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.
To make sure you get all the available discounts, we apply savings automatically during your car insurance quote. Keep in mind, a lot goes into determining your price, including the vehicle you drive, where you live, how much you drive, and your driving record — as well as coverages, deductibles, and limits. In some provinces your age, gender, and marital status may be factors. Your agent can help you decide how best to balance coverage and price and confirm you're getting all the discounts you're eligible for.
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.
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.
NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:
A couple of at-fault collisions, a few traffic violations or an impaired driving conviction is all it takes to get a high risk driver designation from an auto insurance company in Ontario. That sets you up for high auto insurance premiums for several years or perhaps worse, an outright cancellation or non-renewal of your existing Ontario auto insurance policy.
If you’ve chosen to include Collision coverage, Comprehensive coverage, or both on your auto insurance policy, the broker or agent you speak with when discussing your insurance needs will ask you about deductibles. Specifically, you’ll be asked how much you’d like your deductibles to be. Give this question some thought before answering because you’ll want to pick a deductible that fits your budget and will not cause financial stress should you need to submit a claim. While it’s true, your car insurance premiums will be lower with a higher deductible, your deductible needs to align with your personal finances. In general, the most common choices for deductibles are $1,000 or $500; however, there may be other deductible options available to you that may better fit your needs.
Insurers determine your rates based on the year, make, model, engine size, and age of a vehicle. More expensive cars, less safe cars, and commonly stolen cars can cost more, as insurance is based partly on how likely your car is to get stolen, how much it would cost to replace it, and the cost to repair it after a crash. Vehicles with the highest safety ratings have lower insurance rates.
It might take a bit of time and work, but in the end you can save yourself a lot of money. Remember that there are so many factors that affect how much you pay, and so much that constantly changes, that you can do this again every so often and again find a better deal if you’re willing to put in the work. Changing companies does not negatively affect your rates.

Keep in mind that the minimum car insurance coverage required is determined by the Government of Ontario and may vary in comparison to Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. In addition, premiums can vary depending on the area in which you reside, typically being higher in major urban centres, such as Toronto.
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