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Q

I just got my class 5 GDL in Alberta, Canada and I was wondering if I need to be put under my parent's car insurance to drive their car or if their liability insurance will cover me so I don't have to go under their insurance?


A

Your parents will need to speak with their insurance provider to determine if you must be added to the policy now with your class 5 GDL, likely the insurer will require you to be added at this phase of your graduated licensing process.

While many insurance companies may cover you when you have a learner's permit, class 7 license, when you obtain a class 5 probationary license insurance carriers will then require you to be added since you have more freedom and less restrictions as a driver.

As you are aware in Alberta, Canada to obtain a Learner's Licence (Class 7) you must:

  • Be 14 years of age or older,
  • Pass a vision screening,
  • Pass a knowledge test on the rules of the road, and
  • Have parental consent if you are 17 years of age or younger

Conditions for drivers in the Learner Stage include:

  • Must hold a Learner's Licence (Class 7) for at least one year to be eligible to move to the next stage
  • Must be accompanied by a fully licensed (non-probationary) driver who is 18 years of age or older and is seated next to the driver
  • Not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • May not have more passengers than the number of seat belts in the vehicle
  • Will have your operator's licence suspended at 8 demerits
  • Zero alcohol tolerance

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To become a Probationary driver (class 5 GDL) you must:

  • be 16 years of age or older, and
  • pass the basic Alberta road test.

Conditions for drivers in the Class 5 probationary license stage

  • Must spend a minimum of two years as a probationary driver to be eligible to move to the next stage
  • May not have more passengers than the number of seat belts in the vehicle
  • Will have your operator's licence suspended at 8 demerits
  • Zero alcohol tolerance
  • May not re-class to a commercial operator's licence
  • May not serve as an accompanying driver to a learner

You must be in the Probationary Phase for at least 24 months. You can leave the Probationary Phase no earlier than age 18 years. To graduate from the Probationary Phase, you must be suspension free in the last year of this phase and you must pass the Enhanced Class 5 road test.

The Auto Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) annually sets the maximum premiums for basic coverage that all insurers can charge in Alberta. The process to set the premiums includes a public hearing. The AIRB's mandate is to regulate premium level for basic coverage, third party liability limits of $200,000 to $2,000,000 and accident benefits, and monitor additional coverage. So if you have consumer questions above what your parent's agent can give you, then you or your parents may want to contact the AIRB.

You may also want to look into an insurance reduction program that was implemented by the Alberta Transportation in conjunction with the Alberta automobile insurance industry for new drivers who pass an approved course of driver training. This program reduces auto insurance premiums for the first 2 years.

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