Alberta Government Increases Property Damage Reporting Threshold to $5,000, Easing Burden on Drivers and Law Enforcement

by Staff

In what it says is a move to streamline processes and reduce bureaucratic hurdles, Alberta’s government has announced an increase in the property damage collision reporting threshold from $2,000 to $5,000, effective January 1, 2024. The government says the decision aims to save both drivers and law enforcement valuable time.

The $5,000 figure reflects current vehicle repair costs and addresses the need to balance the reporting of minor collisions while preventing fraudulent resales of damaged vehicles. By raising the reporting threshold, drivers will no longer be required to report property damage to law enforcement unless it exceeds $5,000.

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, highlighted the practicality of the change, stating, “Traffic accidents happen. Alberta is saving drivers time and money by not having them report simple fender-benders to the police. Thousands of traffic accident reports clog up our justice system and strains police resources. This is a common-sense change that will benefit drivers and police.”

Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, emphasized the positive impact on citizens’ daily lives, saying, “We continue to cut red tape by increasing the collision reporting threshold. Waiting in line to file a report is stressful, time-consuming and takes you away from your work and family. This change will alleviate that stress and get you back on the road faster.”

The government says the move also aims to alleviate the strain on law enforcement resources, allowing police officers and administrative staff to focus more on improving public safety. Mark Neufeld, President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, expressed support, stating, “AACP is supportive of increasing the threshold for the reporting of property damage collisions to police. These increases better reflect modern vehicle repair and replacement costs and will result in less minor, non-injury collisions having to be reported to police.”

The decision received further endorsement from Tyler Gandam, President of Alberta Municipalities, who noted, “This increase to the damage reporting threshold aligns with a resolution Alberta Municipalities members passed at our 2023 convention. We are pleased to see the provincial government take action on this issue.”

Future adjustments to the collision reporting threshold will be based on inflation calculations using the Statistics Canada consumer price index.

In 2021, law enforcement reported 89,976 property damage-only collisions, with approximately 90 per cent of all collisions involving only property damage. Data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada revealed that, in 2022, the average property damage collision claim in Alberta was $6,756.

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