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With the legalization of cannabis expected to come into effect this summer, the provincial government has been busy updating its impaired driving laws. Keep reading to learn more about the changes, and what they might mean for your auto insurance policy in Edmonton.

The Legalization of Cannabis

Decriminalizing cannabis will make it legal for Canadians to purchase and possess marijuana for personal use. The federal government is expected to finalize the legalization of marijuana by the summer of 2018, but it’s up to each province to determine how they’ll regulate the laws around marijuana use. This includes:

  • Impaired driving
  • Public health
  • Education
  • Taxation
  • Workplace safety
  • Distribution
  • Retail sale
  • Public consumption

Changes to Alberta’s Impaired Driving Laws

In response to the legalization of cannabis, the government of Alberta has taken the opportunity to update the provincial laws and set clear timelines for license suspensions resulting from impaired driving. Anyone caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subject to criminal charges, fines and driving suspensions. The new laws will include the following changes:

  • A new zero-tolerance policy for drivers with a Graduated License caught driving under the influence of cannabis resulting in the following penalties:
  • Their driver’s licence will be suspended for 30 days
  • The vehicle they were driving will be impounded for seven days
  • They’ll be required to remain in the Graduated Driver Licencing program for two years and they must not receive any more driving suspensions during that time or they won’t be eligible for a driver’s licence
  • All drivers who are reasonably believed to be criminally impaired, whether through alcohol, drugs or refusing to provide a breath or fluid sample, will be subject to the following sanctions:
    • Their driver’s licence will be suspended for 90-days
    • The vehicle they were driving will be impounded for three days for the first offence and seven days for the second offence
    • Mandatory driver’s education
    • One year participation in the Province of Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program, which involves the installation of a blood alcohol monitoring device in their vehicle that has the ability to lock their ignition if their blood alcohol is above the legal limit.

Drug impairment is and will remain, a criminal offence with only the allowable limits changing under the new laws.

Please refer to this link for more comprehensive information on how the new law will affect you:

Trust Our Brokers to Find You the Right Auto Insurance Policy

Any time there are changes to the existing laws, it’s a good idea to update your auto insurance policy to make sure you’re adequately covered. At MBS Insurance Brokers in Edmonton, we’re here to protect you every step of the way. We work with you to find the best rates on automobilehomeownersrecreational, and group insurance policies so that your interests are protected. 

Contact us today to request a free quote.

How an Insurance Broker Saves You Time and Money

Do you know the benefits of an insurance broker?

Suppose you’re looking for the best insurance coverage at the best rates in Edmonton. In that case, you’ll first want to understand the benefits of an insurance broker and how they can help protect you in all sorts of different situations – whether it be saving you money, time or giving you simple peace of mind.

What Are the Benefits of an Insurance Broker?

Here are some of the many benefits of an insurance broker.


1. Saves Time

An insurance broker does all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time shopping around for insurance. Instead, you simply provide your broker with information about your needs, and they shop the markets on your behalf.


2. Saves Money

Insurance brokers work with many different partners to find the best deals on the insurance that works for you. They take all your needs into account and make recommendations that are in your best interest. They have relationships with many insurance partners and can negotiate competitive rates and discounts, saving you money in the long run.

3. Expert Knowledge and Advice

An insurance broker provides you with the support and expertise you need to find coverage that suits your needs. They work with various products and services to find the coverage that best suits you. In addition, they can draw from an extensive knowledge base and experience to advise you on the best options. 

Insurance Brokers provide expert and unbiased advice. A wealth of knowledge about coverage and market rates combined with expert risk assessment ensures your possessions and business are adequately protected. Whether you are looking into auto insurance rates, tenant insurance, or home insurance rates, your insurance broker can help you every step of the way.

You can utilize their expertise to quickly identify your options and rely on their unbiased advice to help you make the best-informed decision for your situation.


4. Working For Your Best Interests

Since insurance brokers do not work with one particular company, they have nothing to gain from recommending a specific product. The insurance company also pays them a standard commission. Thus, there is no financial incentive to choose one insurer over another.

Insurance brokers have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to find you the best rate possible, which can give you the peace of mind you need. You can rest assured knowing that if you ever need to file a claim, one of our brokers will be there by your side to guide you every step of the way. They act as an advisor on insurance-related matters. They will shop the market for the best coverage and rates for you. Since fulfilling your needs is their only priority, they will provide independent, unbiased advice on the right coverage for your situation.

5. Privileged access and rates

Insurance Brokers have access to a wide selection of the best insurance companies in the country. These insurance companies are only accessible by Insurance Brokers. They do not deal with the public directly or with Direct Writers. Brokers enjoy long-standing relationships with these insurance companies. Still, they do not have an affiliation with any specific insurer, enabling brokers to provide you with a broader range of options at competitive rates.


6. Transparency

Insurance brokers must give full disclosure about their compensation and its effect on your insurance premium.  They are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that may be a conflict of interest, enabling you to make the best-informed decision.


7. Risk and Advocacy Experience

Extensive experience dealing with different clients and claim situations equips insurance brokers with a broader perspective on how to reduce your risk. Also, in the event of a claim, you can count on your broker to act as your advocate with the insurance company and handle your claim fairly and promptly.

Speak to MBS Insurance in Edmonton about your Coverage

Reach out to MBS Insurance today to determine your home, auto, and commercial coverage options. Over the past 45 years, our experienced team of insurance brokers in Edmonton has earned the trust and loyalty of our clients by delivering superior products and services. We understand your needs and provide you with the best protection and rates.

There are many benefits of an insurance broker. We can help you understand the intricacies of your insurance plan while saving you money at the same time. We are a trusted insurance provider in Edmonton and provide personal and commercial insurance policies to people living in Alberta. We offer the best rates on recreational, auto, property, commercial, and group insurance policies. 

Contact us online for a free quote or by phone at 780-436-7880.

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This article was originally published on October 7, 2016, and updated for 2021.