Finding the Best Canadian Car Insurance
Aside from being a mandatory requirement in Canada, automobile insurance is a financial necessity. Car insurance protects you from the incredibly large expenses that result from an accident, working both for yourself and others. But since car insurance is a privatized service offered by independent financial institutions (not a government provision) it is important to shop around and decide between the many available offers. With so many varying rates and claim requirements it’s hard to determine the ideal car insurance plan – so we’re making it easier for you. This article will feature a concise guide to automobile insurance in Canada and feature the top 5 best car insurance providers in Ontario (based on a customer satisfaction survey).
BEST AUTOMOBILE/CAR INSURANCE PROVIDERS IN ONTARIO
- 748/1000 Ontario customer satisfaction score
- Provincial Availability: ON, QC, AB
- About: Desjardins Insurance currently boasts the third highest amount of coverage in the Canadian insurance market. By operating in the insurance field for over 60 years, Desjardins has solidified its position as one of Ontario’s most capable insurers. Desjardins car insurance plans offer bundle, student, winter tire, and even “safe parking” discounts (cars that are left in a calm location).
- 763/1000 Ontario customer satisfaction score
- Provincial Availability: ON, AB, NS, NB, NL, QC, PE
- About: TD Insurance is a section of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, which is one of Canada’s “Big Five” banks. Since the bank has a great reputation across the country, many clients have chosen to place their automobile responsibility within TD Insurance. This company’s competitive edge stems from their “MyAdvantage” phone application. Once installed, the app records your driving capabilities and processes the data to potentially lower your premiums based on how well you drive. Of course, being such a large company, they also offer bundled insurance discounts.
- 779/1000 Ontario customer satisfaction score
- Provincial Availability: ON, BC, AB, NS, NB, NL, QC, PE
- About: Belairdirect is a great company to look at for automobile insurance. After operating for more than half a century, the company has managed to secure over one million insured clients. One of their stand-out competitive benefits is their online insurance tool platform, which gives their policyholders the ability to control and oversee their current insurance details. Since the company offers a variety of insurance types, their clients can take advantage of a bundle discount.
- 794/1000 Ontario customer satisfaction score
- Provincial Availability: ON, AB, NS, NB, NL, QC, PE, YT, NT, NU
- About: RBC Insurance, operating as the insurance sector for the Royal Bank of Canada, is federally regarded as a very successful banking institution. With so many clients in a variety of different divisions, RBC is generally a very trustworthy institution to go to for insurance. In addition to having an outstanding reputation, they offer very competitive discounts on insurance that depends on a variety of factors.
- 809/1000 Ontario customer satisfaction score
- Provincial Availability: ON, AB, NS, NB, NL, QC, PE, YT, NT, NU
- About: The co-operators insurance company specializes in delivering the best insurance-related customer satisfaction across Canada. As of 2019, they scored highest on the customer satisfaction score out of all car insurance companies in Ontario. In other words, they’re definitely worth checking out to see if their insurance plans align with your requirements.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR INSURANCE
What is Auto/Car Insurance?
Car insurance, also known as automotive liability insurance, is a type of insurance product that serves to financially protect a driver/policyholder in the unlikely event of a road accident. Canadian car insurance policies work by covering both personal damages and the liabilities charged from a third part victim. Generally speaking, this form of insurance is designed for physical injury or property damage resulting from vehicle-related mishap. All car insurance plans come with a pre-determined amount of coverage based on your personal driving history and related documents. To clarify, you’re only shielded from liability up to a certain threshold – if you own automobile insurance but get in a very expensive automobile accident, you’ll be obligated to pay the difference from your own wallet.
Why Do I Need Car Insurance in Canada?
Although the necessary minimum coverage (and therefore price) of car insurance varies from province to province, it is required by law to have personal driving insurance in Canada. For instance, the province of Ontario requires active drivers to have a minimum of $200,000 in total car liabilities coverage from a private/third party issuer. Since driving without automobile insurance is considered a severe criminal offence, you could expect to see a $5,000 penalty for first time convictions. Besides simply offering legal protection, car insurance can also give you peace of mind while driving on the road. In most cases, you’re no longer the sole financially responsible party in the event of a car accident. And since every other legal driver on the road has their vehicle insured, you can safely make the assumption that most damages to your car will be paid for.
Who Gets Covered By Car Insurance?
In Canada, your car insurance policy is obligated to provide coverage for the driver of a vehicle, all passengers inside, and any other parties that were directly affected. However, specific provinces may force individual policyholders that were involved in the accident to make an insurance claim before the driver does (this applies equally to passengers and affected parties). Car insurance policies are also able to feature altered coverage premiums for different driver types. When signing insurance documents with a provider you can choose to designate a principal driver (main user), additional drivers (routine spousal use), and occasional drivers (other family members that use the car infrequently). It’s important to note that, as the primary policyholder, your insurance premiums may rise even from another listed driver’s actions.
