Your Guide to Car Insurance Renewal in Canada

Is your car insurance policy expiring? This is the perfect time to compare quotes and save money.

Compare car insurance quotes from companies across Canada

Icon - Human

Written By Joel Kranc

Contributing writer


About car insurance renewal in Canada

Most car insurance policies in Canada last for one year. 30 days prior to the end of your contract, your car insurance provider is required to notify you of the policy’s maturity date. If you happen to get your insurance through a broker, it is their job to send you your renewal letter. If you fail to reply to the letter for one reason or another, your insurance is renewed automatically by your provider.

However, renewal time is a great opportunity to compare Canadian car insurance and possibly find cheaper car insurance quotes for your next policy. With a bit of information about your insurance needs, and a few minutes of your time, RATESDOTCA can get you the cheapest rates from over 50 insurance providers in Canada. You can then either take back the cheapest price to your provider and renegotiate or you can start fresh with a new provider. 

What is a car insurance renewal?

Car insurance renewal is the time at which your car insurance contract ends, and you can choose to renew with your current provider or find cheaper alternatives with a new provider. Essentially it is the end of the term of your policy.

How can I renew my car insurance in Canada?

At the end of your term, your car insurer may adjust coverage and premiums before starting the next policy period. Premiums can either increase or decrease. In Ontario, for example, all insurers must apply for rate changes with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). They usually do so when market conditions necessitate change. The FSRA makes rate changes available to the public, and so do other provinces, allowing customers to confidently decide how they should proceed.

Note that your rate may go up or down for other reasons – such as the change in your location, age and other personal factors, so be mindful of that as well.

Finally, the insurer may choose not to renew your policy altogether, although that happens if you have failed to pay premiums, and your driving habits have deteriorated considerably.

Once you know your new adjustments, you have a few options:

  • Do nothing. Your insurance will renew automatically, and your new one-year term will begin.
  • Talk to your insurance provider. You may be able to renegotiate your contract, adjust your coverage, if you are over-covered, and secure a better term that satisfies you and your provider.
  • Go to a comparison site. Sites like RATESDOTCA will help you educate yourself about the cheapest car insurance rates in your area and show you who is offering the best terms. You can use the options available through RATESDOTCA to get a new provider or take this information and try to renegotiate with your current one.

If you select a new provider through RATESDOTCA, you must inform your current provider prior to the expiration of your term contract. If you fail to do so, you are on the hook with them for another term. Underwriters may also review your driving history and records, which, if there are any changes, may affect your premiums.

Car insurance renewal costs

Because car insurance renewals happen automatically, and we are less inclined to read the mounds of paper that come with the notification, allowing that renewal to happen could cost you money.


The choice not to compare Canadian car insurance rates on sites like RATESDOTCA could mean you are overpaying with your current provider. Also, you may be missing out on adjustments and discounts you’ve never bothered to research, and an automatic renewal will lock you in for another year at a potentially higher rate than you should be paying.

There are opportunities to switch insurance companies mid-policy, especially if you find a better rate. However, it may cost you at least a month’s premium. Consider how much your penalty will be versus the savings you might realize from a new provider. Check out RATESDOTCA’s car insurance calculator to help you find cheap car insurance quotes.

Why are car insurance rates rising?

Car insurance rates have been steadily rising, especially in the post-COVID era.

As more people get back to work after three years of on-again, off-again lockdowns, there are more cars on the road, leading to the potential for more risks and accidents. Many insurers have been applying for rate increases with the FSRA to accommodate these growing risks since the end of 2022.

Auto theft is another factor. According to the Canadian Financing and Leasing Association, a car is stolen every six minutes in Canada. Toronto alone had more than 9,600 cars stolen in 2022.

Inflation has been another contributing factor in the rise in car insurance rates, since higher claims payouts necessitate higher premiums.

Will my automatic car insurance renewal cost me more money?

The answer is it can, but it doesn’t have to. Allowing automatic renewals to go through unchecked can cost you money. If your insurance provider has made adjustments, and you are still covered for things you may not need, your renewal may end up higher than you anticipate, or simply at a rate you shouldn’t be paying based on your needs.

It’s wise to take the time to review your policy at renewal time. Your insurance provider will give you 30 days’ notice prior to the term date. That's ample time to check your coverage and compare rates on sites like RATESDOTCA, where in just a few minutes, you can compare rates from more than 50 top providers in your area. After that, you are free to choose one of those providers or take back the cheapest rate to your current provider and negotiate.

In addition, consider doing research on the discounts that may be available to you. If you are an alumnus of a school or part of an association your provider is partnered with, you can receive discounts. Renewal time is your opportunity to tick all of those boxes.

Frequently asked questions about renewing your car insurance

Need more information about car insurance renewal? We got you covered.

Will my car insurance automatically renew?

Most car insurance policies last one year. At the end of the term, you will be notified of the end date, and if you do nothing, your policy will renew automatically.

You do have a choice to negotiate the terms with your provider and/or change providers, should you find better offers with better terms. You must do this before your policy auto-renews, or you will be on the hook for another year with your provider.

How to save money on car insurance renewal in Canada?

Car insurance renewal time is a great opportunity to save money. 

Ontario’s auto insurance regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), encourages all Ontario drivers to consider the following at renewal time:

  • Compare your new policy's coverages and options to those found in your previous policy.
  • Call your insurance representative to discuss options and ask questions.
  • Shop around to get the best price and a policy that meets your needs.

How can I compare car insurance rates before my renewal? 

It’s simple. Comparison sites like RATESDOTCA do all the work for you. Just provide some basic information about your insurance needs, your vehicle and your location, and the site will provide rates from more than 50 top providers in your area. It takes only a few minutes, and it’s free. You’ll find the cheapest rates available, and you can use them to either switch providers or re-negotiate the rates with your current provider.

Latest auto insurance articles

How to insure your #vanlife
Whether you’re parked at a campground, a big box store parking lot, or on your own driveway, having the right insurance ensures peace of mind and financial security. Here’s what you should know about insuring your RV.
7 mins read
Does your car insurance cover you when travelling out of province?
If your plans involve travelling by vehicle outside of your home province, double check you have the right auto insurance coverage before hitting the road.
4 mins read
What is minor conviction protection?
Opt for minor conviction protection to protect against rate increases due to small traffic offences like speeding. Eligibility requirements and limitations apply.
5 mins read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of our latest offers, relevant news and tips!

Thanks for joining!

You'll be hearing from us shortly - stay tuned.