It came upon us quickly, and lingered on long enough to change our lives indefinitely. Now a new (old?) normal is on the horizon, and that can mean changes that affect your insurance policies. Whether for your car, your home or your cottage, it’s important to make sure these policies are up to date while ensuring your premiums remain as low as possible.
There are lots of myths out there about what kind of car or truck will cost you more or less to insure. Most Ontarians would assume that a sports car will come with higher premiums, especially a red one. Not necessarily true. We also think that the bigger and more expensive the car, the more we’ll pay for insurance. The fact is that there are some general rules you can follow, but the biggest factor is how likely you are to be injured in an accident, not the value of the car.
Within the current boundaries of the City of Toronto, there are 102 postal code groups (first 3 letters) that identify an area or neighbourhood, and can affect the premium you pay for auto insurance. Of all the postal codes, those in Scarborough are the most expensive, with 16 of the 17 Scarborough postal codes paying more than any other part of the city. Meanwhile 8 of 12 postal code groups in Etobicoke pay the lowest rates in the city.
There are four different ways to shop for home, car or other personal insurance in Ontario. You can shop directly with an insurance company, or with an agent that only works with one company, and that will get you exactly one quote. Or you can shop with a licensed insurance broker or online insurance comparison site, and that will likely get you dozens of quotes.
For as long as there has been car insurance, men have paid higher premiums than women. This is not unfair discrimination. It’s based on hard facts. They also make more claims and more expensive claims.
For parents who have new and learning drivers in the house or maybe even getting their own car to go off to school, it’s good to know how much you can expect to pay for their auto insurance. The short answer is that for a family living in North York, it could cost you as little as $500 to add an 18-year-old child as an occasional driver to your vehicle, or as much as $3,000 or more if you get them their own used vehicle.
If you are considering buying a vehicle on Auto Trader’s list of Canada’s cheapest vehicles, you should know that the lowest-cost vehicles don’t necessarily get you the lowest insurance premiums. Here’s what it would cost 4 Ontario drivers to insure the cars on the list.
Everybody understands that when they have an at-fault accident or a speeding ticket, their auto insurance premiums are going to go up. The reality is your premiums can go up for lots of other reasons too, including moving, changing cars, or just because claims have gone up in your area.
When usage-based insurance (UBI or telematics) first came to Ontario in 2013, the law allowed insurers to give discounts based on good driving behaviour, but did not allow surcharges based on bad driving behaviour. As of November 2020, the law has changed, and insurers can now surcharge you if your telematics app records risky driving behaviour like speeding.
Home insurance is essential protection for anyone who owns their own home. It’s not mandatory, but if you have a mortgage, your bank will insist that at least the structure itself be insured. So if you’re buying for the first time or looking to move, you might want to know how much you’re likely to pay for home insurance in your area. Across Ontario, the average cost is approximately $121 a month. In Toronto and the GTA, it’s a little higher.