Attention Alberta drivers! Did you know auto insurance claims are now handled a little differently? The Alberta government recently introduced changes to auto insurance that affect every driver and insurance company across the province. Here are the biggest things you need to know.
1. If your vehicle is damaged in a collision, you’ll work with your own auto insurance company.
If you’re in a collision, your own insurance company—not the other driver’s—will pay for covered damage to your vehicle, no matter who was at fault. You still have the same protection you’ve always had, the only difference is which company pays for the repairs.
2. There’s a new mandatory auto coverage.
In your insurance renewal package, you’ll see a new man-datory coverage called Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD). It will comes into play if you’re in a collision where another insured driver is at fault. DCPD provides coverage for damage to your vehicle, personal property you had onboard during the collision, and the loss of use of your vehicle.
This benefit is in addition to the Third Party Liability and Accident Benefits coverages that are still mandatory. These provide coverage for injuries you accidentally cause to someone else, damage you have caused to property not covered under DCPD (like hitting a fence), and medical treatment, rehabilitation costs and income replacement for you and your passengers.
Collision, (coverage for damage to your vehicle when you’re at fault) is still optional. And Comprehensive (coverage for damage from things like hail, theft or wildlife collisions) is also still optional. Additionally, they will work the same way they always have.
3. You don’t need to do anything.
The change to your coverage took effect automatically on January 1, 2022, so you don’t have to do anything to get DCPD coverage. Any new policy sold since the new year will include DCPD.
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4. The new coverage is for damage—not injuries.
DCPD is specific to damage to your vehicle and the stuff inside it. This new system won’t impact your right to sue for injuries or payment of injury claims.
5. This isn’t a no-fault system.
Establishing fault is still essential. It determines which coverage the claim is paid under and if you’ll pay a deductible. It’s also important to point out that a collision won’t impact your premium if you weren’t at fault.
Any time there are sweeping industry changes to insurance, there’s a chance that premiums will be affected. It’s best to talk to your insurance company to understand your rates and help you choose the best coverage for you.
For more details, head to amainsurance.ca/autoreform or call 1-800-615-5897 to speak to an AMA Insurance advisor.