With a highly regulated auto insurance system, Ontario drivers pay the highest rates, on average, in Canada. On top of that, the government has minimum mandatory levels of auto insurance coverage. The industry remains served by private insurers working in a competitive market that’s overseen by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Due to both complexity and competition, there’s no simple chart or list that you can consult to look up how much your car insurance will cost. Every insurance company has their own way to balance the factors contributing to insurance risk to arrive at your premium. These factors include such varied information as the year and make of your car, how far you drive to work and the postal code of your house.
Calling Your Agent or Broker
The traditional method to check insurance prices was to contact an insurance company agent, who represents just that company, or a broker, who will handle several companies. Car insurance falls under the property and casualty insurance type, so this may be the same person with whom you insure your house, but who probably doesn’t handle your life insurance.
As with all methods, getting a quote from an agent or broker requires that you provide information about yourself, your car and your car insurance needs. This information includes:
- Your personal information; age, home, etc.
- Your driving record; years of experience, accident and traffic violation history
- Current insurer, if that applies
- Insurance history; in particular, any cancellations or gaps in coverage
- Vehicle make, model and year
- Other drivers to include on the policy, and all of their personal information.
The FSCO has a comprehensive list of information you’ll need on their website.
Direct Insurance Writers
Sourcing insurance online is a growing trend, though comparatively few insurers in Canada use this method. The information you need to request a quote will be the same as that you give an agent or broker. Each direct insurance provider will have their own policies, procedures, and timelines, so consult directly with the insurance companies you choose for further information.
Car Insurance Calculators
Contacting insurance companies individually is time-consuming, and you can sample comparatively few providers in an afternoon of insurance shopping. Brokers expand your search somewhat. However, even if you choose five brokers, for example, the companies they represent may overlap, meaning you’re getting the same quotes from ultimately the same insurance companies.
Ratelab’s car insurance calculator sorts through the confusion of shopping through dozens of insurance providers. Entering your information just once searches through these companies, identifying the best fit and cheapest rates for your car insurance requirements.
Unlike direct providers, Ratelab quotes come from a variety of insurance companies, not a small pool of products issued by one company. The competitive nature of auto insurance in Ontario means that the same coverage could cost hundreds of dollars less through other companies.
Ratelab takes your search for low premiums to a much wider range than a broker can cover. Brokers have agreements with insurers, so a large pool of insurance companies simply doesn’t make sense for most brokerage firms. However, brokers are an extremely good source of insurance information, and they can contribute to cost savings for you with their industry knowledge.
When you get a quote from Ratelab, you’re directed to the companies with the best rates for your needs. You’re not obligated to buy insurance through the calculator, so you can use the knowledge of the best rate providers to seek out a broker who represents these companies. You get the best of both worlds; wide ranging comparison shopping and knowledgeable industry representation. The more you know, the easier it is to find affordable auto insurance.