Mar 2, 2021
Driving without insurance in Alberta, and all other Canadian provinces is against the law. If you are caught driving without proper coverage, you will face steep fines and other penalties.
As the costs continue to rise, many drivers take the risk and drive without a valid policy. This puts other drivers and themselves at risk.
This blog explains the repercussions of driving without insurance, fines, and penalties, and answers common questions.
The Driving Without Insurance Law In Alberta
In Alberta, you are required to have a valid insurance to drive. The Alberta Traffic Safety Act defines the law for insurance requirements :
54(1) Except as otherwise permitted under this Act, a person shall not do any of the following :
- (a) drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle;
- (b) have a motor vehicle on a highway unless the motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle;
- (c) where a person is the registered owner of a motor vehicle, permit another person
- (i) to drive the motor vehicle on a highway, or
- (ii) to have the motor vehicle on a highway, unless the motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle
What Is The Penalty For Driving Without Insurance In Alberta?
Drivers can face a number of penalties. You can face fines, and a license suspension, and see your premiums increase.
You will not be arrested or face criminal charges. However, you could face jail time for failure to pay fines for driving without a policy. You could be arrested if you are caught in a criminal act while driving with no insurance.
What Is The Fine For Driving Without Insurance In Alberta?
Getting caught driving without valid insurance will cost you :
- First offense fine : A minimum of $2,875 up to $10,000. Failure to pay the fine can result in 45 days to 6 months in jail.
- Second offense fine : If you are caught again within 5 years of the first offense, you face a minimum fine of $5,000 up to $20,000. Failure to pay will result in 60 days to 6 months in jail.
What Is The Maximum Specified Fine For Driving Without Insurance?
The maximum fine for your first offense is $10,000. The maximum fine for a second offense is $20,000.
Driving Without Insurance Is Not Worth The Risk
Many people take the risk to drive without it to save money. Here are some reasons not to drive without insurance :
- It's $2,875 fine.
- Getting caught will increase your premium.
- Vehicle towing and holding fees.
- If you were to get into an accident, you would have to pay for repairs out of pocket – potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
Driving Without Insurance In Alberta And Demerits
Many people assume you’ll have demerit points added to your record if you are caught with no insurance. You will not receive demerit points in Alberta for driving without insurance. But you will face a hefty fine.
Can I Be Charged For Driving Without Insurance If The Vehicle Isn’t Mine?
Yes. A licensed driver operating an uninsured vehicle can be charged, even if the vehicle is not theirs. If you borrow a vehicle, you need to confirm it has valid insurance. Failure to check could result in a fine. The owner of the uninsured vehicle could also be charged.
Is Driving Without Insurance A Criminal Offense in Alberta?
No. It is not a criminal offence. But you could be charged with a criminal offence related to a motor vehicle accident as an uninsured driver.
Can My Licence Be Suspended For Driving Without Insurance In Alberta?
Yes. A driver’s licence suspension can be ordered by a judge if they deem it necessary. The combination of having your licence suspended and getting charged for driving without car insurance in Alberta can have a significant impact on your premium and ability to get insured.
The Cost Of Getting Into An Accident Without Insurance In Alberta
There is a significant financial risk. If you are found to be responsible for a collision, you are personally responsible for bodily injury costs. You could be sued and found liable.
The average cost per bodily injury claim is more than $15,000 and costs are on the rise. These costs will come out of your pocket.
One of the overlooked risks of driving without insurance is how you will react if you get into an accident. Many uninsured drivers are tempted to flee the scene of an accident to avoid fines and penalties. This will only make things worse.
If you get into an accident and leave the scene, you could also face hit and run charges - $2,000 fine, the potential of six months in jail, and 7 demerit points. You can also be charged under the criminal code of Canada and get a criminal record.
What If I Was Just Driving Without Proof Of Insurance In Alberta?
You are required to have proof with you at all times. The burden of proof is on the driver. Failure to produce evidence can result in a fine. There are no demerits associated with the ticket. Some police officers may give you the opportunity to prove you have insurance before they submit the ticket.
You also face a fine for driving without registration.
What Are The Consequences Of Driving Without Insurance In Alberta?
Getting caught can significantly impact your ability to get insured. It can result in :
- Much higher costs
- Difficulty getting insured
- You may need to get high risk insurance
Tips To Avoid Driving With Expired Insurance In Alberta
- Don’t do it : Make sure you complete your car insurance renewal, avoid driving until you know it's valid and updated.
- Ask others before driving : If you plan to borrow a friend’s or family member’s vehicle, verify they are covered. Check to make sure proof is in the vehicle.
- Set a reminder : Set a reminder in your smartphone or write down your expiry date in your calendar.
A Final Thought On Driving Without Insurance In Alberta
Driving without car insurance in Canada is just not worth the risk. Contact us to find the best solution for your driving needs.