Are Car Insurance Rates Negotiable?

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Haggling is a time-honoured tradition between buyers and sellers in some markets. There are even cultures where a buyer would insult the seller by paying full price. However, in today’s society, there’s a time or place for bargaining and other times when prices are set. While shopping around for car insurance is not only possible, but a very good idea, you can’t negotiate a price in the traditional sense. You can trade off and balance features, though, to arrive at a price that meets your budget.

Regulation of Car Insurance in Canada

While each province has its own insurance regulation system, the way each system works is similar, even though there are four provinces with public car insurance agencies. Every province has a minimum standard of coverage that every vehicle on the road must have to legally operate. A private insurance company can calculate its own prices, but in most cases these must be approved by a provincial car insurance regulatory body. For example, in Ontario it’s the Financial Services Commission while in Alberta it’s the Treasury Board and Finance. In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec, the government both regulates and sells mandatory car insurance. Depending on the province, either the government or private insurers may sell additional and optional coverage.

Where car insurance prices are regulated, the government regulating body takes proposed pricing from the insurer, examines it and approves it, and then the insurance company can legally sell it. That locks in what a company can charge. You could ask for a 10 percent discount on a certain car insurance component, but the insurance company cannot legally charge something other that what was approved.

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Note that the approval process is unique to each insurer. Each company can propose their own price for the various parts that comprise a car insurance policy. So the price Company A has approved may be different than what Company B charges for the same thing. Company A can’t price match Company B, but the motorist is free to move between companies.

Another way that car insurance is flexible on price is in the choices a driver has about elements of insurance coverage. With provincial mandatory car insurance as a baseline, additional coverage and options can add substantially to the complete car insurance bill.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are usually optional, though most drivers carry some protection so they do not bear the load of repairs after an accident on their own. While the coverage drives the cost of premiums up, a motorist can opt for a higher deductible amount, which will lower the premium. That driver decides that adopting more of the cost before the insurance company pays out is a worthy trade-off to pay less on insurance each month.

Similarly, the owner of an older car may decide that, should something happen, the car would be scrapped rather than repaired. In that case, comprehensive and collision coverage could be removed.

While you can’t make car insurance rates negotiable, your car insurance policy is a combination of many components that you can alter and balance to find the features and price you want.

The car insurance calculator on this page is your first stop to achieving the price you want. Enter your information to search through over 30 car insurance providers to find the best prices for your needs.

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