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Ontario car insurance frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Why is Ontario car insurance so expensive?
There is no doubt about it; Ontario car insurance is expensive. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), auto insurance rates in Ontario are 45 per cent higher than in Alberta, and about twice as high as the Maritime provinces. One of the main culprits often blamed for the high rates Ontario drivers pay is the prevalence of insurance fraud that drives up claims costs and increases premiums for all drivers. Insurance fraud includes everything from exaggerating the extent of damages, faking collisions, to overbilling on services performed in the event of a claim. It comes from a wide cross-section of contributors, which makes it a complex issue for the province to deal with.
Ontario is the capital of auto insurance fraud in Canada. The provincial government has long vowed to change this, but so far efforts have not reached the 15 per cent reduction in auto insurance rates promised in previous elections. In December 2017, the province announced plans to make car insurance more affordable by introducing the Fair Auto Insurance plan, which includes reforms to address insurance fraud in Ontario. This includes the launch of the Serious Fraud Office to investigate fraud further.
Which auto insurance company in Ontario has the best rates?
There’s no one auto insurance company that offers everyone the best rates. Auto insurance premiums for the exact same coverage can vary substantially between insurance companies for a variety of reasons. It all depends on things like the insurer’s claims experience and how they rate you as a driver. The only way to know which company offers you the best rate and coverage is to shop around and compare quotes.
How much is average car insurance cost per month in Ontario?
The average monthly car insurance cost in Ontario is approximately $120, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. However, this can vary greatly depending on your personal driving record and insurance history, the vehicle you drive, where you live, and a number of other factors. Drivers who live in urban areas tend to pay more than drivers who live in rural areas, for example.
Car insurance in Ontario varies significantly, and the best way to determine how much car insurance will cost you is to compare rates. Every driver’s situation is unique, and by comparing quotes customized specifically to you, you’ll see not only the range of quotes available to you, but also how much you can save on your car insurance!
What do I need to get a car insurance quote in Ontario?
Most of what you’ll need to get a car insurance quote in Ontario, you’ll know off the top of your head. For example, the make, model and year of the vehicle you drive. Additional information you’ll be asked about includes:
- The type of licence you hold and how long you’ve had it
- How long you’ve been insured
- Any tickets or accidents you may have on your driving or insurance history
If you don’t know exact dates or details, your best estimate will do initially. But remember, the rates are only as accurate as the details you provide, so if any information changes, your rate may change too.
Is car insurance mandatory in order to legally drive in Ontario?
Yes, car insurance is mandatory in order to legally drive in Ontario. Vehicles must have insurance or else drivers risk serious fines starting at $5,000 upon a first conviction. Drivers must purchase coverage from a private insurance company. The same is true for drivers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
How does no fault insurance work in Ontario?
What no-fault actually means is if you are injured in an accident or your vehicle is damaged, then you deal with your own insurance company when making a claim. By going through your own insurer, you get the financial help you need right away—whether it’s for injuries you sustained or for fixing your damaged vehicle—instead of waiting for your insurer and the other drivers’ insurers to decide who was to blame for the incident before paying out benefits.
What is Ontario’s graduated licensing system and how does it affect your car insurance?
Ontario Driver’s Licence System and Your Auto Insurance
In Ontario, drivers must be 16-years-old to obtain a driver’s licence. The province operates under a graduated system that has three levels of classification. The first is a G1 licence. This is a written test that drivers must pass. A driver with a G1 class license can operate a vehicle only when driving with a fully-licensed G driver in the passenger seat. A G1 is essentially a learner’s permit. Typically people with a G1 license practice driving with someone else’s vehicle and would typically be covered under that person’s auto insurance policy. To learn more about G1 licence requirements and restrictions click here.
After one year, drivers can take a driving test to obtain their G2 licence. This licence allows drivers to operate a vehicle without accompaniment from a fully-licensed driver. However, there are conditions and restrictions to this licence as well. Depending on the situation, a G2 driver may be added as an occasional driver to an existing policy, or may have their own policy if they own a vehicle. To learn more about what’s involved in a G2 licence in Ontario, click here.
