BC to Alberta Insurance Guide

Everything You Need to Know About Home and Auto Insurance When Moving from BC to Alberta

If you’ve recently moved to Alberta from British Columbia or are planning ahead, you probably have some questions about insurance. How does insurance work in Alberta? Is it the same as BC? If not, how different is it? And where do I find the best coverage and quote for my family and lifestyle? The best place to start is with experienced, friendly insurance brokers. At Cornerstone Insurance, we understand that moving to a new province takes a lot of planning, preparation, and work. The last thing we want you to feel is stress about insurance. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to answer your top questions about insurance coverage in Alberta. If you still have questions or want to get started finding a policy right away, get in touch with our team to request an insurance quote. 

When to Update Your Home and Auto Insurance While Moving

While BC and Alberta share some breathtaking mountain views, the two provinces don’t share the same insurance landscape. Most insurance providers in BC will offer more flexible coverage for 30 days as you complete your move. However, it’s essential to inform your insurance provider of your plans in advance. Once you’re settled, you can update your insurance provider to get the best coverage in your new location. In some circumstances, you may need to change providers, as is the case with auto insurance. On this page, we’ll cover what you need to know to get your car insurance and home insurance set up in Alberta. 

The Difference Between Auto Insurance in BC and Auto Insurance in Alberta

In BC, auto insurance is a publicly-owned, government-run system. ICBC is the one company you pay for all vehicle insurance needs, meaning the options for policies and premiums are somewhat limited. In Alberta, auto insurance is privately owned, meaning we have various companies that are competing to offer you the best coverage at competitive policy rates. While this means you can get the best coverage to fit your needs, it can require some research. Insurance brokers are experts at insurance who are happy to do the legwork for you, to present the best options for your needs, saving you time and stress over the fine details. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance in Alberta

Is car insurance mandatory in Alberta?

Yes, in Alberta, the minimum auto insurance coverage required by law is third-party liability coverage. In most cases, you’ll want to add more coverage than the minimum requirement to protect yourself, your vehicle, and others in the event of an accident. 

How does mandatory car insurance coverage differ between BC and AB?

BC Mandatory CoverageAB Mandatory Coverage
Third-party liabilityThird-party liability
Enhanced accident benefitsAccident benefits
Underinsured automobile protectionDCPD (Direct Compensation for Property Damage)
Inverse liability protection
Basic vehicle damage coverage

What is the DCPD model?

As of January 1, 2022, Alberta adopted the DCPD model of insurance, meaning Direct Compensation for Property Damage. In the event of a no-fault car accident, the driver seeks compensation directly from their insurer rather than the other driver’s insurance. The DCPD system makes your claims process smoother by helping you get back to where you were, prior to the incident, sooner.   

What is considered optional auto insurance coverage in Alberta?

You can expand your car insurance policy with additional coverage for collision, comprehensive, and rental cars. These extra features will raise your policy rate while offering greater protection. Other considerations include coverage for windshield protection. Alberta sees a high volume of annual claims for windshields damaged by stones, rocks, and hail. These high amounts of claims can make comprehensive coverage fees relatively high. Agreeing to reduce your windshield claim amounts can drastically reduce your insurance premiums, meaning you would pay for repairs rather than claim through insurance. We recommend asking our brokers about windshield protection options or talking to your insurance provider directly. 

What types of auto insurance are available in Alberta?

In Alberta, we have different types of vehicle insurance, depending on the set of wheels you need to insure. There is the typical auto insurance for your primary car, van, SUV, or truck. There is also insurance coverage for ATV/snowmobile insurance, motorcycle insurance, and RV insurance. Commercial vehicles also require specific insurance policies. 

How to Keep Your Home Insurance While You Move

Have you wondered what happens to your home insurance while you move? The answer, in most cases, is that it moves with you. Many insurance companies will cover two properties for an overlap of 30 days during the moving process, however, you must advise and update the insurer of your plans. Not contacting your insurance company to notify them of your move could prevent you from receiving coverage. 

Can House Insurance Be Transferred?

