As a motorist in Alberta, you are responsible for knowing the rules of the road and driving safely as well as your knowing your legal responsibility. As a licensed driver in Calgary, you are required by the law to purchase adequate car insurance and carry the proof of same while operating a motor vehicle.
A Brief Overview of Alberta’s Mandatory Automobile Insurance System
Every motorist in Alberta is required to carry insurance that conforms to the statutory and regulatory minimums established by the Alberta l government. What this means is that you are required to carry liability insurance for your car that covers at least the first $200,000 of personal or property damages in case of an accident. The medical care section of the mandatory minimum policies requires that $50,000 be available for such expenses.
If you are involved in an accident and you are carrying physical damage coverage, regardless of the fault, your insurance company will normally take care of the damages to your vehicle less the deductible. The application of deductible will vary in each situation.
If you are facing budgetary pressures, or have an unfortunate record on the road, it can be tempting not to carry the expense of automobile insurance premiums. We implore you not to take the risk of driving without insurance or with lapsed insurance. Doing so is fiscal carelessness in two important respects.
The Financial Risks of Being an Uninsured Motorist
First, if you crash while not carrying insurance and you are apportioned any amount of the fault for the accident, you are going to be held personally responsible for that percentage of the bodily injury costs. If the other party’s insurer, or private counsel, comes after you with a bodily injury claim and sues you, you could be found liable.
An uninsured motorist who causes bodily injuries to another while driving is going to encounter Alberta’s Motor Vehicle Accidents Claims program (MVAC), and its attendant collections arm, Motor Vehicle Accident Recoveries, (MVAR). It should go without saying that this is a process you never want to go through. You will be making supervised restitution to your victim and be subject to debt collection actions if you fail to pay.
Secondly, even if you never have an accident while driving without carrying automobile insurance & if you get caught by the authorities, you will be facing stiff fines and possible jail time. You should not drive if you are not insured.
Leniency is not the watchword when it comes to being an uninsured motorist under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act. For just the first incident of driving without insurance you likely will be subjected to at least the minimum fine of $2,500, and up to the maximum of $10,000, depending upon the circumstances. If you fail to pay the requisite fine, you can be jailed for between 45 days and six months. A subsequent violation inside of five years’ time bumps the minimum fine to $5,000, the maximum amount to $20,000, and the minimum jail time for failure to pay increases to 60 days.
We at Bow Valley Insurance have been serving Canadians for all their insurance needs for the 34 years. Contact us for a free car insurance quote.