Buying Car Insurance
Car insurance is crucial if you are going to be driving in Canada. No matter which province you live in, there are legal minimums of car insurance that you must carry. Without this insurance, you are not legally allowed to be on the road. While there are individuals who get away with this and drive without insurance, it is not something that is recommended. In the event of an accident, regardless of blame, insurance will pay for medical expenses, car repairs and any other costs.
Here is a look at what features and quotes Canadian car insurance companies offer.
Some car insurance companies in Canada have a policy where the first car accident that you get into will not reflect on your premiums. This is great for drivers who are generally safe drivers, but happen to get into one unfortunate fender bender. It ensures that they are not punished for this lapse, and that their premiums will be reflective of a good overall driving record.
As long as the policyholder is still alive, still driving, and passes a few simple tests at the end of each policy term, they are eligible for renewal. This means that when you find a quality car insurance company and are happy with them, you do not have to worry about changing for the rest of your life.
There are cases where complete loss of a car due to an accident will see the insurance company pay for a new car. However, the new car may be of the same make and model as the previous one you were driving. In addition, you would have to be on the same policy for at least a year or meet a specific miles requirement (varies depending on the company).
When the years pass and you continue to be accident free, you may see your deductible shrinking by a set amount. This can be by $50 or $100 every year or 18 months, depending on the company's policies. A deductible is the amount that you must pay out of pocket in the event of a car accident. Keep in mind those reductions are not endless, and there will be a point where your deductible remains fixed for a number of years.
One of the great things about signing up with a quality insurance firm is that some provide you with access to a 24/7 roadside assistance system. In addition, you can call their helpline at any time for questions related to your insurance. The roadside assistance is especially useful for someone who drives at all hours, or spends a lot of time driving long distances. Instead of having to call a tow truck or a friend for help, simply dial the roadside assistance number and the insurance company will take care of the rest.
By signing up for a quality insurance package with a reputable company, you ensure that you are well protected in the event of an accident. Most policies have a healthy pay out for car damages, personal medical expenses related to the accident, medical expenses for anyone else who was involved in the accident, and even compensation for lost earnings.
Choosing an insurance firm with the lowest rate may not necessarily be the ideal choice. If the firm is competitive and offers the same coverage and provides the same features as most others, you might have chosen well. If however, the policy lacks important features that you simply can't afford, you should look into getting a quality car insurance plan when you can afford to pay for it.
Selecting an auto insurance policy is not like getting life insurance, where the need for a payout only happens once. Car accidents are common, and damage to cars can be a regular occurrence. Instead of having to pay for everything out of pocket just to save a bit on premiums, look for the plans that have the best protection.
For these reasons, it is vital to shop around when you are looking for insurance. There are a vast number of insurance companies in Canada, or companies that have Canadian branches. Ten to fifteen of those companies have a long history of being reliable, reputable, and excellent in their coverage. Look to those companies and seek out the plans that give you the coverage you want, without the high monthly premiums.
A great way to get a discount on car insurance is to get additional forms of insurance from the same company. Instead of having life insurance, auto insurance and health insurance from three different firms, get them all from one company. This will provide you with the opportunity to get huge discounts, and make it easier to handle your monthly bills.
The average annual premium for car insurance in Canada depends on the area. Generally speaking, auto insurance premiums in Ontario tend to be the highest. Here are rates for several provinces in 2010. The price breakdowns from the Fraser Institute will have increased slightly since then, but this provides a rough guide for how much you can expect to pay.
Prince Edward Island: $695
New Brunswick: $728
Nova Scotia: $735
Newfoundland and Labrador: $749
British Columbia: $1,112
These are just average figures. There are plenty of lower cost plans available, and more expensive ones as well. Do a proper search and make careful comparisons and you will find the right insurance company and a policy that matches all of your requirements.