Posted on May 15, 2017
All You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Who actually likes paying for car insurance? If you want to operate a vehicle legally in Ontario, there’s really no getting around it. We’ve prepared a short but informative primer on how to bring those rates down as much as possible.
1. Squeaky clean driving record
It can seem tricky to achieve in busy Mississauga, but it’s important to make sure your driving history is accident-free. Convictions stick around on your driving record for years. It’s the most influential factor that insurance companies check up on when they calculate your rate, so try to remember that if you feel tempted to take risks in traffic. Speeding is another gamble you don’t want to indulge—lost points on your license can hit your wallet hard where insurance rates are concerned.
2. Do your research
Did you know that there’s no hard and fast rate for car insurance? Risk is assessed by insurance companies on an independent basis, so rates can vary, sometimes noticeably. It really does pay to do your research and shop around, online and off.
The following risk factors come into play as an insurance provider looks at your application: where you live, the type of car you drive, how long you’ve been a licensed driver and yes, as we mentioned before, your driving record. Every insurance company has different claims and loss experiences built up though, so their rates can be quite different for the type of car and driver for the exact same level of coverage.
It would seem logical that insurance brokers would have access to the entire insurance market. But in actual fact, brokers are limited to providing quotes from a limited roster of insurance companies, usually about four or five max. An insurance agent employed by one company can’t shop the wider market either; they can only offer the rate available from the insurance company he or she works for.
The insurance business is massive. Ontario alone has more than 30 car insurance providers. To get the best rate, collect competitive quotes from a wide sampling of providers. There are a good number of online sources for this information. And it never hurts to go old-school and poll friends, family and co-workers about their own providers. Just remember that your own risk profile will impact the quoted rate at day’s end.
4. Ramp up your deductible
The deductible is the amount paid, by you, before your insurance company agrees to cover any expenses related to a given claim. In most cases, higher deductibles equal lower premiums. Increasing your deductible is one way to lower your rate. But if something happens to your car and you do need to make a claim, prepare for those higher out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to take the stability of your financial situation into account when considering this move.
5. Examine your coverage
Sentimental attachments aside, how much is your vehicle worth? Consult your broker or agent about the type of coverage you actually require. If you’re driving an older car, for example, you just might want to think about dropping both collision and comprehensive coverage, which typically boost a significant portion of your premium.
6. What are you driving?
Lamborghini? Dodge Caravan? Antique Model T Ford? The type of car you drive has definite sway over your insurance rate. It stands to reason that new cars usually cost more to insure than older ones. Luxury sports cars definitely dent your insurance budget more than family sedans. Your insurance company will also look at stats on theft appeal, safety rankings, and the claims history for each category when setting your rates.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada helpfully tracks theft and claims frequency for various cars and can help you to better understand how your choice of vehicle will affect the amount you pay for car insurance.
7. There might be discounts
We don’t want to seem cheap, but always, always inquire about discounts. At worst, the insurance company will tell you they don’t offer any such thing. But bringing all of your insurance needs (house, car, life) to the same provider might end up being rewarded. Others offer discounts to drivers who maintain a pristine driving record or those who install an anti-theft device.
8. Accident forgiveness
It’s exactly what it sounds like: coverage that protects your driving record and insurance rate against increases in the event of an “at-fault” accident. If you find a company with a great rate for this option, it can save you a few hundred bucks.
Accident forgiveness helps keep your driving record sparkly clean; some companies may even provide it free of charge with your insurance package.
9. Loyalty can cost you
Sticking it out with the same insurance company you’ve always used can lead to a loyalty discount, and of course, there are certain benefits to not jumping from insurance company to insurance company. But watch out for a false sense of security—another company might just be ready, willing and able to offer you an even better rate. In certain instances, the money saved by switching providers can outweigh a small-by-comparison loyalty discount. Again: shop around, because who doesn’t like to save money?
10. Driver education
New driver? You’ll really want to enroll in an accredited driver training course. Not only will you become a more highly skilled driver, but driver education with a reputable driving school usually captures sizeable discounts with many insurance companies.
Although we can’t erase the reality of auto insurance, you can probably see from the primer above that getting a better car insurance rate is actually an option, even here in Mississauga. We’d love to hear about how your hunt for an insurance deal went. Come see us at Team Chrysler.