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Find Cheap Car Insurance in Thunder Bay

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Written by Katie Rook

Car insurance in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, considered a gateway to Ontario’s Northwest region, is accessible by via the Trans-Canada Highway.

Drivers en route to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in the area should arrive prepared, including with a vehicle that can handle hilly terrain and extreme conditions. And, of course, with appropriate car insurance coverage.

While car insurance is mandatory everywhere in Canada, drivers venturing outside urban centers may consider optional coverage and endorsements that protect them against a wider range of perils than what are available through basic mandatory coverage.

Here, we outline both mandatory and optional coverage so that you can pick and choose what makes sense for your circumstances.

Endorsements OPCF 27, OPCF 35 and OPCF 44R may be especially helpful for drivers who spend a considerable amount of time on the road – whether for pleasure or business, travelling around the Thunder Bay region.

Mandatory coverage

In Canada, car insurance is a legal requirement. Though you can customize your policy, the following are considered mandatory in Ontario:

  • Accident benefits/bodily injury: Covers cost of medical care for injuries from a collision. Also covers wage replacement, homecare and funeral costs, where necessary.
  • Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD): Covers the cost of damage to a vehicle, its contents and/or a rental car for an insured driver who is deemed not to be at fault for the collision.

    DCPD was designed so that the insured person is compensated by their own carrier in a timely manner, rather than having payment delayed by a protracted legal process following a collision.

    For DCPD coverage to kick in, the collision must have taken place in Ontario and with a vehicle that is also insured in Ontario.
  • Third party liability: When a third party is injured or killed this coverage covers the cost of a lawsuit brought against the at-fault driver. Also covers repair costs for property and vehicles damaged in a collision as well as medical costs for injuries resulting from a collision.

    A minimum amount of TPL is required in each province.
    For example, in Ontario drivers must have a minimum of $200,000 TPL, though, experts often recommend up to $1 million. Think about it this way: if a driver with $200,000 TPL coverage is sued for $1 million, they’ll have to cover the $800,000 difference.
  • Uninsured motorist: Covers the insured financially if they’re injured, killed or their vehicle is damaged in a collision with an uninsured or unidentified driver.

Optional coverage

Beyond the mandatory coverage in Ontario, drivers can add coverages to their policy, such as:

  • All perils: Covers many perils. Broadly, has similarities to Collision and Comprehensive coverage.
  • Collision: Covers car replacement, or repair costs, if insured’s car is damaged in a collision and they’re at fault. Also covers single vehicle collisions and hit and run accidents.
  • Comprehensive: Covers damage by debris, earthquake, explosions, hail, theft, vandalism and weather events.
  • Specified perils: Covers damage from a short list of perils that are specifically named in insured’s policy, such as, attempted theft, damage in transport, earthquake, explosions, fire, lightning, riots or windstorms.

Endorsements

Endorsement is term used in the insurance industry to refer to a policy amendment that broadens, restricts or alters its terms. They’re added to a policy for greater coverage.

Some popular car insurance endorsements include:

  • OPCF 20 – Loss of use: Covers the cost of a replacement vehicle, or transportation costs, when your car is damaged. This protection comes with All perils, Comprehensive or Specified perils coverage.
  • OPCF 27 – Damage to non-owned vehicle: Also known as ‘a 27’, this coverage means that any bodily injury, accident benefits, uninsured automobile and other property damage coverage you have through your car insurance policy is extended to a vehicle you don’t own.

    If you’ve rented a car while in Thunder Bay, or, while travelling to Thunder Bay by rented vehicle, purchasing the property damage coverage – also known as Loss Damage Waiver, or ‘LDW’ – is redundant when you already have a car insurance policy that has ‘a 27’.
  • OPCF 35 – Emergency roadside: If you find yourself in need roadside assistance in and around Thunder Bay, this endorsement will cover the cost of any labour required where your car broke down, the cost of a tow, battery, gas or tire replacement and/or the cost of a locksmith.
  • OPCF 44R – Family protection: Covers the difference between your coverage and any liability coverage of a third party who’s found at fault during a collision. We recommend that drivers who regularly travel with family consider adding this endorsement to their car insurance policy. Those eligible (under 18) will be better compensated in the event of a collision where the other driver is at-fault.
  • OPCF 43 – Depreciation waiver: If your vehicle is written off following a collision, this coverage means you’ll receive back the full value of the car. This is an option especially worth considering if your car is new.

Though the provincial regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, requires government approval to change car insurance rates, your insurance costs can increase when you add more coverage.

To make sure that you’re always getting great value – the best coverage at the lowest rate – we recommend comparison shopping every time your policy is up for renewal.

When you survey available rates from 50+ of the most trusted providers in Canada, you’re likely to save money, in some instances hundreds of dollars each year.

