Starting January 1, 2024, Albertans will only need to report collisions to the police if the property damage exceeds $5,000, a significant jump from the current threshold of $2,000. This adjustment aligns with the province’s goal to better mirror current vehicle repair costs, with the average property damage collision claim in Alberta reaching $6,756 last year, according to data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
The carefully chosen $5,000 threshold serves a dual purpose: minimizing the reporting of minor collisions and deterring the fraudulent resale of damaged vehicles, as explained by Alberta Transportation. This change will not only streamline law enforcement efforts but also reduce unnecessary investigations into minor collisions.
It’s worth noting that reporting requirements for collisions resulting in injuries or fatalities remain unchanged, regardless of the estimated property damage repair costs. In 2021, law enforcement reported 89,976 property damage-only collisions, with approximately 90% of all crashes involving only property damage.
Additionally, the province announced that the carrier collision reporting threshold will align with the new $5,000 threshold for individual reporting. This adjustment will enable commercial carriers to save time by eliminating the need for an administrative process to remove low-value property damage collisions from their carrier profile.
Alberta Transportation emphasized that future increases to the collision reporting threshold will be inflation-adjusted, with annual calculations based on the Statistics Canada consumer price index. This update marks the first change in over a decade, with the province raising the property damage collision reporting threshold from $1,000 to $2,000 on January 1, 2011, and introducing the commercial carrier reporting threshold of $1,000 in 2009.