Buying Car Insurance in Ontario: What You Need To Know
Purchasing car insurance is challenging at the best of times, so we’ve put together six tips to help you get the right insurance coverage, at the lowest possible price.
Start by Driving Well
A good driving record is an easy and efficient way to keep insurance premiums low. Car accidents and other vehicle-related convictions remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the offense. And they are the number one issue used by insurance companies use to evaluate your application and determine your overall insurance rate. By maintaining a good driving record, free from accidents and other convictions, you’re saving yourself money from the very start!
It Pays to Shop Around
Did you know that there are more than 100 insurance companies in Canada?! And every one of them is competing for your patronage and your money. Option and coverage levels vary from company to company and because each one assesses risk independently, it means rates will vary, significantly. While they’ll all look at things like the type of car you’re driving, where you live, and your driving record, each company will have their own claim and loss history that can impact overall rates. Contact as many of insurance companies as you can, and get those quotes!
Drive a “Low-Risk” Vehicle
Did you know that the year, make, and model of the car or truck you drive will impact your rate, with higher amounts for certain premium vehicles, like Porches or BMWs? But driving a frequently stolen vehicle, such as the 2005 Ford F-350 SD 4WD, Canada’s #1 stolen vehicle for 2015 – its lack of an electronic manufacturer immobilizer theft deterrent system makes it easier to steal – will have you paying more. Thankfully, the same goes for lower risk cars and trucks. Driving one of the least often stolen vehicles in Canada, such as the 2011 Kia Rondo or the 2011 Hyundai Tuscon, will drop your insurance rates.
Consider an Increased Deductible
Simply, a deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance company even begins to calculate and issue payments related to a claim. Typically, a higher deductible will mean a lower premium. The downside, however, is making sure you’re comfortable with having to pay a larger out-of-pocket sum in the event of a claim. If you’re going this route, it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund equivalent to your deductible amount readily available for an unexpected claim
If You Want a Discount, Ask For It
You’d be surprised how effective the simple act of requesting a lower rate can be. Some insurance companies have ongoing or in-house promotions that must specifically be requested to be applied. By asking for a lower rate, or if there’s any way they can drop the overall cost, you know you’re getting the best possible deal.
Get The Coverage You Actually Need
When it comes to insurance coverage, liability is the only coverage that legally required in Canada. So if you’re driving an older car, a car with a low book value, or high mileage, comprehensive or collision coverage may not be a financially prudent choice. It could end up costing you more than your car is worth. For example, if your car’s damages exceed its value, the insurance company can opt to pay you the value of the car, instead of paying the repair bill. And that means you could be out of pocket and without a car.
Most people on the road in Ontario are paying between $400 and $1,400 more than necessary. By taking the time to become an informed consumer, you can talk to insurance companies and be certain you’re getting the coverage you need, at a price you can realistically afford.