Reducing your auto insurance premium in Ontario, especially for very low mileage, is achievable if you implement certain strategies and understand the factors that influence rates. Here are some tips:
- Annual Mileage: Insurance providers typically classify drivers into categories based on how many kilometers they drive annually. A driver who covers fewer kilometers in a year poses a lower risk, as they are less likely to be involved in an accident. Make sure you accurately report your expected annual mileage.
- Usage-Based Insurance (UBI): Many companies offer UBI policies, where a device or an app monitors your driving habits. If you drive safely and keep your mileage low, you could benefit from significant discounts.
- Bundling: If you have other insurance needs, such as home or renters insurance, consider purchasing them from the same provider. Bundling can provide you with noticeable discounts.
- Discounts: Always ask about available discounts. Some insurers may offer low mileage discounts, loyalty discounts, discounts for being a member of certain organizations or having certain professions, and more.
- Increase Deductibles: If you can afford it, consider raising your collision and comprehensive deductibles. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. However, ensure you can comfortably pay the deductible in case of a claim.
- Maintain a Clean Driving Record: A clean driving record without at-fault accidents or traffic infractions can significantly reduce your premiums.
- Vehicle Choice: The type of vehicle you drive impacts your insurance rates. Typically, vehicles that are less expensive to repair, have good safety ratings, and are not frequent targets for theft will have cheaper insurance premiums.
- Shop Around: Different insurance companies have different methods of assessing risk and determining rates. By getting quotes from multiple providers, you can ensure you’re getting the best deal for your circumstances.
- Take a Driving Course: Some insurers offer discounts for drivers who have completed an approved defensive driving course.
- Pay Upfront: If you can afford it, pay for your insurance annually rather than monthly. Some companies offer discounts for upfront payments.
- Consider Telematics: Telematics policies base your insurance costs on how and when you drive, monitored via a small device fitted in your car or a smartphone app. Good driving behaviors could earn you a discount.
- Review Your Coverage: If you’re driving less and have an older car, you might want to consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage, which can lower your premium.
How is mileage considered in car insurance?
Mileage, or the distance a vehicle is driven over a period of time, is a key factor that insurance companies use to determine the risk profile of a driver and, consequently, their insurance premium. Here’s how and why mileage is considered:
- Risk Exposure: In simple terms, the more you drive, the more you’re exposed to the risk of an accident. If you’re driving 20,000 miles a year compared to someone who drives only 5,000 miles, you have more opportunities to be involved in an incident simply because you’re on the road more often.
- Policy Categories: Insurance companies often categorize drivers based on their annual mileage. Common categories might be “low mileage” (below a certain threshold, say 7,500 miles/year), “average mileage,” and “high mileage.” Different rates may apply to each category.
- Policy Discounts: Some insurance providers offer low-mileage discounts for drivers who do not drive often. This can be especially beneficial for individuals like retirees, people who work from home, or those who primarily use public transportation.
- Usage-Based Insurance (UBI): Modern insurance products like UBI policies track actual mileage (and driving behavior) through telematics devices or smartphone apps. Premiums or discounts are then adjusted based on how much and how safely you drive.
- Verification: Some insurers may ask for proof of mileage at the beginning and end of a policy term, especially if low mileage is a significant factor in the rate you’re given. This can be done by checking the odometer readings.
- Predicting Wear and Tear: Beyond the risk of accidents, mileage can also give insurance companies an idea of how much wear and tear is occurring on the vehicle. A car with higher mileage may be more prone to mechanical failures, which could contribute to accidents.
- Location Factors: While not directly related to mileage, where you drive also matters. For instance, 10,000 miles driven primarily on quiet rural roads is different from 10,000 miles driven in a bustling urban environment in terms of risk.
