The price of car insurance is a complex combination of a number of factors, each of which balances risk against monthly premiums. If you’ve gone a year under your policy without a claim against your car insurance, it may seem logical that you should pay less in the coming year, and in fact, your claims history may qualify you for lower rates. However, each company issuing insurance in Ontario operates under their own rules and guidelines. While many of these are reviewed and approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the FSCO only mandates that an insurer operate under the approved procedures. There are no standards that are necessarily common between insurance companies, making year-to-year changes in policy price difficult to predict.
Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Prices
Ontario’s car insurance system is one of the most tightly regulated in Canada. It’s also currently the most expensive and many measures are underway to bring overall costs down. There are factors, though, that are common to the calculation of risk and thus the cost of premiums anywhere in Canada and these are also true in Ontario.
Your driving record is the key factor to lowering car insurance costs over time. The more experience you have as a driver with a claims-free history improves your chances of qualifying for insurance discounts and lower base rates. Keep in mind that every driver listed on a policy affects the pricing, and their driving history factors in as well
Where you live is a factor over which you have little control of the car insurance effect. Other people’s claims, car thefts and traffic in the area can affect how an insurer perceives your risk.
Some cars are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents or cost more to repair. Sports and luxury vehicles generally cost more to insure, while four-door sedans, minivans and crossover SUVs are likely to be cheaper.
How to Pay the Lowest Car Insurance Rates in Ontario
Your insurance company may not announce or volunteer information on discounts for which you qualify. If you see your car insurance bill increase annually, don’t accept this as inevitable. Your insurance company or broker may be able to find different packages or discounts that apply to you.
Remember too that each insurance company is bound to follow its own rules, but that the rules aren’t the same between companies. Comparison shopping for car insurance is very likely to produce cost savings, if you’re not already with your most affordable provider. Renewal time is the most logical time to check for lower prices, but you can do it at any time. You may be subject to administrative fees if you switch providers in the middle of a policy’s term.
Use the car insurance calculator here at RateLab to search over 30 providers for the companies that provide the least expensive insurance to match your needs. Once you’re aware of what your best price is, you can act with either your existing company or a new insurer to benefit from lower premiums.