As of January 1st 2016, the Ontario government passed a law mandating that insurance companies give drivers a discount on their insurance if they buy and install winter tires on their cars for the winter months. The discount is usually around 5% of your collision coverage, or $72 per vehicle per year, but you will not necessarily get this discount immediately. Some companies make you wait until your policy renews, so make sure you call your insurer to find out how they handle it.
Insurance rates are always changing. Take car insurance, for example. In many provinces, rates change every three months. Car insurance companies typically apply to their respective regulating board to have their rates either increased or decreased. This means that even if you were getting the best rate two years ago, you might not be getting the best rate today. It's just the nature of the car insurance industry, which is why these same regulating boards recommend drivers shop around and compare rates from at least three different car insurance companies before purchasing a policy.
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.
Like in the rest of the province of Ontario, the minimum amount of third-party liability coverage required by law in Toronto is $200,000. It is often recommended that this number be significantly higher in order to properly help cover your family — especially in a dense urban centre like Toronto, which is surrounded by 400 series highways — traffic accidents are more common than rural areas.
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!
Sometimes an insurance company will not automatically adjust your rates to match your up to date driving record, and will only do so when your policy needs to be renewed. This is why when you shop around other companies you can usually find a better rate – they are using your most up to date information. You can also occasionally try calling your company and bring up the following:
Limited waiver of depreciation: This coverage protects against the loss of value or depreciation of a new car if, as a result of an accident, your car is beyond repair and must be replaced. This coverage is only available during the first two years of a vehicle lease or ownership. You could receive an amount up to the price you paid for the vehicle or the manufacturer’s suggested price. You can only add this endorsement if you have insured your vehicle with Collision and Comprehensive coverage, Collision and Specified Perils coverage or All Perils coverage.
Among the things insurance companies don’t take into account are: employment history, bankruptcy, your housing situation and history, or your net worth. In Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, insurers also cannot take your credit score into account when assessing your premiums – but in Nova Scotia they can; in Alberta, they need your permission. Car colour also doesn’t affect rates – it is a widely-believed myth that owners of red cars pay more – they don’t.
Depend on The Co-operators for car insurance quotes in Ontario to protect you and everything you cherish. Take a close look at what your specific needs are and then talk to us about the product or service your particular situation demands. It's good to know that you can depend on The Co-operators for personalized coverage and prices that are always fair.
As for best place to shop for insurance, I always try Kanetix before I buy any car (new or used), and every year before my insurance is up for renewal. For the past 4 years TD has been the cheapest for me, but that doesn't mean it'll be cheaper for everyone. It depends on how many cars/drivers you insure, if you insure property, and of course it depends on your record, experience, etc.
While Toronto politicians have made efforts to encourage the use of transit and bike lanes, the truth is that more and more residents are choosing to drive. If you are one of them, it is crucial that you have a quality car insurance policy that will cover you when the unexpected occurs. By following these guidelines, you can get the best coverage for your money.
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
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.