Auto Insurance Rates for Very Low Mileage in Ontario
- Toronto: $1,200 – $1,600/year
- Ottawa: $1,000 – $1,400/year
- Mississauga: $1,150 – $1,550/year
- Brampton: $1,300 – $1,700/year
- Hamilton: $1,050 – $1,450/year
- London: $900 – $1,300/year
- Markham: $1,100 – $1,500/year
- Vaughan: $1,250 – $1,650/year
- Kitchener: $950 – $1,350/year
- Windsor: $850 – $1,250/year
- Richmond Hill: $1,150 – $1,550/year
- Oakville: $1,050 – $1,450/year
- Burlington: $1,000 – $1,400/year
- Greater Sudbury: $800 – $1,200/year
- Oshawa: $950 – $1,350/year
Auto Insurance Rates for Very Low Mileage in Canada
- British Columbia (BC): $1,200 – $1,600/year
- Alberta (AB): $1,100 – $1,500/year
- Saskatchewan (SK): $900 – $1,300/year
- Manitoba (MB): $950 – $1,350/year
- Ontario (ON): $1,150 – $1,550/year
- Quebec (QC): $800 – $1,200/year
- Newfoundland and Labrador (NL): $1,000 – $1,400/year
- New Brunswick (NB): $850 – $1,250/year
- Prince Edward Island (PE): $800 – $1,150/year
- Nova Scotia (NS): $850 – $1,250/year
- Yukon (YT): $900 – $1,300/year
- Northwest Territories (NT): $950 – $1,350/year
- Nunavut (NU): $1,000 – $1,400/year
Insurance companies that may offer discounts for low mileage
In Ontario, several insurance companies recognize the lower risk presented by drivers who use their cars infrequently. Many of these companies might offer discounts or special rates for low-mileage drivers. Here’s a list of some major insurance companies that may offer such discounts:
- Allstate Insurance
- Aviva Canada
- CAA Insurance (they even have a specific pay-as-you-go insurance product for low-mileage drivers called “MyPace”)
- Desjardins Insurance
- Economical Insurance
- Intact Insurance
- The Co-operators
- State Farm Canada (now under Desjardins Insurance)
- TD Insurance
- Travelers Canada
- Wawanesa Insurance
Remember, insurance products and discounts can vary based on various factors, including your specific location within Ontario, your driving record, the age and make of your vehicle, and more.
If you’re a low-mileage driver seeking a discount, the best approach is to:
- Contact multiple insurance providers: This will allow you to get multiple quotes and find out who offers the best rate for your specific circumstances.
- Ask about specific low-mileage or pay-as-you-drive programs: Some companies have specific programs designed for drivers who don’t drive much.
- Consider telematics: Some insurance companies offer discounts based on driving behavior tracked by a telematics device.
How much can I save on car insurance if I drive low mileage?
The potential savings on car insurance for low mileage can vary significantly based on the insurer, your location, and how they define “low mileage.” However, for illustrative purposes:
Generally, low-mileage discounts can range from 5% to 30%, with the most common savings being around 10% to 15%.
Here’s a breakdown:
- 5% – 10%: This is typically the lower end of the discount range. If you drive just below the average annual mileage, you might see savings in this bracket.
- 10% – 15%: Many drivers who are well below the average annual mileage (e.g., half the average) might find themselves in this range.
- 15% – 30%: This is typically the higher end, reserved for drivers with very minimal driving, perhaps only a few thousand kilometers a year. Also, some pay-as-you-drive programs or telematics-based policies might offer savings within this range for very infrequent drivers.
Again, these are general estimates, and the actual discount can vary based on the insurer and other factors. To get a precise figure, it’s always best to get a quote from the insurance company and inquire directly about low-mileage discounts.
Can I prove my low mileage to my insurance company?
Yes, you can prove your low mileage to your insurance company, and many insurers will require proof if you’re claiming a low-mileage discount. Here are some common ways to verify your mileage:
- Odometer Readings: The most straightforward method is to provide periodic odometer readings. Some insurance companies might ask for a starting reading when you begin the policy and then require annual or semi-annual updates.
- Photographs: You might be asked to take a timestamped photograph of your odometer and submit it to your insurer.
- Inspection: In some cases, they might require an in-person verification, although this is less common.
- Service Records: If you regularly service your vehicle, the service records typically include odometer readings. These records can serve as proof of how much you’ve driven over a specific period.
- Telematics: Some insurance providers offer or require telematics devices or apps that not only track mileage but also monitor driving behavior. These devices or apps will provide real-time data to the insurer, so there’s constant proof of mileage.
- GPS Systems: If your vehicle is equipped with a GPS system that logs mileage, this can also be used as evidence, though not all insurance companies may accept this.
- Pay-As-You-Drive Programs: Some insurance products specifically cater to low-mileage drivers and have built-in verification systems. For example, a pay-per-drive insurance program might come with a telematics device that you install in your car.
When trying to qualify for a low-mileage discount:
- Always provide accurate and honest information. Misrepresenting your mileage can be considered insurance fraud, leading to denied claims, policy cancellation, or even legal consequences.
- Stay informed about your insurer’s requirements and how often you need to provide updates.
- It’s a good idea to keep a log or diary of mileage checks, especially if you’re manually providing updates to your insurer. This can be helpful in case of any disputes.
Can I change my car insurance policy if I start driving more miles?
Yes, you can change your car insurance policy if you start driving more miles. It’s essential to keep your insurance provider informed about significant changes in your driving habits, including an increase in mileage. Here’s what you should consider:
- Reporting Changes: If you initially got a discount or a specific rate based on low mileage and your driving habits change (e.g., a new job that requires a longer commute), it’s crucial to inform your insurance provider. Not doing so might be seen as misrepresentation, which can lead to problems if you need to file a claim.
