Similarly, many Ontario auto insurance companies have discounts available to customers who install additional safety features, upgrades or alarms in their vehicle. To save money, high risk drivers should also consider trading in their cars for a different model equipped with better safety equipment or one that rates low in car theft frequency or fares better in collisions. Information is available from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which issues a Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) that’s used by several Ontario auto insurance companies in setting premiums.
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.
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.
In Alberta, Ontario, the Atlantic provinces, and the territories, there are only private insurers. In British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, basic auto insurance is available from the government and additional coverage is available from private insurers. Quebec, on the other hand, has is it's own unique regulations - public insurance covers injury or death while private insurance covers property damage.
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.