A report published by Ernst & Young LLP which compared private passenger vehicle insurance rates across Canada has shown that Albertans are paying some of the highest prices for automobile insurance anywhere in the country.
According to the report, insurance rates for the 27 automobile insurance customer profiles were sampled for two to five cities from provinces across Canada. The Alberta cities which were compared included Calgary, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, and Edmonton. The report compared eight different driver profiles. In comparing an 18-year-old male driver in Alberta who drives a 2012 Honda Civic LX with a Stage 2 learners license who had no convictions and was claim free, with an annual commute of 15,000 kilometres can expect to pay $6,140 in Calgary for auto insurance, while in Edmonton that same driver could pay upwards up $6,471.
That same driver in the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan would pay $1,128 in Saskatoon. The only province that had slightly higher rates than Alberta was Newfoundland, where that same 18-year-old driver would pay $6,828 if they were in St. John's.
And if drivers were thinking that age and experience would somehow drive the price of their insurance down, the Ernst & Young report dispels that hope. A 37-year-old male driver who has been driving for over 20 years, driving a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus 5, with a minor conviction and an annual commute of 30,000 kilometres will be paying $4,375 annually for car insurance in Calgary - the highest rate in any of the cities in any province for that particular profile of the driver.
In many of the driver profile comparisons, Alberta's annual insurance rates are either the highest in the country or near the highest, while Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia have some of the lowest rates. It should be noted that Manitoba drivers pay an additional driver's license premium on top of the vehicle insurance premium, based on the driver’s Driver Safety Rating level and that license premium was included in the comparison rates.
NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips said the fact that the province's residents are paying thousands of dollars more per year amounts to highway robbery.
“These increases need to stop. We need a government that will help Alberta drivers, not their friends in the insurance industry. An NDP government will implement a freeze on insurance rates and provide real relief for Albertans,” Phillips said.
According to the NDP, because the UCP lifted the insurance rate cap implemented by the NDP, they believe this has allowed premiums to increase as much as 30 per cent for some drivers, even though many drove less during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report underlined that the cities chosen from each province were intended to be representative of a large portion of the respective provinces’ populations but are not an exhaustive representation of each province and there may be other areas not captured in the sample where rates in the provinces differ.