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Thousands of Canadians come to us weekly, looking for ways to save on their next auto insurance policy. Just like we've helped them compare the market with ease, we can do the same for you. Here are a few sample car insurance quotes Ratehub.ca users received on September 9, 2023 – to find out how little you could be paying, take advantage of our free comparison service and uncover your potential savings today.
better choices made
to Canada’s top financial institutions
Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
In 2021, we surveyed over 1,500 Canadians to learn more about auto insurance shopping behaviour within the country. 76% of policyholders claimed to be confident with the coverage they had in place – they did not feel overinsured or underinsured. On top of that, 65% of the group said they were happy with the rate they were currently paying.
But what about those that didn't feel this way? Shopping around for car insurance and comparing quotes online is one of the best ways you can ensure your policy meets all your coverage needs for the lowest rate possible.
While 64% of Canadians said they allow their policy to renew automatically when the time comes (leaving potential savings on the table), 51% also claimed a dislike for comparing car insurance quotes because it takes too long, and they don't believe they'll find a better deal. This is simply untrue – with us, you can save hundreds of dollars each year by taking just a few minutes out of your day.
of Canadians allow their car insurance policy to auto-renew.
of Canadians think comparing quotes is time consuming and ineffective.
First and foremost, it's the law. Car insurance is a requirement for everyone who wishes to drive a car in Canada. The coverage is there to protect you from all kinds of financial implications, such as vehicle repairs after a collision or liability claims after an accident.
In Canada, driving an uninsured vehicle is a serious offence – you could a heavy fine or even a license suspension. You'll also need to provide proof of an auto insurance policy before you're able to register your vehicle.
Even though auto insurance is legally mandated Canada-wide, the coverage requirements for a standard car insurance policy vary provincially (and it heavily depends on whether the province runs on a public or private insurance system).
British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are public insurance markets where you buy auto insurance from the government (with the option of purchasing supplemental coverage from private insurers). Alberta, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada have private insurance companies vying for your business which is why comparing car insurance quotes online is an effective strategy for uncovering lower rates. Quebec, on the other hand, is a hybrid system that offers the cheapest car insurance rates. There, you buy injury coverage from the government and property damage from a private insurer.
Even though each province set's a minimum standard for coverage, most people purchase a more comprehensive insurance policy. In fact, in every province, you can customize your policy's coverages and amounts to further suit your personal needs.
Another thing to understand about auto insurance in Canada is the differences between the accident claim systems. Several provinces have shifted towards a no-fault insurance system in which you only deal with your own insurance company when seeking financial compensation for a collision you were involved in (regardless of fault). The other system is a tort-based system – many consider this to be inefficient as you'll need to deal with the at-fault driver's insurer to seek compensation.
Regardless of the rules in your province, not having the right auto insurance policy in place will leave you financially vulnerable if you're ever involved in an incident. So make sure you understand the coverage you need when shopping around for car insurance.
Direct compensation for property damage
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Here is a chart displaying the average car insurance cost in Canada. Your car insurance rate will vary depending on a multitude of factors, but this can give you an idea of how average car insurance quotes differ across each province. To find the exact cost you’ll be paying for your auto coverage, be sure to compare auto insurance rates with us.
How are car insurance quotes in Canada calculated?
The highest age-specific rate of passenger vehicle death in Canada was found among 16 to 24 year olds. Young drivers tend to see more expensive premiums, due to the increased risk they bring.
Statistics Canada found that males were nearly twice as likely to die in a vehicle collision compared to females. Not all provinces use gender as a quoting factor but many do – and of course, this leads to higher rates for male drivers.
Generally speaking, living in rural areas will lead to cheaper insurance rates. Cities with large populations tend to come with high crime rates and busy streets – resulting in costlier premiums.
The more expensive your vehicle is to repair or replace, the more expensive your insurance will be. But it doesn't stop there – cars with high theft and accident rates often see increased premiums also.
