If you’re planning to move out of Alberta, you’ll need to update your car insurance and potentially change insurance brokers or insurance providers. This article will explain what you need to know about car insurance and moving out of Alberta.
As a visitor to another province, your Alberta license, vehicle registration and insurance coverage are valid. But if you’re making a permanent move to another province you’ll need to update your license, registration and potentially your insurance. You don’t have to do this the day you arrive, but you should update this promptly as per the rules of your new province.
Using the same insurance provider
Some insurance companies operate across Canada. If this is the case for your car insurance provider, you will simply need to update your address, contact information and advise of any changes in use (such as you’re no longer commuting or increasing your annual kilometres driven).
Depending on the province you move to, your policy may need be adjustmented to comply with the local laws and regulations for insurance. This may result in a change to your policy and its cost.
Staying with the same insurance provider is a good option to maintain any claims-free benefits and avoid the hassle of shopping for a new insurance company during a move.
There’s no guarantee that you can carry over a low insurance rate into a new province with its different requirements and levels of risk but only Albertans moving to Ontario or British Columbia should expect a significant rise in the cost of their insurance.
Even if you keep your policy with your current insurer you may need to switch insurance brokers. A-WIN Insurance operates across Western Canada so we are licensed in Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. If you move to one of these provinces we can continue providing you with broker services at one of our branches. But if you move outside of this area, we will have to refer you to another brokerage. Other brokers may be limited to operating in Alberta or be licensed nationwide. Talk to your broker to find out!
Changing insurance providers
You may need to change your insurance provider when you move away from Alberta if:
- Your current insurance company doesn’t operate in that province.
- There is public car insurance.
- You want to shop around for lower rates or different coverage.
If your insurance company does not operate in the province you are moving to, you will obviously have to switch providers. In some provinces (such as BC), there is government-run car insurance.
If you do change to another insurer, make sure you know what coverage you want and get car insurance quotes from different companies. A broker can help you – if yours isn’t licensed in the province you’re moving to, you should ask if there is a brokerage they recommend.
It’s important if you’re switching providers to initiate before you move. You want to ensure there are no coverage gaps: your existing insurance should cover you until your move, whereupon your new policy should take effect. You don’t have to have the switch happen the very day you move but it should be relatively soon after. You also want to ensure that you’re not paying for two insurance policies at once!
Moving to BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec
If you’re moving to British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec or Saskatchewan you won’t be able to continue insuring your car with your previous provider for certain portions of your coverage. This is because of the compulsory public car insurance programs that are run by Crown corporations:
- Insurance Corporation of British Columbia(ICBC)
- Saskatchewan Government Insurance(SGI)
- Manitoba Public Insurance(MPI)
- Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec(SAAQ)
Everyone who drives on public roads in these provinces must purchase basic insurance from public car insurance providers. Basic insurance includes third party liability and accident benefits. You can still use private companies for extending their protection such as a comprehensive policy or loss of use coverage. These public corporations are also responsible for the majority of driver and vehicle licensing services in these provinces as well.
In Quebec, the SAAQ covers any Quebec resident for personal injury costs in the event of a car accident and funds itself through the fees for driving licence and vehicle registration which are also under its administration. Coverage for damage to property is provided by private insurance companies.
Grace Periods for Moving
You usually have some time to fulfil the three main requirements after moving to a new province:
- Obtaining a provincial drivers license.
- Updating your vehicle registration.
- Updating or obtaining car insurance.
The timelines vary from province to province. In British Columbia you have just 30 days to register and insure your vehicle through the ICBC but 90 days before you have to obtain a BC driving license. In Manitoba, you can wait up to three months to register and insure your vehicle. You should get a Manitoba driving license before you insure through MPI in order to qualify for a discount on your premiums, though.
Before you move check with the registry to see what the restrictions and timelines are for obtaining your new driving license registration and insurance coverage.
Reach out to your insurance broker and they will be able to provide some support when it comes to car insurance and moving out of Alberta.