- Rate Adjustments: When you report the increased mileage, be prepared for a possible adjustment in your premium. The rate might increase because driving more miles generally increases the risk of an accident or claim.
- Policy Flexibility: Some insurance providers offer flexible policies or pay-as-you-drive plans where your rates can adjust based on your actual mileage. If you’re unsure about your future driving habits, you might want to consider such a policy.
- Reviewing Coverage: If you’re driving more, it might also be a good time to review your coverages. For instance, if you were previously working from home and had reduced coverage due to minimal driving but now have a lengthy commute, you might want to consider increasing your coverage or looking into additional protection options.
- Comparison Shopping: If you find that your rates have significantly increased due to the added mileage, it might be worth shopping around to see if other providers can offer better rates. Each insurance company uses its formula to calculate premiums, so you might find a better deal elsewhere.
- Periodic Review: It’s a good practice to periodically review your auto insurance policy, not just when your mileage changes. This ensures that you always have the appropriate coverage and are getting the best possible rate.
Will my insurance rates go up if I drive more miles?
Generally, yes, driving more miles can lead to higher insurance rates. Here’s why and how mileage impacts insurance premiums:
- Risk Exposure: The fundamental principle is straightforward – the more you drive, the more you’re exposed to the risk of an accident. More time on the road means more opportunities to be involved in a collision or incident.
- Statistical Data: Insurance companies rely heavily on statistical data to set their rates. Historically, drivers who cover more miles have a higher likelihood of filing a claim than those who drive less. So, higher mileage often translates to higher premiums.
- Base Rates and Discounts: Insurance companies might have base rates set for average mileage (e.g., 12,000 miles/year). If you drive less than this, you might qualify for a discount. Conversely, if you drive significantly more, your rate could be higher.
- Location Factors: While mileage is a factor, where you drive also matters. For instance, driving 20,000 miles/year in a busy city with congested traffic could impact your rates differently than driving the same distance in a rural area.
- Type of Driving: Not all miles are the same. Someone who drives long distances on highways might have a different risk profile than someone who drives many miles in stop-and-go city traffic. Some insurance companies take this into consideration.
- Policy Type: Some modern insurance policies, like those based on telematics or pay-as-you-drive models, adjust premiums more directly based on actual mileage and driving behavior. With these policies, increases in mileage can directly affect the cost.
Is it possible to have a car insurance policy that covers a specific number of miles?
Yes, it is possible to have a car insurance policy that covers a specific number of miles. Some insurance companies offer usage-based insurance policies that charge rates based on the number of miles you drive, rather than an estimated average. This can be a good option for drivers who drive very low mileage.
Will my insurance rates be affected if I use my car for commuting vs. personal use?
Yes, the use of your car can affect your insurance rates. Commuting is generally considered a higher risk because it involves driving more miles on a regular basis. If you use your car primarily for commuting, your insurance rates may be higher than if you use it primarily for personal use.
Can I get a discount on my car insurance for carpooling?
It depends on the insurance company. Some insurance companies offer discounts for carpooling, which is considered a lower risk because it reduces the number of miles you drive and the amount of time you spend on the road. If you carpool regularly, it may be worth asking your insurance company about any available discounts.
Is it a good idea to reduce my reported mileage to get lower insurance rates?
No, it is not a good idea to reduce your reported mileage in an attempt to get lower insurance rates. This is considered fraud and could result in consequences such as the denial of claims and the cancellation of your insurance policy. It’s always best to be honest with your insurance company about your driving habits and miles driven.
Here are some frequently asked questions about auto insurance rates for very low mileage drivers:
- What is considered very low mileage for auto insurance?
The definition of very low mileage varies between insurance companies, but it generally refers to driving less than 10,000 kilometers per year. Some insurance companies may offer discounts to drivers who drive less than 5,000 kilometers per year.
- Can I get a discount on auto insurance for very low mileage?
Yes, many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who don’t use their vehicles frequently. If you drive less than 10,000 kilometers per year, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance rates.
- How much can I save on auto insurance if I drive very low mileage?
The amount you can save on auto insurance if you drive very low mileage depends on a number of factors, including your location, age, driving record, type of vehicle, and level of coverage. However, many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 10% for very low mileage drivers.
- Do I need to prove my mileage to get a discount on auto insurance?
Yes, most insurance companies will require proof of your mileage to confirm that you qualify for a discount. You can typically provide this information by submitting odometer readings or other documentation that shows your annual mileage.
- Can I still get full coverage if I drive very low mileage?
Yes, you can still get full coverage for your vehicle even if you drive very low mileage. However, your insurance rates may be lower if you opt for a lower level of coverage, such as liability coverage or collision coverage only.
- Can I get a discount on auto insurance if I work from home and don’t drive my car often?
