Alberta auto insurers are denying coverage to distracted drivers

Published: October 1, 2019

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Motorists with distracted driving convictions in Alberta are not being offered auto insurance at a reasonable rate, according to some brokers.

Action Insurance Group explains that it has had to refuse coverage to some drivers who have been caught distracted driving.

“Sorry, I don’t have any other options with that conviction,” broker Adam Kluczewski told a client. “Companies are really cracking down on distracted driving. I even called a couple to see if they would bend and none of them will.”

Derek Johnson, the man who carries the distracted driving conviction was unimpressed with the refusal.

“I think it’s a load of … nonsense really,” Derek Johnson said. “I just have one single ticket on my licence and it was a distracted driving offence, and insurance companies are telling me that they’re not going to give me full coverage.”

Private auto insurance companies in Alberta don’t have to supply auto insurance coverage to drivers, although they are mandated to sell liability and accident benefits. Carriers in the province have the right not to offer collisions and comprehensive coverage.

“If you’re not able to get full coverage comprehensive insurance … you can’t finance a vehicle, [because] you need full coverage on a vehicle,” said Ray Robichaud, CEO of Edmonton Auto Loans, which works with 20 lenders.