it is to drive a vehicle without the correct insurance.
As insurance expenses continue rising, many car owners and drivers risk driving without a valid auto insurance policy. This can be risky for drivers, car owners and pedestrians as well.
In this article, we’ll talk about the laws regarding driving without insurance Alberta has in place for drivers, along with the financial and legal repercussions of operating a vehicle without valid coverage (including fines and legal penalties).
To compare auto insurance quotes in Alberta, feel free to visit the following link: https://www.surex.com/insurance/auto-car/alberta.
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Insurance laws in Alberta
According to Traffic Safety Act, insurance law in Alberta outlines the following:
54(1) Unless permitted under this Act, an individual, is prohibited from doing any of the following actions:
(a) Drive a personal vehicle on a highway without auto insurance.
(b) Have a motor vehicle on a highway without auto insurance.
(c) Permitting a non-registered owner.
(d) To drive on a highway without auto insurance.
(e) To have the vehicle on a highway without auto insurance.
Driving without insurance Alberta: what are the impending penalties?
Drivers and vehicle owners can face penalties for not having auto insurance. You can be liable to have a license suspension, face increased premiums from auto insurance providers and receive a hefty fine for driving without insurance Alberta.
However, you won’t face any criminal charges or get arrested for driving without auto insurance. Arrest and criminal charges are only introduced when you either fail to pay the hefty financial penalties or get caught in a criminal act while driving without auto insurance.
Facts about driving without insurance Alberta drivers should know
Here are some things you must be aware of regarding auto insurance in Alberta:
In Alberta, securing a minimum amount of auto insurance for your motor vehicle is mandatory. This minimum insurance amount is known as Public Liability and Property Damage, commonly called PLPD insurance.
Moreover, when you drive an uninsured vehicle in any parking lot, road (public or private), park driveways, etc., you get charged with “Driving without Insurance.” Thus, when you’re driving a car, you must ensure it is covered under insurance.
If you’re driving an automobile for a friend or anyone else where you’re not the registered owner, ensure to ask for insurance proof or a pink card from the registered owner before taking over the vehicle. Ensure to check the validity.
Each vehicle has independent auto insurance coverage. It is legally prohibited to transfer insurance from your previously-owned vehicle to a new one by simply transferring the license plate. You need to make the correct arrangement for auto insurance coverage with your insurance company.
You need to share your current residential address with your insurance organization. In case your insurance gets cancelled for any specific reason, the insurance company can contact you and send a registered letter to the given address.
Additionally, if you move to a new address, ensure that you update the registered address in your insurance company to avoid missing any contact letter.
What are fines levied for driving without insurance in Alberta?
Getting caught by a traffic officer while driving without having valid auto insurance will lead to hefty fines, including:
- First offence for driving without insurance: A minimum financial penalty of $2,875 up to $10,000. Inability to pay the financial penalty within the stipulated timeline can lead to 45 days to six months in jail.
- Second offence fine for driving without insurance: For a second-time offence (within five years of the first offence), a minimum fine of $5,000 up to $20,000 financial penalty is levied. Inability to pay the penalty within the stipulated timeline will lead to 60 days to six months in jail.
Other costs associated with driving an uninsured vehicle
Here are some other consequences of driving without insurance in Alberta:
- A registered case will increase your insurance premium when you renew your current or opt for new insurance.
- You’ll also need to bear vehicle towing and holding fees.
- If you get into an accident involving someone or property, you’ll need to pay for the entire damages (yourself or anyone else involved) out of your pocket.
However, driving in Alberta without valid auto insurance doesn’t involve any demerit points.
FAQs related to auto insurance in Alberta
Can I face charges for driving an uninsured vehicle when I’m not the registered owner?
Yes. When you’re a licensed driver driving a vehicle with insurance, you’ll get charged even if you’re not the registered vehicle owner. As an operator, you must check the insurance before driving. The uninsured vehicle owner could also face charges.
Does driving an uninsured car fall under a criminal offence?
No. Driving an uninsured vehicle isn’t a criminal offence in Alberta. However, if you get into a motor vehicle accident as an uninsured driver, you might face criminal charges, given you’re proven guilty.
Can my driving license get cancelled for driving without insurance?
Yes, under certain circumstances. A judge can order license suspension or cancellation if necessary. License suspension combined with charges for driving an uninsured vehicle can considerably increase your premium and, in worst cases, affect your ability to get insured.
What are the costs of inflicting bodily injuries while driving an insured car?
You might get sued if you’re causing the collision and found responsible for inflicting bodily injuries during a crash. The average cost for bodily injury claims for each individual is greater than $15,000. Additionally, without insurance, the entire cost will have to be shelled by you.
Alberta driving without insurance — Conclusion
Getting auto insurance is just great for safety but legally binding. Compare several insurance policies and get your insurance from a reputed provider for the best value and service.
Reach out to insurance professionals, like a broker, who can help you secure the correct policy as per your needs.