While some auto insurance providers will increase their rates significantly, drivers don’t need to lose control over how much they pay for coverage.
A return to pre-pandemic traffic levels and a rising number of accidents are prompting some Ontario insurance companies to hike their rates up to 12 percent, according to Rates.ca, a website where consumers can search for insurance.
Canada-wide inflation has caused the cost of auto parts to increase, resulting in higher repair costs and delays in repair time.
Insurance companies are responding by applying to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) for a premium increase.
Still, 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 can be tailored to your lifestyle. Now that we’re seeing some of these changes and people are really watching their wallets, it’s really time to really assess what the costs are and where the best possible value for the best possible coverage is.”
Looking for a new insurance provider doesn’t have to be a challenge — it really is about getting back to basics, Silverstein told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
“If you want to work with a specific insurance company, contact that company directly. But also speak to a licensed agent as they can provide you with comprehensive information on multiple insurance companies to provide you with the right solution based on your vehicles and lifestyle to ensure you get the best possible value. ”
When an insurance company sets a premium, factors such as age, gender, zip code, driving habits, mileage and coverage amount are taken into account.
“If you drive low miles, there are opportunities to make significant savings. Regardless of where you live, you will find some of these savings. That’s the big part that people might not be aware of,” says Silverstein. “For example, CAA Insurance has the CAA Mypace program, which is designed for drivers who drive less than 12,000 kilometers a year.”
Some insurance hikes in Ontario will begin as early as September this year, while other companies’ rates won’t rise until 2023.
“There’s never a bad time to start looking for insurance. If you’re getting your renewals and seeing a price increase, I think that’s a good opportunity to talk to a broker or agent to really find out what the best possible options are for you,” says Silverstein.
In terms of reducing overall insurance costs, there are a few other ways to proactively save money, according to Allstate Insurance:
You might consider lowering your collision protection on older vehicles. For example, if you have a $1,000 12-year-old car and your deductible is $1,000, it may not be worth getting collision insurance.
Try to keep a clean logbook as this is a factor taken into account when determining an award.
Instead of accumulating kilometers, drive less and instead carpool from time to time or use public transport.
Find out about the type, year of manufacture and safety class of your vehicle. Your premium may be reduced if your vehicle is considered difficult to steal or would not cost too much to repair.