There’s always a lot of road construction happening in Calgary and throughout Alberta, most especially during the warmer months. It’s virtually impossible to avoid road projects during the spring, summer and fall, and repair crews make their way from job to job, in the meantime Alberta drivers have to contend with road issue like potholes, cracked and heaving asphalt, and debris that has fallen off or out of vehicles or made its way on to the road another way. Given the wind storms we have in Alberta, it’s not uncommon for branches to fall on to roadways and vehicles.
Fortunately, your car insurance covers you for most common road hazards you will encounter as a regular driver.
Driving in a Construction Zone
Alberta, like most other Canadian provinces, has a system of increased fines to deter motorists from moving too quickly when construction workers are present. In Alberta, you could face a fine of up to $949 for speeding through a construction zone when workers are on the job. You’ll also have from two to six demerits points tacked onto your license, which will almost certainly result in an increase to your car insurance premiums.
Car insurance companies want you to be a safe and defensive driver, which means your habits should be able to help you avoid many common road hazards. Speeding through construction zones is just reckless, and speeding at any time is never a good idea. The force of a collision increases exponentially with speed, which means that damage is always worse when you’re going faster. Driving fast also makes it much harder to react to unexpected obstacles on the road.
Car Insurance Coverage for Road Hazards
Whether you have collision or comprehensive coverage – or both – your car insurance covers you for a number of common incidents that can result in damage to your vehicle. Each type will kick in for different circumstances.
Potholes are caused when water gets underneath pavement and freezes, expands, and then melts. This expansion and contraction can result in the pavement weakening and collapsing, which is then made worse by the weight of vehicles passing over. Part of the reason why Calgary uses a sand and salt mixture on icy roads is that salt can actually increase the probability of potholes occurring.
It’s hard to avoid potholes, especially on busy roads. Hitting one hard can puncture a tire, bend a rim and cause damage to the bottom of your car. Coverage would be provided under a collision car insurance policy if the damage would cost more than your deductible amount, of course, which is commonly $500.
Damage resulting from running into a rock that has rolled on to a road or a tree that has uprooted and fallen (both incidences are not at all uncommon in the mountains) also falls under collision insurance coverage. Additional road hazards likely to fall under collision insurance include debris from construction or that has fallen from the back of a truck,
However, if your car is parked on public property and a wind storm causes a branch to fall, dent and scratch your car, damage is likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance policy.
You will need to file a claim with your insurance company if you choose to use your coverage to pay for repairs. Collect photographic evidence of the scene of the incident (for example, of a large pothole or debris on the road) if it is safe to do so, as well as of your vehicle. Dash cameras can be very useful in situations like these, providing additional information that your insurance company can use.
A collision insurance claim is likely to result in increased insurance premiums, whereas a comprehensive insurance claim may not.
Lane’s Provides Coverage For All of Alberta
When your car insurance renewal time comes up, be sure to contact us so we can discuss your options. If you are considering switching car insurance providers, we will help you shop around for the best fit for you, and will also make sure we explore all of the car insurance discounts you may be eligible for. We won’t make you fill out any complicated online forms. Just give us a call at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and our provincial offices (with no obligation) and we can get started talking.