The Canadian province most closely identified with cowboy culture, the annual Calgary Stampede bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” The Stampede has its origins in the Calgary and District Agricultural Society’s fair, first held in 1886. American Guy Weadick, who was a trick roper working wild west shows of the day, convinced city leaders to establish a theme that celebrated the lives of cattlemen. Building a rodeo arena for the 1912 event, over 100,000 people attended during its six days. It wasn’t until 1923 that Weadick’s show became an annually scheduled attraction.
The provincial capital of Edmonton is located about the geographical centre of the province. About three-quarters of the population of Alberta live along the 290 kilometer corridor between Calgary and Edmonton.
The province’s fortunes are tied primarily to the petroleum industry with agriculture and technology also prominent. Alberta holds the distinction of being one of the strongest economic jurisdictions in the world, with a per capita gross domestic product that is higher than that of the U.S., Norway or Switzerland. The Athabasca oil sands are estimated to hold more petroleum reserves about equal to the rest of the world, though these reserves are harder to extract.
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage in Alberta
The province uses a private insurance system that includes both no fault and tort based components. As with all provinces, car insurance is mandatory to legally operate a motor vehicle. Here’s a summary of required minimum coverages.
- Third Party Liability — $200,000 for any one incident. When a claim includes both injury and property damage and reaches the maximum, property damage is limited to $10,000.
- Medical Payments – up to $50,000 per person
- Funeral Benefits — $5,000 maximum
- Disability Income Benefits – 80 percent of earnings up to $400 per week, up to 104 weeks
- Death Benefits – head of household $10,000 plus considerations for dependent survivors
Motorists in the province retain the right to sue if losses exceed the benefits specified in the no-fault provisions.
Cost of Car Insurance in Alberta
West of Quebec, Alberta enjoys the lowest car insurance premiums. However, that still places the province as the fifth most expensive in the country, though by affordability measures it places second. The average motorist in Alberta pays $1,004 annually for car insurance premiums. This is $362 higher than Quebec, but $277 lower than Ontario.
When comparing car insurance premiums to personal disposable income, however, car insurance represents 2.7 percent of that income, behind only Quebec at 2.5 percent.