Insurance policies have different levels and amounts in terms of coverage. While minimums in Ontario, like $200,000 in third-party liability, are legally required, higher coverage can help cover supplementary costs in the event of an accident resulting in injuries or a lawsuit. Compulsory car insurance also covers fixing your car in the event of a not-at-fault accident – regardless of who’s behind the wheel.
Other discounts can include vehicle amenities, such as using snow tires for winter driving or adding approved anti-theft devices. Usage-based insurance programs are on offer from some insurers. These track how your vehicle operates. Factors such as acceleration and braking report through a smart phone or diagnostic device. Participating insurance companies offer a discount when you sign up for the program and good driving habits potentially generate further savings.
Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): Available only in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, P.E.I. and Quebec, this covers the cost of loss or damage to your car in an accident for which you were not entirely responsible. To qualify, the other driver has to be identified, insured and found to be at least partially at fault. In some provinces, you can no longer sue another person for damage to your car.
Preferred Vendor Program: Preferred Vendors offer the highest-quality workmanship. When you choose a Preferred Vendor for your repairs, the quality of workmanship is monitored and the bill is settled directly with the repair shop, giving you a hassle-free claims experience. Plus, collision repairs made by a Preferred Vendor are guaranteed for life.1
To follow that excellent advice, we’ll continue with another common tip: increase your deductible. It’s not uncommon for those who increase their deductible from $350 to $500 to save 10 to 20 percent on their annual car insurance cost, and possibly a lot more if you bump up the deductible to $1,000. As you discuss this with your car insurance broker or representative in Toronto, why not ask about how combining policies, or bundling insurance packages, can save you money. It’s quite reasonable to expect a 15 percent discount by having one company providing both your home and car insurance requirements. Also, if you have the means, paying your annual premium in one lump sum is another method to lower insurance costs.
Become an occasional driver under your parents’ policy – Consider being an occasional driver before getting your own car and becoming a primary driver. Occasional drivers pay significantly less for auto insurance. You can build up driving experience while being an occasional driver and end up paying less for auto insurance once you become a primary driver down the road.
Some employers will offer their employees savings or discounts to employees on their car insurance if you go through them, similar to professional associations and their members. The same tips apply for this as with associations: ask the organization how the insurance benefits work, and make sure to still shop around in case you can find a better deal elsewhere.
In Ontario, the minimum amount of third-party liability coverage, which covers you in a situation where you damage someone else’s property with your car, is $200,000. Although this amount may seem high, it is recommended to take out a plan that offers more protection to help cover you and your family in the event of a more serious accident where people may get injured. If you are in a province which requires a higher minimum, an Ontario car insurance policy must cover the new amount.
If your driving licence originates from a country that has an agreement with Canada and can be converted into a Canadian licence, there is also the question of how long you can drive with your out-of-country driving licence before you have to convert it, and these times vary by province. Here are examples from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia:
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.
As the most populated city in Canada, and the 4th most populated city in North America, Toronto is home to a lot of drivers — and a lot of vehicles. All those cars on the road can make driving in Toronto seem a bit daunting. After all, this is the land of bumper-to-bumper commutes, 16-lane highways, and people who want to get where they're going in a hurry.