Finally, drivers can take further testing to become a fully-licensed G class driver. The graduated licensing process takes about 20 months in total to complete. Whether you have a G2 or a G licence, if you have your own vehicle you must have an auto insurance policy as it is illegal to operate a vehicle in Ontario without valid car insurance. Hot tip: Drivers who take an accredited drivers training program may be eligible for significant savings on their auto insurance. Check the Ministry of Transportation to find out which programs qualify and start saving today!
Can a G2 driver drive someone else’s car in Ontario?
Absolutely. Licensed G2 drivers can legally drive another person’s vehicle in Ontario, but it’s important to remember that when you lend your vehicle, you lend your car insurance coverage too. This means that if the G2 driver gets in an accident or another claim, it is the lender’s insurance that is affected.
If this G2 driver is your child or someone who drives your vehicle regularly, they may have to be added to your policy as an occasional or secondary driver. Always consult with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage.
When lending your vehicle to a novice driver, it’s good practice to make sure it’s someone whose driving you trust.
What are the different types of car insurance in Ontario?
The standard auto insurance policy in Ontario is comprised of four different types of car insurance that are mandatory coverages. Every Ontario auto insurance policy includes the following types of car insurance coverage:
- Third-party liability – Covers costs associated with a lawsuit against you in the event that you’re responsible for injury or death to, or damage the property of, a third party.
- Statutory Accident Benefits – These benefits cover costs such as medical treatments, income replacement and attendant care in the event that you are injured in a car accident.
- Direct Compensation-Property Damage – Covers damage to your vehicle or its contents, and for loss of use of your vehicle or its contents, if another person was at fault for the accident.
- Uninsured Automobile – Protects you and your family in the event of a hit-and-run or an uninsured motorist injuring you or causing your death.
What is collision coverage in Ontario car insurance?
Collision and comprehensive are the two most common optional coverages drivers choose to add to their auto insurance policies. Both types cover costs associated with fixing your vehicle if damaged. Collision covers damages resulting from an accident, while comprehensive coverage covers damages caused by vandalism, theft, hail and similar named perils.
What factors will affect my rate in Ontario?
- Where you live
- The type of vehicle you drive
- Your driving record
- Your insurance history
- The coverage options you choose to include in your policy
- Eligible discounts
- If you’re bundling with other insurance products, such as home insurance
- Your age and marital status
- The company’s own insurance claims history
Why do Ontario car insurance rates change?
Ontario car insurance rates often change, and it usually boils down to the insurance company’s claims costs. When claims costs go up (or down), typically premiums will follow. There are other factors too, like the introduction of new discounts (e.g. Ontario’s winter tire discount) or when benefit coverages or options change, to name just a few recent examples.
Ontario auto insurance companies cannot increase, or decrease, their rates on a whim. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance, must approve changes to auto insurance rates. Every three months, FSCO releases the rate changes they’ve approved, and while sometimes only a handful of insurers change their rate, other times many do.
What happens when Ontario auto insurance rates change?
Any time Ontario auto insurance rates change is an opportunity to save money on your premiums. Rates do not uniformly increase, or decrease, across the board. That’s why it’s important to compare rates regularly. Don’t wait until it’s time to renew to see if you could be saving money. Compare rates, at minimum on renewal, but also when your marital status changes, you move, or buy a new car.
Save an average of $427 by comparing Ontario car insurance rates
Compare auto insurance quotes in Ontario to get the cheapest rate
When it comes to auto insurance, especially auto insurance in Ontario, many people question whether or not there’s really a way to save money on it. There is! While there are many ways to save, none are more effective than shopping around. How can we be so sure? Well, on average, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers save $427* after comparing car insurance quotes on our site in 2018. And, all it takes is a few minutes to compare quotes from our network of over 30 insurance providers.