How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in Ontario
Do you want to enjoy driving on Ontario roads? One must-have component is car insurance. Ontario, like other jurisdictions, makes it mandatory for every car on the road to be appropriately insured.
Driving without appropriate car insurance can attract a fine of up to $50,000 and 12 months suspension of your driver’s license.
As more insurance firms join the market, getting the ideal one to insure your car can be an uphill task. However, do not worry any longer because this guide is here to help you.
This post takes a deeper look at car insurance to help answer the main question that car owners always ask: “How do you get cheap car insurance in Ontario?”
What is the Mandatory Car Insurance in Ontario?
If you live in Ontario and want to drive on its roads, there is a minimum car insurance requirement that any car must have. No matter the car you drive, gender demographic, or accident history, it is mandatory for your car to have the following four types of covers:
- Third Party Liability Cover: This insurance covers you in case the car causes damage to property or kills another person. According to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, every car must have a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability cover.
- The Uninsured Automobile Insurance: Your car is also expected to have uninsured automobile insurance that covers the car if you are hit by an unidentified motorist. The cover also pays benefits to families that lose loved ones from uninsured hit-and-run drivers.
- The Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage: This cover is meant to pay for the driver’s supplemental medical care, rehabilitation, attendant care, and 70% of your income (capped at $400/ week) if hurt in an accident.
- Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DC-PD) Cover: If the accident is caused by another motorist, the loss and compensation for the damages are met by DC-PD. Note that this only applies when it is the other driver who caused the accident and he/she is insured in Ontario, and the accident took place in Ontario.
In many cases, car owners prefer to purchase additional insurance to cater for them when outside Ontario regardless of whether the other driver is insured or not.
Optional Insurance to Consider When Shopping for Car Insurance
While it is the right thing to comply with minimum Ontario car insurance requirements, many people opt to go for more than the basics. Here are some additional covers you should also consider in Ontario:
- Additional Third Party Liability Insurance: While the legal cover requires drivers to have $200,000 of third party liability cover, motorists consider it inadequate. The cover only caters for other cars in case you are involved in an accident but your car does not benefit. Many motorists opt for an extra cover of up to $2 million that insures even their cars.
- Comprehensive Car Cover: When you take the minimum coverage, it implies that your car could still be at risk of dangers such as fire. One option to consider is comprehensive insurance. This cover caters for most losses that happen to your car from threats such as floods, fire, windstorms, vandalism, and theft.
- Collision Cover: This is an optional cover that is considered for vehicles that would be very expensive to replace in case of accidents. The cover will also meet the cost of damages if it hits another car, a tree, or building. Many car hire companies require clients to purchase collision cover.
- Transportation Replacement Coverage: This cover reimburses clients the funds they use for renting cars when their vehicles are being repaired or replaced. Depending on the details of the cover, you could get paid for making use of taxis, public transport, and rentals.
Now that you know the different types of insurance covers, it is time to move on to the strategies you can use to get cheap auto insurance in Ontario.
Review the Insurance Policy
One of the easiest methods you can use to save on insurance costs is reviewing the current insurance policy and your lifestyle.
Start by Shopping Around for Cheap Insurance Companies
Do not simply assume that because an insurance company is ranked at the top, it also offers cheap covers. The only way to identify cheap firms is by shopping around. Some companies have low rates because of their design while others provide special discounts to attract new clients. Here are some tips on shopping for cheap cover.
- Visit insurance comparison websites in Ontario such as LowestRate.ca and RateSupermarket.ca.
- Identify the car insurance companies that offer discounts.
- Seek help from insurance brokers. Good brokers maintain catalogs of many cover firms and can easily point an affordable one.
- Look for a cover company that offers home, car, and life insurance at affordable rates.
Consider Changing Your Car Policy
If you establish that the current car cover is costing you a lot of money, there are some sections that you can change to pull down the cost. Make sure to review the need to slash the costs based on the inherent risks that your car faces:
- Consider cancelling the collision coverage: Though this cover is important when you feel that the risk of hitting another car, a building, or even a tree is high, it is not mandatory. If you are driving an old car, this cost might not be necessary.
- Only pay for the mandated cover: Though the Financial Services Commission only requires motorists to have the basic insurance cover when driving in Ontario, many are those who go for more covers such as transport replacement cover. You can cut the cost by staying away from the additional cover.
- Consider increasing your deductible: Insurance Deductible is the amount that is payable to an insurance company when making a claim. The higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium.
Make Sure to Update Your Insurance Record
In many cases, insurance companies will rarely adjust clients’ info to keep the records up to date. However, a good driving report can help to pull down the cost of insurance. If you have a positive record, here are some helpful things you can do to pull down the cost of insurance:
- Provide the insurance company with a clean record of your driving experience.
- If you were involved in an accident, the tickets and violations are dropped after three years. Providing the dropped tickets helps to pull down your insurance cost.
- Go for a better driving license level. If you acquire a higher driver’s license level, you are eligible to enjoy lower insurance rates in Ontario.
Note that even with a good driving report, not all insurance companies guarantee a lower rate. Therefore, it is important to look for the company that factors in users’ driving records when determining the car insurance price.
