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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.
Each quarter, insurers can apply to have their rates increased or decreased. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which oversees insurance regulation in the province, approves or denies these requests. Most of the time, insurers request rate increases due to changes in a particular coverage. For example, an insurer experiencing an increased prevalence in payouts resulting from car accidents might apply to have rates increased to help offset the costs of increased claims.
Not all collisions affect your insurance rates, but crashes where you’re deemed at fault will drive up your premiums. Insurers care about your three-year driving record, because that’s how long convictions stay on your driving record. A single speeding ticket may not have a huge impact on your premiums, but repeated infractions could cost you – and serious driving crimes that result in court convictions can really hit hard.
To begin with, you (and all drivers you wish to include in the policy) must have a valid driver's license and be a resident of Canada. Next, insurance companies will look at your prior driving record to determine eligibility and rates. However, rates will vary depending on whether you are looking for a new insurance policy altogether or if you wish to renew an existing one. Other eligibility restrictions may arise from past convictions. This too, will vary depending on when your last conviction occurred and the nature of the conviction.