Ontario paved the way for ride-share insurance in Canada by becoming one of the first provinces to introduce insurance products specifically for Uber drivers, and now for Lyft and other ride-sharing platforms. Several insurance companies now offer this type of coverage as ride-sharing increases in popularity, especially in dense urban areas such as Toronto.
Overall, men are considered riskier drivers. According to Statistics Canada, men are involved in more than twice as many deadly collisions than women. Drivers under the age of 25, particularly single males, have statistically higher collision rates, and therefore pay higher rates. Insurance is all about assessing risk based on data, so companies consider a number of general factors, including time spent driving, type of vehicle, number of accidents, and general driving behaviours. In some cases, being married – especially if your partner has a good driving record – can reduce your rates.
However, there are some other federal and provincial laws that allow for exceptions. The biggest exception is Bill S-4, or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. One of the implications for insurance companies is that it they can share personal information without consent if it reasonably allows them to discover and prevent fraud.
Parts of your auto insurance policy may have deductibles. A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim you agree to pay. Your car insurance provider covers the remaining cost. Your deductibles play a part in how your rates are calculated. Depending on how much financial responsibility you take on in the event of a claim, your auto insurance rates will reflect your commitment. Take on more responsibility (i.e. increase your deductibles) and your rates will lower, take on less responsibility (i.e. decrease your deductibles) and your auto insurance premiums will increase.
Usage-based insurance (UBI) is another new technology that is also becoming more popular where you pay your insurance based on when and how you drive. You install the necessary tracking device on your car and it, along with a GPS, monitors your driving behaviour. The data is examined when your policy is up for renewal, and usually looks at the following:
Third-party liability: In all provinces and territories in Canada, Third-Party Liability is mandatory. This coverage will pay for the outcome of a lawsuit if you are sued because a collision you caused resulted in the injury or death of another, or resulted in damage to their property. Generally, the minimum required amount of coverage you need to have is $200,000, although typically most drivers have at least $1 million.
If you’re driving an older model car in Toronto and not considering purchasing a newer vehicle for a while, investigate the cost of upgrading to anti-lock brakes, air bags, automatic seat belts, installing anti-theft devices or putting in a burglar alarm. Car insurance companies in Toronto often provide discounts for such products or enhancements. If the cost of doing so is favourable versus the long-term savings in your car insurance rate, it’s worth the investment. For older vehicles, it’s also worth considering dropping your Collision coverage to reduce your premiums.
ERS insurance provides you with roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown or mishap while you're out driving. It also covers the cost of getting your car back on the road. Those costs may include light mechanical labour, an oil or gas delivery, new batteries, a boost, tire changes, locksmith services, or even a tow. With help on the way, ERS takes the stress out of a breakdown.
No consideration of your driving experience: Some insurers will accept the fact that you can buy car insurance (with a newly received Canadian driving licence) but will treat you like somebody who has just got a driving licence and has no driving experience. If you are a young driver in Ontario, your rates can reach $250-$350 per month – not a very attractive scenario!
*60% of Kanetix customers in Ontario who participated in the survey said Kanetix helped them identify an average savings amount of $776.58 (December 1, 2015 - February 29, 2016) on their car insurance. The cited amount represents the average difference between the best quote obtained at www.kanetix.ca and the current premium amount of participants in the survey. The savings amount varies by individual and does not constitute a guarantee; in each individual case, the difference may be smaller or greater than the savings amount cited.
If either of you are university graduates, you'll likely get a discount through TD. When you talk to them, ask them for their discounts or tell them of any school you go to, association you belong to or employer you work for. One might have a discount with them. The next time you look for car insurance, try Kanetix's search engine. They generate top insurance quotes. I do it once a year then go the top five places and use their specific search for quotes. Takes like an hour each year, but it's saved me hundreds.
Insurance is funny, in a weird sort of way, because rates can vary wildly between insurance companies. Also, premiums often change so the insurance provider who offered you the best rate two years ago, or even last year, may not be the insurer who offers you the best car insurance rate today. That’s why it’s so important to shop around, because the quote you get from one company can be significantly higher (or lower) than the quote you get from another.