Paying for vehicle insurance can seem like a hassle, especially if your car is used only sporadically due to mandatory work at home measures. But if you’re an Albertan driving around with an expired pink card in your glove box, it’s time to think seriously about the risks.
You may be surprised to find out driving without vehicle insurance is a huge risk not only to yourself, but to your bank account, and to other drivers.
What are the penalties for driving your vehicle without insurance?
In Alberta, it’s mandatory to drive with vehicle insurance. If you get caught, your first offense will cost you $2,875 up to $10,000, plus any towing or other fees you may need to pay. If you’re hit with a second offence within 5 years of the first ticket, fines range between $5,000 to $20,000. Compare that to your insurance bill and you’ll be racing to get insurance.
4 Reasons Not to Drive Without Vehicle Insurance
There are many reasons to keep your insurance valid.
While most drivers have good intentions, some drivers take the risk and drive with cancelled insurance or have never paid for insurance. We go over four reasons why it’s important not to skip your insurance bill, even if it’s tempting to save on your monthly premium.
- Higher Insurance Rates
There are many reasons to get adequate car insurance. Avoiding an increase in your insurance rates is a good one.Getting caught by the police without car insurance will increase your car insurance rates when you do decide to get a quote. While sometimes an expensive bill, your car insurance bill is not the one to skip.
- Hefty FinesAs well as hefty penalties for driving without insurance, you won’t be able to register your vehicle without valid insurance. So, when the plate tag on your car expires, it will be visible to police and you may get pulled over. This adds on another $230 expense for driving without valid vehicle registration.
- Claim ExpensesIf you’re in a single vehicle accident or if your car gets stolen or vandalized, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for repairs, towing expenses, and storage. If your car is leased or financed, repairs must get done at a dealership approved facility up to the standards in the agreement. If you’ve never had your car sent to the shop for major repairs, then brace yourself – the bill could be in the thousands of dollars. To boot, if the repair costs exceed $2,000 (amount may vary with the jurisdiction), a court subpoena is issued for driving without insurance.
- Not-At-Fault Accident CostsIf you’re involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault, but the other driver leaves the scene or doesn’t have car insurance, you’ll be on the hook for the car repairs, towing costs, rental car costs and any other fees involved in the accident. It pays to be prepared, as you never know what will happen, even while driving to the corner store.
What Happens when you miss a Car Insurance payment?
If you’re in a situation where you have car insurance, but you’ve missed a car insurance payment, what happens? Like many people who were in a tough situation due to COVID-19 in the spring, most insurers deferred payments for their Alberta clients.
If you took advantage of the 3-month deferred payments in April, you would have by now received a letter to reinstate your insurance. It’s critical that you pay any missed payments and continue to pay going forward on a regular basis.
Why? If your insurance is cancelled for non-payment, or for any other reason, you won’t have insurance as of the date noted on the registered letter stating when your insurance will expire. There will be no coverage of any kind as of that date and you must cease driving at that time.
Call your Broker or Insurance Company
If you don’t have the money you owe or can’t afford to continue with your monthly premium, it’s very important that you give your broker or insurance company a call. They will look at your policy, including payment status, and let you know your options.
How We Can Help
Are you tired of making sure you have an updated pink card in your car? Our mySharp app lets you carry your pink card around with you on your phone. No more searching through your car for that small piece of paper. Find out about here: sharpinsurance.ca/mysharp
Are you looking for car insurance in Alberta? Our brokers can find you a policy that works for your wallet and your policy needs. Go to https://sharpinsurance.ca/car-insurance/ and get a quote today!