How to find the best deal amid rising auto insurance rates
While some auto insurance providers are set to significantly increase their rates, drivers don’t have to lose control over how much they pay for coverage.
A return to pre-pandemic traffic levels and a rising number of accidents are leading some Ontario insurance companies to raise their rates as high as 12 per cent, according to Rates.ca, a website that allows consumers to shop around for insurance.
Canada-wide inflation has led to an increase in cost of auto parts, meaning higher repair costs and repair time delays.
Insurance companies are responding to this by applying to increase premiums through the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
Despite this, there are ways to find better insurance deals based on your lifestyle, says Elliott Silverstein, Director of Government Relations at the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
“Different insurance companies offer different plans that may be tailored to your lifestyle. So really, now that we're seeing some of these changes, and people are really watching their pocketbooks, it's a great time to really assess what the costs are and where the best possible value for the best possible coverage is.”
Setting out to find a new insurance provider doesn’t need to be challenging - it’s really about going back to the basics, Silverstein told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
“If you're wanting to work with a particular insurance company, contact that company directly. But also speak to a licensed broker because they can provide you ample information about multiple insurance companies to give you the right fit based on the vehicles you have, and the lifestyle that you live so that you're getting the best possible value out there.”
When an insurance company determines a premium, factors such as age, gender, postal code, driving history, mileage, and coverage amount are all taken into consideration.
“If you're a low-kilometre driver, there are ways to find significant savings. Regardless of where you live, you'll find some of those savings. That's the big piece that people may not be aware of,” says Silverstein. “For example, CAA insurance has the CAA Mypace program, which is designed for drivers that drive less than 12,000 kilometers a year.”
Some insurance increases in Ontario will begin as early as this September, while other company rates won’t rise until 2023.
“There’s never a bad time to shop around for insurance. If you're getting your renewals and you're seeing a price increase, I think it's a good opportunity to talk to a broker or an agent to really find out what the best possible options are for you,” says Silverstein.
In terms of lowering overall insurance costs, there are some other ways to proactively save money, according to Allstate Insurance:
You might consider decreasing your collision coverage on older vehicles. For example, If you have a 12-year-old car that is worth $1,000 and your deductible is $1,000, it may not be worth it to carry collision coverage.
Try to maintain a clean driving record, as this is a factor taken into consideration when determining a premium.
Instead of racking up kilometres, drive less and instead car pool or take public transportation from time to time.
Look into the type, year and safety rating of your vehicle. Your premium can be lowered if your vehicle is considered to be difficult to steal or wouldn’t cost too much to repair.