What Are The Types of Car Insurance Coverage in Canada?
Car insurance coverage is defined as the total sum of funds that an insurance company is willing to put forward in the event of a car accident-related claim. On a federal level, all automobile insurance companies in Canada are required to cover a minimum dollar amount, also known as mandatory coverage.
The key player in automotive policies is liability insurance. This is a general protection against losses, typically against casualties resulting from a car crash. In addition, it will pay for any damages incurred on another driver’s vehicle. Much like any other insurance plan, damage expenses that remain after maximum coverage protection must be paid for out of pocket. Note, general liability insurance does not shield you from personal vehicle malfunction. If your car needs any sort of repairs, they will be your financial responsibility.
Collision insurance is typically included under the mandatory coverage clause, but not in all cases. At the end of the day, it’s still in your best interest to check with your policy provider to make sure it is available. To ease the financial burden of a car crash, collision insurance provides you with the money for replacement/repairs if you drive into another vehicle or damaging object.
The third main type of car insurance is called comprehensive insurance, and it essentially secures your property (the car) for non-collision based losses. Comprehensive insurance claims are usually taken out for theft and vandalism-related (usually surface level) car repairs. Since this form of insurance is more extensive, it may not always be offered in mandatory coverage – again, it is best to check with your policy provider.
What Is Optional Car Insurance Coverage?
Optional insurance is considered by some a driving luxury and not a necessity. In order to acquire some aspects of it, your insurance company would determine your eligibility based on your driving history. There is an added insurance premium for optional coverage, but in return you are extra protected under specific circumstances. A few common optional insurance plans include: having rental cars paid off (plus rental car damages), roadside assistance fee coverage, and depreciation shielding so you’re able to recover the initial cost of your car, even if its value drops in price over time.
How Are Car Insurance Premiums Calculated?
A car insurance premium is the amount charged to the policyholder for the rights to be covered in the event of an accident. There are numerous factors when determining the amount of insurance premium you pay, but the exact rate will vary from company to company. These factors can include your age, gender, driving record, average driving location, type of car, amount of car dependence, history of insurance claims, and the pre-agreed upon size of your deductible. Of course, the insurance premium will also be affected by the type and extensiveness of coverage you wish to purchase. Because of an individual company’s tendency to re-weight these factors, it’s a good idea to compare and contrast different car insurance policies to find the one that best suits your needs.
What Happens In A Car Insurance Claim Settlement?
Whenever you take out a claim on your insurance provider, they will review and assess the overall situation to determine the appropriate amount of financial coverage. Remember to treat your insurance deductable as a charge for a claim, because you’ll need to be able to afford it in order to achieve a settlement deal. One settlement option for the claim is a repair/replace deal which is when your insurance provider pays for the car to either be rebuilt to its stock model or switched out for a new one. If you’re aiming for a repair/replace deal, you’ll most likely have to abide by the insurance company’s specific mechanical recommendations – after all, they’re the ones paying for it. Another settlement option is a betterment deal, which consists of the insurance only paying for pre-accidental repairs. To clarify, your vehicle will only be restored to the level of functionality it operated on before the crash. If you needed any other maintenance repairs/cosmetic adjustments at that time, a betterment deal cannot be used to cover them. In the case of an extreme accident, your car insurance company might deem the situation as a write-off. Sometimes, the cost necessary to repair a vehicle is higher than its overall market value. If this ever happens, your policy will grant you a cash-based settlement based on your car’s value pre-accident.
OUR THOUGHTS ON CANADIAN CAR INSURANCE
If you’re thinking about driving on Canadian roads you should know that car insurance is not optional – it’s mandatory. And if you already own car insurance in the provinces of Ontario or British Columbia, you’re probably wondering if you can bring your annual car insurance bill any lower. Car insurance shouldn’t be treated as a “quick purchase” to add onto your vehicle so you can start driving – it requires proper research beforehand to get the most value from your dollar. With this quick guide, we want to share with you our Top 5 picks for auto insurance based on an Ontario consumer poll. We want you to be safe on the road, both in health and in finances.
Car Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What happens if my friend gets in a car accident with my car
If you let someone else drive a vehicle that’s insured under your name and they get in an accident, liability assessments performed by insurance companies dictate that you’re also held responsible. To clarify, it would still appear on your personal insurance record depending on the insurance policies involved. As a result, you’re more than likely to face higher premiums from your insurance provider even if you – as the policyholder – were not even inside the car at the time.
What does car insurance not cover?