Yes, if you work from home and don’t use your vehicle for commuting or other regular activities, you may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance rates. Many insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who use their vehicles primarily for personal use and don’t drive them frequently.
- What types of vehicles are best for very low mileage drivers?
Generally, smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles are better for very low mileage drivers because they cost less to insure and maintain. Vehicles with a high safety rating and low repair costs are also good options for low mileage drivers.
- Are there any drawbacks to driving very low mileage?
Driving very low mileage may not be suitable for all drivers, as it can have a few drawbacks. For example, if you don’t drive your vehicle frequently, it may be more prone to problems like flat tires or dead batteries. Additionally, if you don’t drive your vehicle regularly, it may be more difficult to detect problems with the vehicle before they become more serious.
- How can I find the best auto insurance rates for very low mileage drivers?
To find the best auto insurance rates for very low mileage drivers, it’s important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. You should also consider factors like the level of coverage, deductible, and discounts that are available to you. You may also want to ask for recommendations from family and friends, or consult with an insurance broker who can help you find the best coverage at a competitive price.
- How can I reduce my auto insurance rates if I don’t drive often?
In addition to getting a discount for driving low mileage, there are other ways to reduce your auto insurance rates if you don’t drive often. For example, you can opt for a higher deductible, reduce your coverage limits, or take advantage of other discounts like bundling your auto insurance with other policies or completing a driver safety course.
- Can I get auto insurance for a car that I don’t drive often?
Yes, you can still get auto insurance for a car that you don’t drive often, as long as you meet the minimum requirements for auto insurance in your province or territory. However, you may be able to get a lower rate if you can prove that you drive very low mileage or use your vehicle primarily for personal use.
- What should I do if I only use my car occasionally but still want to be insured?
If you only use your car occasionally but still want to be insured, you should consider getting a usage-based insurance policy. These policies allow you to pay for insurance based on the amount of time you spend driving or the distance you travel, which can be a more cost-effective option if you don’t drive often.
- How can I prove my mileage to my insurance company?
To prove your mileage to your insurance company, you can submit odometer readings or other documentation that shows your annual mileage. Some insurance companies also offer mobile apps that track your driving habits and can provide proof of your mileage.
- Can I get a discount on auto insurance if I carpool or use public transportation?
Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who carpool or use public transportation, as this can reduce the number of miles you drive and lower your risk of accidents. You should check with your insurance company to see if they offer these types of discounts.
- Can I get auto insurance for a vehicle that I only use for short trips or special occasions?
Yes, you can get auto insurance for a vehicle that you only use for short trips or special occasions, such as a classic car or sports car. Some insurance companies offer specialty policies for these types of vehicles that provide coverage only when the vehicle is being used.
- Are there any risks to driving very low mileage in terms of insurance coverage?
Driving very low mileage is generally considered a low-risk activity, as it reduces your risk of accidents and other incidents that can affect your insurance coverage. However, it’s still important to maintain adequate coverage in case of unexpected events or accidents that may occur when you are driving.
- What types of coverage should I consider if I drive very low mileage?
If you drive very low mileage, you may want to consider liability coverage, which covers damages that you cause to other people or property while driving your vehicle. You may also want to consider collision coverage, which covers damages to your own vehicle in case of an accident.
- How often should I review my auto insurance coverage if I drive very low mileage?
It’s a good idea to review your auto insurance coverage regularly, regardless of how often you drive. This can help you ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs and that you are not paying more than you need to for insurance. You should review your coverage at least once a year, or whenever your circumstances change, such as when you move or buy a new vehicle.
- Can I get insurance for an antique or classic car that I don’t drive often?
Yes, you can get insurance for an antique or classic car that you don’t drive often, as long as you meet the requirements for coverage set by your insurance company. Many insurance companies offer specialty policies for antique or classic cars that provide coverage only when the vehicle is being used.
- Can I get a discount on auto insurance for very low mileage if I drive an electric or hybrid vehicle?
Yes, some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles, as these vehicles typically have lower emissions and are considered to be more environmentally friendly. Additionally, many electric and hybrid vehicles are more fuel-efficient and may require less maintenance, which can also result in lower insurance rates.
- Can I get a discount on auto insurance for very low mileage if I use a telematics device?
Yes, many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who use telematics devices, which can track your driving habits and provide information about your mileage and other factors that can affect your insurance rates. By using a telematics device, you may be able to get a more accurate insurance rate based on your actual driving habits.
- Are there any downsides to driving very low mileage in terms of auto insurance?
One potential downside to driving very low mileage is that you may not qualify for certain types of auto insurance discounts that are based on factors like driving habits or usage. Additionally, if you don’t drive your vehicle frequently, you may be at a higher risk for theft or other incidents that can affect your insurance coverage. It’s important to keep these factors in mind when determining your insurance needs.