How to get auto insurance if you’re from out of province or country.

If you’re moving to Alberta from elsewhere, you’ll soon learn that many of us Calgarian’s, Edmontonian’s, Medicine Hatters, Fort McMurray-ites and Lethbridgians actually came from somewhere else too! Those of us born and bred in Alberta are few and far between, and as a result; we live in a diverse and multi-cultured province and have many friends, co-workers and even family who moved here from different provinces and countries. No matter what brought you to Alberta, we can all agree that we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by so much opportunity.

When you move to another country or province it can be extremely overwhelming and there is just so much to do. But don’t worry! You’re not the first person to make this move and won’t be the last. Even within Nuera insurance, there are many of us who have made the move to Alberta ourselves. We understand it can be a hectic time in your life and we are here to support you in any way we can.

Auto insurance varies from province to province, and understanding the differences can be very helpful. Public and private insurers provide auto insurance in Canada. Both compete for your business, and private insurance companies (such as in Alberta!) provide more options and better value. The government runs the auto insurance system in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Quebec, the public insurer manages the insurance regime for bodily injuries only. If you are coming from a province where you are used to government-run insurance, things can be a little different. Standard and default coverages can vary, and we would be pleased to review these with you. For example, in Alberta it is quite normal to exclude your windshield from a “full coverage” auto policy. The logic behind this is that “limited glass coverage” reduces your premiums, and most people will not make a claim for their windshields alone on a standard auto policy anyway, as they’re typically subject to a $500-$1000 deductible. There are more economical ways we have available to insure your auto glass- just ask!

Alberta separates “registries” from insurance and you will need to set up auto insurance coverage, and provide a proof of insurance (also known as a “Pink slip” or “liability certificate”) BEFORE you will be able to go and register your vehicle and get a license plate.  When you arrive in Alberta and go to set up your auto insurance, anyone coming from outside of the province will be asked to provide two documents for each driver.

The first is called a “driving abstract” or “driving record”. This is issued by the licensing authority in your home jurisdiction, and will show how long you have held a valid driver’s license there, and details of any tickets, convictions or suspensions on your license. We need to go back at least three years to show that you have not (hopefully!) had any convictions. How this document is obtained also varies depending on where you are coming from. Some provinces make it very easy and it can be requested online and provided almost right away. Other jurisdictions/countries may require you to pay a small fee to provide this document, and it may take some time. For this reason, we often recommend you obtain this document as soon possible, potentially before you even leave. Some countries even require you to request the document in person, which means requesting it before you go is vital. If you need any help figuring out how to request this document from your home province, let us know, we may have some tips!

The second document all new driver’s to Alberta must provide is your “Insurance history” or “claims experience”. This is often in the format of a letter on the insurance company’s letterhead, and it always provided by the insurance company themselves. You generally request this document directly from the insurance company, or your broker, and each company will have a different protocol for getting it to you. This document will show how long you had the insurance policy in force for, and details of any claims or accidents you may have had. Ideally, we need to go back at least ten years as far as insurance history is concerned. This will allow you to obtain the best rate here in Alberta, provided you have been claims free. As it is not unusual for people to swap insurance companies within a ten year period, you may need to request a claims experience letter from more than one insurance company. Again, it is important to remember most insurance companies cannot provide this document the same day, so it’s a good idea to request it in advance. Occasionally, we may be able to pull your out-of-province insurance history ourselves, using your driver’s license number. However, this is not always available for driver’s license numbers outside of Alberta.

Once we have these two documents we can work on getting a quote for the best possible rate, based on your driving history. All insurance companies in Alberta will refer to your history to determine what premium you pay. And providing your out-of-province history is generally far cheaper than being rated as a new driver to Alberta. If you’ve brought your vehicle with you from outside of Alberta, registries will require you to complete an out-of-province mechanical inspection. This is a registry requirement, not insurance. HOWEVER, many insurance companies will need a basic safety vehicle inspection report, completed by a licensed mechanic, if the vehicle is 12 years of age or older (exact requirements will vary from one company to another). If you are getting a more thorough out-of-province inspection done anyway, we can use this in place on the basic safety for insurance purposes.

As a broker, we can quote out various options for you and find the best rate, with the best coverage. If you want to pay monthly for your auto insurance, you’ll need to provide a copy of a void cheque from your bank account, or a pre-authorized withdrawal form. Once we’ve narrowed it down to the best option, we complete the application, you sign it, and we provide you with a proof of insurance! You’re good to go to registries for your new Alberta resident license plate! Welcome to Wild Rose Country!

Did you know that multi-line discounts can often provide the biggest savings on your auto insurance? If we quote your home, condo or renter’s insurance and bundle everything together, you will end up paying a lot less! At Nuera Insurance, we are here to make your world safer, healthier and happier. We do this by inspiring people and embracing technology, we deliver a smarter insurance experience that rewards safe and healthy lifestyles and behaviour. We believe your insurance experience should be painless, preventative and ultimately rewarding. Give us a call on 1-866-683-6444, send us an email, or connect with us on our live chat!

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