As a resident of Ontario we are subject to some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Experts say rampant fraud is the main reason cheap auto insurance is so hard to come by in Ontario. Strict mandatory minimum liability regulations and generous accident benefits laws are a couple other factors that contribute to Ontario’s high rates.
Will the rates go down? Yes. Slowly but surely rates are going down. In 2013, the Ontario government promised to put pressure on auto insurance rates across the province. In fact, they said they would lower auto insurance rates by 15%. Rates have decreased since 2013 overall, however the 15% was not achieved.
“At the start of the year, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released their quarterly list of the rate changes they approved for the insurers who were looking to tweak their premiums. The rates they approved showed a decrease on average of about 0.14%.” (Huffington post).
How much has it decreased since 2013?
In efforts to keep their promise of lowering insurance rates, the Ontario government has taken action in a number of disciplines. Minimizing insurance fraud and introducing a mandatory winter tire discount are just some of the reasons insurance rates, on average, have gone down. These factors have actually lowered insurance rates by an average of 8% since 2013. Still shy of their 15% goal.
What can you do to lower your auto insurance premium?
Don’t wait for the government to slowly reach their goal, there are steps you can take to lower your rates.
Use winter tires
There is a mandatory winter tire discount for all drivers. Most of us use them in Ontario, so call your insurance provider and let them know you use winter tires. Easiest call you can make. If you have any questions call your local broker. Contact us
Pay your premiums all at once
If you are financially able to pay your insurance premiums up front, do it. Many companies charge a little extra for administering monthly payments. Even though the Ontario government lowered how much was allowed to be charged (3% down to 1.3%), you will still pay a little less if you pay your premium as one lump sump.
Bundle your policies (home and auto)
If you bundle your home and auto policies together with the same provider, then you will likely receive a discount of around 15%.
Discuss your deductibles with your insurance provider
Many people do not know this but the higher your deductible the lower your insurance premiums. For example, if you current auto deductible is $500.00 consider changing it to $1000.00. Doing this can typically save you between 5 to 10 percent on your premium.
Maintain a good driving record
This is may come as no surprise that having a great driving record will ultimately lead to lower premiums.
Use a usage-based insurance program – If your provider offers them
A usage based insurance program is a device that you plug into your car that monitors your acceleration, hard braking, how often you drive, and at what hours of the day. You are graded on each of these events and rewarded accordingly. You can save 5 to 10% just for signing up, with additional savings of up to 25% for excellent drivers. You might be asking yourself do you have to pay for this device? The answer is no. The device is free and the information gathered from it can only benefit you, you will not be penalized for using it. If you want more information regarding usage-based insurance programs contact us for more information.
Hopefully this information was helpful and as always if you need any clarification please contact us.