In some cases, you may be able to transfer your home insurance to another province, but it depends on your insurance company or brokerage. It’s best to consult with your insurance provider before you move locations to understand your coverage. A difference in home value, location, belongings, and circumstance can all affect how much coverage you need and what fits your budget. Moving is also a great opportunity to review your current policy and shop around for better coverage. Our insurance brokers are always happy to help you find the best opportunity. 

FAQs About Residential Home Insurance in Alberta

Whether you’re moving into a new home or condo or renting somewhere new, getting the right insurance to protect your things can give you peace of mind. Knowing exactly what coverage you need, what type of insurance is best, and where to find the best quote is a process you don’t need to go through alone. Our insurance brokers are happy to answer all kinds of questions regarding residential insurance in Alberta. You can also refer to the following answers to the most frequently asked questions our clients ask us when moving from BC to Alberta. 

Is home insurance mandatory in Alberta?

While home insurance is not mandatory in Alberta, many financial providers require it before approving a mortgage. Home insurance is also highly recommended to provide peace of mind for you and your family.  

How is a home insurance policy determined in Alberta?

Your home insurance policy is determined by a review of a few essential factors, primarily the location of the property and the cost to rebuild the home in the event of damage or destruction. Additional recommended coverage specific to your circumstance will also influence the policy that is best for you. 

How much does home insurance cost in Alberta?

The cost of your policy depends on the evaluation of your property. It also depends on the amount of coverage you’d like, your resources, and your budget. Other factors that can influence the price of your insurance include renovations and improvements to your home, the type of structure, your insurance history, and security features. 

What does home insurance cover in Alberta?

Home insurance helps protect the building and your belongings and can help support liability costs. A house insurance policy can also cover other structures on your property, such as a detached garage, shed, porch, or gazebo. Home insurance can also protect your personal items if they are stolen from your vehicle but are typically kept in your home. Such items can include computers, electronics, jewelry, and more. 

Will my belongings be covered by home insurance?

Yes. Your personal belongings that are kept inside your home, detached garage or other building on your property are covered. This includes your furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and more. Any high-value items will likely require additional coverage. Our insurance brokers can help you understand what will be covered in a policy and assist you in finding the right coverage for your needs. 

What should be included in home insurance coverage?

Your home insurance coverage will depend on the policy you choose, but in general, the most common things that are covered by home insurance include the following:

  • Bylaws coverage
  • Fire department charges coverage
  • Identity theft coverage
  • Service line coverage
  • Sewer backup coverage
  • Guaranteed replacement cost coverage
  • Jewelry coverage
  • Property insurance
  • Coverage to protect against water damage
  • Additional living expenses for repairs and rebuilding your home. 

Are there discounts on home insurance policies in Alberta?

When you find your home insurance policy through Cornerstone Insurance brokers, we can help you find various discounts to help you get peace of mind with less stress and financial burden. Often we can find discounts that you may not have known existed. The types of discounts available to our home insurance customers include: 

  • Alarm discount
  • Claims-free discount
  • Roof discount
  • Siding discount
  • Gated community discount
  • Loyalty discount
  • Mature discount
  • Mortgage-free discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • New home discount
  • Multi-resident discount
  • Bundling of insurance discounts

What is high-value home insurance in Alberta?

If your new home is valued at over $1 million, you can get insurance at an affordable rate in Alberta. At Cornerstone Insurance, our brokers can help you find the right policy that protects your dream home. High-value home insurance usually includes coverage of other high-value items, such as jewelry or fine art collections. 

Does home insurance in Alberta cover water leaks or flooding?

Coverage for water damage primarily depends on the insurance policy. A typical home insurance policy will cover water damage due to the following circumstances:

  • Damage caused by a sudden flood of water from an indoor source such as indoor plumbing, heating, and air conditioner systems.
  • Damage caused by malfunction of indoor appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, aquariums, and water beds.
  • Damage caused by water escape from a public water main.

In most scenarios, the damage caused by water is covered, but the cost to fix the problem or device is not. 