As a blanket statement, car insurance providers won’t cover the loss of material property unless it directly relates to the vehicle itself. This can include items such as jewellery, electronics, or any other valuables stolen from inside the car. Keep in mind that the “theft” coverage protection offered under comprehensive insurance policies only applies to the physical automobile – and not the contents within.
How do I lower my car insurance premium?
Unfortunately driving accidents are a very real possibility, and they may eventually occur. This leads to the premium you pay on car insurance inevitably increasing. If you’ve compromised your driving record at all, the best way to effectively lower your premium is to re-assess your driving protection needs when dealing with your policy provider. For instance, even if you have a poor driving history, opting to raise your claim deductible amount will automatically lower your insurance premium. Another technique you could take advantage of is to bundle your car insurance with other forms of insurance (such as home/life) in order to receive a “wholesale” premium discount with the same provider. While this next technique is not recommended for everyone, choosing to opt out of certain coverage benefits (such as comprehensive insurance) might lower your premium to make it more affordable.
How does a claim settlement work on a loaned car?
In the event of an accident in a loaned car, your insurance provider will usually set your car lender up for reimbursement as the beneficiary. This is called a loss payee clause, and it works to protect the car lender’s assets. If your claim is a success, the insurance money will either go into your account to pay for repairs, or it will go into your car lender’s account – who will then refund you upon receiving payment receipts from the mechanic.
Can a bad driver be refused insurance in Canada?
If a third party insurance company labels you as a high-risk client, defined as someone who is more likely to request a car insurance claim, they are certainly able to restrict you from specific offers. Typically, a high-risk driver is someone who either has multiple accidents on their record, or frequent missed insurance payments. But, since Canada mandates insurance requirements for all drivers, the Canadian Facility Association can provide “last resort” insurance to any active drivers that were unable to secure a deal with a private company.
What are underwriting rules for car insurance?
Underwriting rules are a set of standards that affect your eligibility to be approved for car insurance at a specific company. While some underwriting rules may vary between different providers, there a few universal inclusions that can be found at any institution. Specifically, these usually involve: how many accidents you have on your driving history, how many car insurance payments you’ve missed, and the degree of accuracy to which you’ve filled out previous insurance documents. Generally, insurance companies are given the freedom to determine their own set of underwriting rules, as long as they don’t fall under discriminatory practices set by the Insurance Act. For example these can include denial of service due to: mental/physical disabilities, credit score, and Canadian migrant status.
How do insurance companies measure who is at fault in an accident?
When two or more vehicles are involved in an accident, there is always one party that is deemed at fault (to some degree) for the collision. This information is crucial for insurance companies because they use it to adjust an individual’s premium, and to determine the amount of coverage necessary in a situation. As such, all reported accidents fall under provincial Fault Determination These regulations can be used in a variety of collision-based accidents to assess the amount of fault allocated to each party. Fault determination rules include diagrams and write-ups of standard collision scenarios for the purpose of consistent fault judgement. If you hit another vehicle on the road, your insurance company will look for the most similar resemblance within the fault determination rules to use it as a basis. Note that the level of accidental fault in these rules doesn’t budge according to weather patterns, road visibility, or independent pedestrian behaviour.
How much does car insurance cost in Canada?
The average price of car insurance varies greatly throughout the country, with the highest insurance premiums typically being paid in Ontario. In some areas of the Greater Toronto Area, car insurance premiums can average over $2400 per year, while in Eastern Ontario you can find premiums closer to $1000. If you choose to reside in the province of Quebec, you’ll stand to benefit from the lowest insurance premiums in the country - at only about $700 per year.
Do kilometres affect car insurance premiums?
In short, yes. When you sign onto a car insurance plan you must accurately declare how many kilometres you plan on traveling within the given term, per vehicle. Misrepresentation or “low-balling” your annual kilometres will certainly lead to an increased insurance premium, and may reserve the right for your insurance company to deny insurance claims in the future.
What are some road safety tips for car insurance?
Practicing safe driving is the best way to ensure relatively low insurance premiums and to minimize the risk of accidents. Safe driving practices include: performing regular maintenance/inspections on the car, replacing worn out parts/oil, making sure to drive without distractions, and maintaining a reasonable distance between other cars whenever possible. All of these tips can favourably affect the conditions of your insurance plan.
What should I do in a car accident?
While roadside accidents are never a positive outcome of driving, statistically speaking they can occur from time to time, and ranging in severity. When it happens, there are a few steps you can follow to begin controlling the situation. First off, remain calm and check for physical injury – if you appear fine, pull the car over to the side of the road. Once you clear the flow of traffic, start inspecting the vehicle and estimating damages, and call 911 with your interpretation of the situation (but do not begin to mention faults). Before you leave the scene in any way, make sure to exchange insurance and personal contact information with any other parties involved in the collision, and contact your insurance company with all situational details.