Cheapest Car Insurance Ontario: Everything You Need to Know

Cheapest Car Insurance Ontario: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that most people pay more for car insurance than they do for gasoline and regular maintenance combined? How much you pay for your premium could either save or cost you money, but you also don’t want to opt for too little coverage in case of an accident. So, what can you do?

You probably searched online for “cheapest car insurance Ontario” only to find an army of companies claiming to offer lower rates. Before you fall for a smooth talking sales rep’s clever lines, take a look at these money-saving tips.

The Need for Insurance

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The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario requires that you have auto insurance on any vehicle you drive. Getting caught without insurance on a motor vehicle comes with a hefty fine and may cause you to lose your license. Don’t risk it.

There are other stipulations under this act as well. Your insurance policy must include the following:

  • A minimum of $200,000 in Third Party Liability coverage
  • Coverage for uninsured automobiles
  • Statutory Accidents Benefits
  • and direct compensation for property damage

The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario requires that you have auto insurance on any vehicle you drive. Getting caught without insurance on a motor vehicle comes with a hefty fine and may cause you to lose your license. Don’t risk it.

There are other stipulations under this act as well. Your insurance policy must include the following:

Failing to meet these requirements in Ontario will cost you $5,000 to $25,000 on your first offense. If caught a second time, you could end up paying $50,000. That’s excluding victim fine surcharges. Compared to the cost of insurance, it makes more sense to pay for coverage.

Know Your Policy

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While an internet search for “cheapest car insurance Ontario” doesn’t yield much information, reviewing your policy does. Insurance companies are accommodating when you need to decrease or increase coverage, so look for places you can save.

You might find a specific type of coverage you don’t need. Maybe you rarely drive and could go without anything but the basic legal coverage for a while. You should also look at your car’s safety features and ask if there are any discounts for them.

In some cases, you might qualify for a driver safety discount. Some companies lessen the cost of insurance throughout years, while others equip your car with a device that monitors your driving habits to determine their risk in covering you.

Shop the Market

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Every so many months, you should shop around for a cheaper policy. Drivers are always surprised to find that they can receive the same coverage elsewhere for a reduced price. Several companies also offer discounts for new drivers, which could help you save hundreds in a year.

Insurance comparison websites are an excellent way to see how companies stack up against one another. You can also search for Ontario-based companies that offer new driver discounts. Once you’ve found a possible candidate, it’s time to call your current insurance company.

First, ask them if there are any loyalty discounts for choosing to stay with them. If there are, is the amount of money you stand to save more than you could set aside if you did switch? If not, tell them you found a better rate elsewhere and ask if they’re willing to match it or offer you a better deal.

You might find that your current company is unwilling to negotiate, which is fine. That’s why you found a backup insurer beforehand. Merely make the switch and start saving.

Policy Changes

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If your current insurer is willing to negotiate or help you cut costs on your policy, then now is the time to make any necessary changes. Your broker will help you stay within the legal limit while informing you of what each aspect of your policy means and why you might need it.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to drop additional coverage. Items like Collision Coverage are often unnecessary for older vehicles, for instance. Increasing your deductible is another way to lower your payments, but keep in mind this means you’ll pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident.

You can also state that you just want the minimal coverage necessary in Ontario. Your broker may advise you otherwise, but they have no choice in the matter. This is your policy. You’re in charge of your coverage.

Ultimately, you should consider your driving habits, the distance of your commute to work, and the possibility of getting in an accident. Minimal coverage may work for you, or it may not. If your broker’s explanation for why you might need a particular coverage makes sense to you, keep it.

Bundling helps

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Bundling insurance policies is an excellent idea for some people. In most cases, this works best if you:

  • Have two cars
  • Can include your home insurance
  • Or own another type of motor vehicle, like a boat

Some insurers will also offer bundles on items like jewelry. This is an excellent way to save money if you use two different insurance agencies for your belongings. Keep an eye on the final price, however. Insuring an expensive piece of jewelry in addition to your car could end up costing you more than you already pay.

Annual and Monthly Payments

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Every insurance company charges less when you pay your premium in one lump sum. This charge comes once a year, saving them cost on billing you each month. So, they stop transferring that additional cost to you.

This is an excellent way to drastically reduce your bill, but there is one major drawback. You need to make sure you can pay that larger, lump sum when the bill arrives. Saving a little each month helps, but the last thing you want is to be stuck with a couple-thousand-dollar insurance bill and no way to pay it. Consider your finances and monthly budget wisely before opting into annual payments.

Set the Record Straight

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If your driving record is clean, then you pay less for your premium. Drivers with an accident on file in the past three years pay more until it is stricken from their record. In Ontario, you can also qualify for cheaper insurance if you obtained a higher-level driver’s license through the licensing program.

Most insurers update this information automatically, but it never hurts to check. Call your broker and ask if your record is up to date. You might be surprised to find out you qualify for a cheaper rate.

Leverage Technology

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Google might not have helped you with the “cheapest car insurance Ontario” search, but do you own a dashcam? Is your car equipped with an anti-theft device? Do you put your winter tires on each year? All three of these safety precautions can lower your monthly payments. Drivers who use winter tires save an average of $72 yearly on their premiums.

Using UBI

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UBI stands for Usage-Based Insurance, which means you only pay to ensure the car when you drive it. If you have a short commute, work from home, or don’t drive often, then this might be something to investigate.

UBI rates depend on:

  • The distance you drive your car
  • How fast you drive
  • And if you have any unsafe habits
  • The time of day you drive

UBI policies are relatively new, with the vast majority of Ontario companies yet to adopt this form of coverage. However, there are some that do and that it makes worth checking out if you stand to save a little money.

Leverage Affiliations

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Certain memberships and affiliations come with an insurance discount in Ontario. Being a part of the Canadian Nurses Association, Professional Engineers Ontario, or Ontario Bar Association groups allow you to secure a lower monthly payment.

In most instances, these associations will find a cheaper policy for you through their partnerships. Keep in mind that doesn’t always end up being the less expensive option, but it never hurts to ask. Merely being a member or associate might be enough for your insurer to lower your bill.

Usage Changes

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If your insurer sees you as less of a risk to cover, your premium drops immediately. There are hundreds of aspects they consider, but there a few that may have changed since you first signed up with your broker.

Have you taken on a new job that’s closer to your home or vice versa? Does a new commute allow you to drive a shorter distance? Have you started carpooling, using public transportation, or telecommuting? Any of these scenarios place your vehicle in less potential danger, which means your broker can cut you some slack on your bill.

Depending on how drastic those changes are to your driving habits, you could save a few dollars a year or dozens. Even if it is just $5 throughout the year, every little bit helps. Aspects like living in an area with low car theft rates, fewer collisions annually, or just having the option to park in a garage can also lower your costs.

Saving Where it Counts

Securing cheaper insurance takes a little effort, but the money you stand to save each year is worth it. Even if your finances are in order and you’re living comfortably, check for lower rates every so often. Why spend more than you need to on car insurance?