In Canada car insurance varies from province to province. In some provinces competition among private insurance companies is the way things are done, while in others there is a mix of private and government insurance. Generally speaking the provinces with government corporations overseeing the mandatory part of insurance are the ones with the highest average premiums. Conversely, provinces with the most competition among insurers usually have the lowest premiums (Ontario being the glaring exception). One thing that unites most Canadians in driving concerns and so insurance is the snow! You can count on collision claims skyrocketing after the first snowstorm of the season has fender benders on every corner…
As mentioned above, Ontario is different from the rest of the country in that despite having a competitive environment in which low rates should flourish, it has the highest rates in the country. There are many factors contributing to this unfortunate circumstance which has prompted many a premium-weary citizen to move away. However for the past few years reforms have been gradually taking effect and rates are slowly lowering. Part of the government’s Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy is to fight fraud which has been found to be a large part of the huge premiums Ontarians pay. With an aggressive target of lowering rates fifteen percent by August 2015 they have cut their work out for themselves!
Alberta is more in the middle with its car insurance situation. It’s premiums are high but still lower than the provinces like Saskatchewan whose system is dominated by a government corporation monopolizing the market. Quebec along with the Atlantic provinces like Nova Scotia have the lowest rates in Canada. There is plenty of room for positive change in all provinces, but being an issue of great public concern helps car insurance issues to remain high on politician’s agendas. With government attention and continuing public and media scrutiny the future looks good for continuing improvements in Canadian auto insurance as a whole.
What is Insurance?
Insurance is managing risk by spreading that risk out among many people. Insurance companies are entities that manage the process of risk by serving as the central institution that administers the risk for the large groups of people who “buy in” to the risk management for autos, house, travel and so on.
Insurance works to protect individuals from significant losses at an affordable rate. If the loss is not significant then it may not be worth protecting against. For instance if a potential loss is only $25 dollars you’d probably not want to pay a monthly fee to protect against it. However, the loss of a car or home is significant and therefore worthy of being protected against. In the case of the loss of a car or home or many other things with financial worth it is often a good idea to pay a monthly premium for protection.
So protecting against financial hardship is the main point of insurance nowadays. Just a few of the various types of insurance you may want to consider include:
- life insurance for loss of income – your family or another entity are protected from your loss of income
- protecting a business from interruption of its income earning
- protecting against unforseen health problems – medical insurance
- safeguarding against the loss of value of your home through fire, flood, and so on
- protecting against lawsuits
- ensuring you won’t lose money though theft or damage to your auto
12 Tips to Help Reduce Your Car Insurance Premiums
Under the auto insurance umbrella are covered you and your spouse, if you have one, relative living with you and other drivers who you give permission to drive your auto. Typically the basic package protection covers injuries to your body, property damage liability, and damage to your vehicle(s). Other common coverages include personal injury, auto rental in case of accident while your car is being fixed, uninsured or underinsured motorist, and other damage to your car such as fire and flood. Insurance rate for cars vary wildly depending on a variety of factors. Some of those factors include your marital status, your desired level of coverage, your age and sex, and possibly even things like your level of education and credit history. A lot depends on the company you are dealing with which is one of the main reason that it is good to shop around. A little knowledge can go a long way in reducing your insurance premiums especially in something as volatile as car insurance. Here’s twelve tips to get you started:
- If you find a good insurance company try to insure all your cars and drivers with them and ask them about a discount for doing so;
- Keep a clean driving record – the more accidents and traffic violations you have the higher your premiums;
- Take a safe driving course – check with your insurer before you do to make sure the course you are taking is certified and will actually make a difference to your rates;
- Shop around and check up every year or two; even if the company you have insurance with now has the best value they may not in a year’s time;
- Use you car less if you can and walk to work or take transit. If you are not commuting to work with your car and your insurance company knows about it this will reduce your premiums;
- Some vehicles cost more to insure than others – a small, safe, low-cost commuter car will cost less to insure than a large SUV;
- Raise your deductibles – the higher your deductible the lower your insurance rate;
- Your credit rating can make a difference – make sure to pay all your bills on time;
- If you can live in a less congested area your rate will be lower due to less likelihood of collision and possibly less likelihood of theft;
- Do you need to be covered for everything in your policy? Maybe there is very little possibility of flood in your area and so you don’t need flood coverage;
- Theft is a problem and more so with some cars than others. If you have an anti-theft device installed you will lower your premiums for that part of your insurance bill;
- Ask for discounts! It may seem obvious, but there may be something the agent/broker can do to lower your rates that won’t be enacted unless you ask!