You can also add optional coverage for scenarios such as severe weather causing water to enter your home and resulting in damage. You can ask your insurance provider directly about additional coverage or talk to an insurance broker for options. 

What type of water damage is not covered under Alberta home insurance?

Any water damage that can be avoided through adequate maintenance and repair will not be covered by your insurance, for example, maintaining your roof. Basement seepage is also not covered, nor is water damage that is caused by freezing indoor pipes or plumbing. Any preventative measures that could have been and should have been taken by the homeowner will negate the insurance coverage.

Are sewer lines covered by home insurance in Alberta?

Coverage for sewer backup depends on your policy. Working with an insurance broker can help you better understand your policy to ensure you have the coverage you need. 

FAQs About Tenant Insurance in Alberta

Tenant insurance is not mandatory in Alberta, but many landlords prefer it. It’s also a good idea to assure yourself that your valuable belongings are covered in the event of the unpredictable. Insurance policies come with different levels of coverage, depending on the extent and value of your belongings. Our Insurance Brokers can help you find the policy that is right for you or your family. 

What is tenant insurance?

Anyone who is renting an apartment, home, or condo can apply for tenant insurance. While home insurance protects the homeowner from damage to the building and property, tenant insurance helps protect the renter’s personal belongings in the event of environmental disaster, damage, or theft. This can include furniture, electronics, household items, clothing, and other valuable items in your home. Many tenant insurance policies also cover your personal items beyond the home, such as at the gym, office, or other venues. 

If I’m renting a place, do I need home insurance?

Tenants do not need home insurance. That responsibility lies with the owner of the building or the landlord. But tenant insurance is highly recommended. Tenant insurance covers the loss, damage, or theft of your personal belongings, furniture, and identity. 

What is not included in tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance only covers the belongings of you and your immediate family. If you have guests come to stay with you or you have a roommate, they will not be covered under your policy. If you have a roommate, they will need to get their own policy. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Condo Insurance in Alberta

Condominium living is a popular choice for Albertans for the many perks, including access to fitness centres, swimming pools, entertainment spaces, no yard work, and no property maintenance. Whether you choose the high-rise lifestyle or a closed community of homes and townhouses, condo living has a lot to offer. But for many, the topic of condo insurance is confusing. Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions about condo insurance in Alberta. 

Do you need home insurance for a condo?

If you live in a condo, personal condo insurance is highly recommended. This type of insurance protects your belongings and the inside of your condo and can protect you in the event your condo corporation charges additional fees to cover damages to communal areas in your building. Your condo corporation should have commercial condo insurance to cover the outside of the building and communal spaces, but their coverage may not always be enough. Nor will their coverage protect your personal things. 

What is the difference between commercial condo insurance and personal condo insurance in Alberta?

Essentially, commercial condo insurance is a policy that the condo board or condo corporation purchases to protect the building’s exterior, communal spaces, and building-wide systems. While your condo fees may go towards this insurance policy, it does not cover your personal possessions or the interior of your condo. 

Is personal condo insurance mandatory in Alberta?

No, it’s not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. In the event that your condo’s commercial insurance policy has insufficient coverage or high deductibles, your personal condo insurance can help protect you against unexpected fees. Personal condo insurance also protects your furniture, your electronic devices, your clothing, and other personal items in your unit. It also gives you fire, water damage, and theft protection for the things inside your apartment that are not covered by your condo’s commercial policy. Each condo will have a different policy, so it’s always a good idea to review what is covered to find the best policy to bridge the gap.

Cornerstone’s Insurance Brokers Are Alberta’s Insurance Experts

If you’re moving to Alberta from BC, the last thing you want to do is spend hours researching insurance companies and policies. Here at Cornerstone Insurance Brokers Ltd., we’ve been serving Albertans for decades and work with over a dozen competitive insurance providers. We’re here to serve you as your life changes to help you find the right insurance policies for your circumstance, coverage needs, and budget. You can rely on our knowledgeable and friendly brokers to offer steady guidance in any crisis. Meet with us, and we’ll answer all your insurance questions. 

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