Generally speaking, the more experience you have as a driver, the more safe you'll be. But if you have several convictions on your record, expect to see higher car insurance premiums.
It's no surprise that more time on the road equals to a higher likelihood of making a claim. So the longer your daily commute, the more expensive your premium will be. And one way to lower your premium is to simply drive less.
It's no surprise that adding on optional coverages and increasing your policy limits will lead a to higher auto insurance premium. The additional peace of mind doesn't come without a price.
Different insurers offer different types of discounts, so be sure to ask about your eligibility. Bundling multiple policies under one provider, for example, is a great way to save.
There are a number of market conditions that impact the price Canadians pay for auto insurance, and unfortunately, a lot of these are largely out of the public's control. Insurers monitor the trends of these conditions, and use their learnings as the basis for their pricing model changes – this is done so companies can protect themselves and recoup lost funds. Here are a few major market conditions you should be aware of.
How to get the cheapest car insurance quotes
While two providers may offer the same coverages, the price of auto insurance can vary drastically. To make sure you're getting the best rate possible, be sure to shop the market.
Insurance companies value loyal customers. By having your auto and home insurance bundled together under the same carrier, you can expect a substantial rate reduction.
Increase your deductible
The deductible is what you pay when something happens to your car before the insurance company pays the rest. Increasing your deductible will lower your annual premium.
Get a group rate
Many insurers offer discounts to members of professional organizations or affiliation groups – so it pays to ask about savings (literally).
Install safety devices
Insurance companies are all about lowering the risk of a claim. You could see a rate deduction by installing anti-theft devices or opting for a car that's already equipped with the newest safety features.
Paying your full premium up-front tends to be less money in the long run, compared to making multiple, monthly payments. This is because insurers like to see a commitment to the policy.
Keep a clean driving record
At-fault collisions and driving convictions stay on your insurance record for years and make your rates go way up – if you drive safely over a long period, you’ll pay the lowest car insurance rates.
Track your driving
According to a Ratehub.ca survey, only 12% of Canadians have tried usage-based insurance. If you haven't yet done so, opting-in for UBI (tracking your driving behaviour) can lead to big savings.
Install winter tires
While winter tires are only required in select provinces, it's always better to be safe than sorry – and the potential auto insurance savings are a plus.
Take a course
Accredited driving courses will not only make you a better driver, but it can also lead to cheaper car insurance rates. Insurers see graduates as a lower-risk policyholder.
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In a 2021 survey, we presented common car insurance misconceptions to over 1,500 Canadians, asking them to agree or disagree with the statements – all of them were actually false.
We found Canadians to be fairly knowledgeable, but there were still many gaps when it comes to understanding how car insurance works across the country – the average responder was only correct about half the time. Click the arrows to learn more.
"My insurer won't find out about my ticket or accident if I don't tell them."
73% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
Insurance companies can check your driving record, informing them of your past traffic convictions and at-fault accidents. While you may be tempted to lie to save on your insurance bill, honesty is always the best policy. If your insurer uncovers the truth later on, you'll eventually see higher rates anyway – or worse, you could face a policy cancellation or a denied claim.
"I don't need to notify my insurer if I participate in ride sharing or deliveries."
72% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
You do in fact need to inform your provider ahead of time if you plan on using your vehicle for ride share or deliveries. A standard auto insurance policy won't cover you for commercial activities – the last thing you want is your coverage to be voided when you need it the most. Keep in mind also that not all providers offer car insurance for ride-share services, so you may need to shop around for a new one.
"My postal code doesn't impact my car insurance rate."
66% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
Your postal code plays a big role in the price you'll be paying. Living in an area that sees an increased number of claims will lead to higher auto insurance rates. And while there have been talks in some parts of Canada to end "postal code discrimination" – in an effort to treat drivers more fairly across the board – insurers have yet to be banned from using your postal code as a rating factor.
"How much I drive won't impact my car insurance rate."
64% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
Insurers factor in your daily and annual commute when calculating your car insurance rate. This is because driving more inevitably leads to a higher likelihood of making a claim – even if you're relatively safe on the road. That being said, one way to lower your premium is to simply drive less. Notify your insurer if you're no longer going into the office daily or if you're opting for public transit more often.
"Speeding tickets under 15 km won't impact my car insurance rate."
49% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
If you're convicted of driving under 15km/h above the speed limit, you could still see an increase in your auto insurance rate when it comes time for a policy renewal. The good news is that a minor offence won't have too much of an impact on your rate when compared to a major one, such as distracted driving. But if you have multiple minor convictions on record, that'll be a different story.
"My car insurance rate will only go up if I make a claim."
46% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
While making a claim will have a big impact on your auto insurance premium, there are many other reasons why you could see an increase. Some of these may be in your control – such as getting a traffic conviction or adding a new driver to your policy. But there are also many market conditions that could impact your premium; insurers need to make back the money if they're facing an increased number of claims due to trends in vehicle theft or insurance fraud.
"The police determine fault when I make an insurance claim."
42% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
If police charge you for an offence after an accident, it doesn't necessarily mean you're at fault – and just because you aren't charged, doesn't mean you're in the clear. When you make an auto insurance claim after a collision, each party's insurer will investigate to determine the fault. This is done using rules set by the province, and you can be found at fault on a scale between 0 to 100%.
"Car insurance follows the person, not the car."
31% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
It's actually the opposite – insurance follows the car, not the person. This means that if your friend borrows your car, they're essentially also borrowing your coverage – any accident they get into will need to be claimed under your provider (unless they have non-owned vehicle coverage). Keep in mind also that anyone who borrows your vehicle on a regular basis should be listed in your policy as an occasional driver.
"Speed camera tickets will impact my car insurance rate."
24% of Canadians answered correctly – False.
Speed camera tickets won't impact your auto insurance rate because they do not go onto your driving record. This is because the driver that was speeding can't be identified – only the vehicle. It would be unfair to penalize someone's perfect record (and low-risk insurance profile) for lending out their car to a careless friend. The same goes for tickets issued from red light cameras.
Recent auto insurance news in Canada
Vehicle theft is becoming a major factor in the price we pay for auto insurance in Canada – so much that the auto insurance industry is looking for ways to improve theft prevention and vehicle security. According to an Équité Association report from November 2022, Canada has become a source country for the export of stolen vehicles due to the increased use of sophisticated theft technology.
Unsurprisingly, Ontario is the leading province in the volume of stolen vehicles, but Alberta and Quebec are not too far behind. In Toronto alone, nearly 10,000 vehicles were stolen in 2022 – a figure which has risen yearly since 2018. Calgary, on the other hand, saw nearly a 25% increase in theft year-over-year.
The full impact of vehicle theft may hit Canadians differently, but the one thing that we will all face is an increase in our auto insurance premiums. As theft continues to rise, insurers will need to increase their rates in order to offset the increase in claims. Drivers of vehicles that have been identified as high-risk of theft will also see their rates rise more than the average Canadian.
Is car insurance in Canada mandatory?
Why are my car insurance quotes so high?
How do I find the cheapest auto insurance rates?
Is auto insurance different between provinces?
What do I need to get car insurance in Canada?
Do I need car insurance if I don't drive my car in Canada?
Who has the best and cheapest car insurance?
Do I need special insurance to drive for Uber?
How does a car insurance deductible work?
At what age does car insurance go down?
What doesn't impact my car insurance rate?
Do I need to purchase car insurance from my home insurance provider?
Can I drive a car if I don't have auto insurance?
Can I cancel my car insurance?
What happens if I stop paying my car insurance premium?
How long do car accidents stay on your record?
How much does car insurance increase after an at-fault accident claim?
Ratehub.ca partners with top auto insurance companies across Canada, so you can compare your personalized car insurance quotes all at once. Each rate is calculated using the insurer's own underwriting and quoting process, so you can receive an accurate estimation based on your profile.
Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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