Check for Technology and Discounts
As technology advances, it is becoming possible to enhance the safety of the car. Some insurance companies encourage motorists to use safety technology by offering discounts on their cover. Here are some of these technologies:
Using Winter Tires
Winter tires are designed to help motorists drive safely in the wet months of winter. In 2016, the Ontario government passed legislation requiring insurance firms to give motorists discounts on their cover when they install winter tires in winter.
The discount offered by cover companies on winter tires is 5% of the collision cover. However, the companies mainly affect the insurance only after you notify them and when the policy is up for renewal.
Installing Anti-Theft Devices
One risk that makes motorists take insurance covers is the danger of theft. However, you can reduce the risk by installing anti-theft devices. Note that the insurance companies will want proof of installation before your discount can be approved and applied.
Some of the main anti-theft devices include engine immobilizers that prevent the engine from running if the vehicle sense that the owner’s key was not used for ignition. You can also install a car alarm that sends a loud warning when an attempted theft is noted. Motorists in Ontario can also install steering wheel locks that help to prevent a car’s steering wheel from being misused.
It is important to note that the efficiency of different devices to lower the risk of theft for your car varies. Therefore, you might consider using several devices such as winter tires and engine immobilizers to enjoy higher discounts.
Installing Dashboard Cameras
Dashboard cameras have become crucial components in helping solve disputes about who was wrong in the case of an accident. For example, the camera can easily capture the details of the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run case. While there is no common discount from insurance companies, here are some of the methods that the cameras can be used to pull down the cost of insurance:
- Lowering Insurance Fraud: This is crucial in helping to pull down the cost of car insurance for all motorists.
- Cameras provide the evidence of fault: The cameras help to demonstrate that your driving record is clean in the event of an accident caused by another vehicle.
- Helpful as an anti-scam device: The camera can be used to provide evidence so that you are not scammed in set-up accidents.
Consider Going for Usage-Based Insurance
Another way of cutting cost is going for cover based on car use. This means installing tracking devices that help to monitor the driving behavior. The devices generate data that can be examined to demonstrate that you are a careful motorist to have the cost of the cover pulled down. Some of the data that insurance companies are interested in include:
- The distance you drive: The shorter the distance you drive, the lower the insurance costs.
- The driving speed: If you stay within the allowed limits, you can enjoy lower insurance rates.
- Car usage: This parameter checks when you drive the car most of the times. For example, do you drive the car when it is riskier to get involved in an accident?
- The involved driving risk: What are your driving habits? Are you cautious and strictly follow the rules? Do you drive under the influence of alcohol?
It is important to appreciate that not all insurance companies provide usage-based insurance. Therefore, it is prudent to make this one of the primary factors that will help you to select the preferred cover firm.
Use Membership and Affiliations
Some professional associations go the extra length to negotiate for better terms and conditions for their members from service firms such as insurance. Because they have many members, they are able to negotiate for lower rates with insurance companies. Others develop partnerships that help to promote mutual benefits with insurance companies.
Some associations that have entered into some agreements with insurance firms for lower benefits include:
- The Ontario Bar Association
- The Professional Engineers of Ontario
- Canadian Nurses Association
- Canadian Automobile Association
Remember that even if the association helps to pull down the insurance cost, it is still important to compare quotes to see if there are better rates.
Life Changes for Cheap Car Insurance in Canada
There are a number of ways that you can change your lifestyle to enjoy lower insurance rates. The target is to demonstrate that you are a low-risk party in order to enjoy lower insurance rates.
Consider Changing Your Vehicle
The vehicle you have could be the primary reason for the current high insurance rates. For example, very expensive vehicles are also costly to insure. Therefore, if you are planning to change the car, you should consider the following options:
- Look for cars with higher safety ratings.
- Select cars that are easy to replace in the case of a loss.
- Identify the vehicle that is relatively easy to repair.
Your Home or Parking Location
The cost of insurance for your car is also dependent on the area you live in or where you park. For example, people who live in regions that have high car theft rates are likely to be charged higher rates than those in low-theft areas. Therefore, you might consider moving to a low-risk region such as Stratford and Burlington to enjoy lower rates.
It is also important to consider installing secure parking that makes it hard for thieves to break in and steal your car. For example, an indoor garage with a reinforced gate, surveillance camera, and alarm system can help you to enjoy lower auto insurance rates.
If you target cutting on costs for car insurance, there are many strategies that you can use. This post demonstrated that there is indeed no single method that can be considered ideal when looking forward to pulling down insurance cost. Rather, you should consider combining several methods to help you enjoy cheap car insurance in Ontario.
It is advisable to go for the methods that help to pull down the cost and at the same time make your life more convenient. Consider using appropriate technology in the car, installing a secure garage, and changing the car policy for lower rates.
Remember that no matter the method(s) you select, it is prudent to pick a company that is flexible and committed to factoring in the effort you put in decreasing the cost of auto insurance. For example, consider only using the insurance firm that take into consideration your driving habits and installed security devices when calculating the cover costs for your car.