Recent auto insurance quotes in Thunder Bay

Shopper from AJAX, ONTARIO
2013 NISSAN PATHFINDER SL 4DR 4WD October 02, 2022
$ 1,043
Per year
Cheapest Rate
$ 2,596
Per year
Average Rate
$ 1,553
or
60 %
in savings
Shopper from NORTH YORK, ONTARIO
2022 TOYOTA RAV4 XLE 4DR AWD October 02, 2022
$ 4,764
Per year
Cheapest Rate
$ 7,711
Per year
Average Rate
$ 2,947
or
38 %
in savings

How to get Thunder Bay car insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA

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3. Choose the right coverage

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How much does car insurance cost in Thunder Bay?

The most recently available figures from RATESDOTCA’s Auto Insuramap tool reflect that in 2021 the average car insurance premium for drivers in Thunder Bay was $1,369.

This is about 14% lower than the provincial 2021 average of $1,555.

In the same year, car insurance rates in Thunder Bay decreased about 8%, down from an average of $1,488 in 2020.

Car insurance rates in cities like Thunder Bay tend to be lower because there are many fewer drivers on the road compared to larger cities and therefore fewer claims.

How do Thunder Bay car insurance rates compare to those in other Ontario cities?

Location 2021 % difference from 2021 average Thunder Bay premium
Thunder Bay $1,369
Vaughan $2,179 59%
Ajax $2,104 54%
Richmond Hill $2,025 48%
Brampton $1,976 44%
Mississauga $1,971 44%
Pickering $1,959 43%
Toronto $1,953 43%
Oshawa $1,833 34%
Ontario $1,555 15%

Which companies offer car insurance quotes in Thunder Bay?

Here’s where you can find quotes for car insurance in Thunder Bay:

Insurance companies Company type Phone Address
BrokerLink Direct writer (807) 622-6155 1139 Alloy Dr., Suite 110, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6M8
Dewhurst Insurance Limited Insurance broker (807) 345-1411 581 Red River Rd. #102, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1H4
Insurance Hotline Quotes comparison 1 (855) 821-7312 360 Adelaide St. W. Suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
Jones & Associates Insurance Insurance broker (807) 343-9444 521 Memorial Ave., Thunder Bay, ON P7B 3Y6
LowestRates.ca Quotes comparison 1 (855) 487-6911 1910 Yonge St. Suite 401, Toronto, ON M4S 3B2
RATESDOTCA Quotes comparison 1 (844) 726-0907 360 Adelaide St. W Suite 100, Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
Scoop Insurance Insurance broker 1 (866) 456-6620 300 Lincoln St. Unit 22, Welland, ON L3B 4N4
The Standard Insurance Insurance broker (807) 345-6369 920 Tungsten St., Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5Z6

What factors affect your Thunder Bay car insurance premium?

There are many factors that go into determining your car insurance premium, they include:

  • Amount of coverage: In general, you’ll pay more for more coverage. Customizing your car insurance policy can help you bring down your costs so that you make sure you’re only paying for the coverage you need, nothing more.
  • Claims history: Drivers who have a history of making claims can expect to pay higher premiums. On the other hand, if you have never made a claim, you’re likely to enjoy lower premiums.
  • Driver specifics: Your age, gender and license level all play a part in determining your rate. Young male drivers with limited driving experience tend to pay the highest premiums because insurance providers deem them to be more likely to make a claim.
  • Vehicle type: If you’re driving an expensive car that would be costly to repair or replace, expect to pay more for coverage. Alternatively, if you drive an older car with safety devices installed such as a car alarm, you may enjoy lower rates.
  • Where you’re driving: Location influences premiums. If you’re commuting daily and/or drive in an area where there are many cars on the road, expect to pay more. Time spent on the road, particularly where there are many other cars, suggests to insurance providers that you’re at greater risk of making a claim. As a result, your premiums are likely to be higher.

Top 7 tips for finding cheap car insurance in Thunder Bay

  1. Customize your policy: When you select the coverage you need and nothing more, you’re going a good distance to managing your car insurance costs. For example, if you drive a used car, there’s no sense in having (and paying for) a OPCF 43 – Depreciation waiver endorsement. If your used car is totalled in a collision, the amount you’d receive for it could be less than the cost you assumed for the additional coverage.
  2. Comparison shop: When you shop for car insurance every time your policy is up for renewal, you’re likely to find the best coverage for the lowest rate. We offer free quotes from more than 50 of the most-trusted providers in Canada. At the time of securing a new policy, you’re likely to find savings because of different provider offers and/or because your coverage needs have changed.
  3. Get winter tires: When you can tell an insurance provider that you’ve taken reasonable steps to ensure safety on the road, you may be able to secure savings. In Ontario, you’re entitled to a discount of 5-15% when you can tell your provider that you’ve installed winter tires. The specific discount you receive is at the discretion of the provider.
  4. Increase deductible: When you elect to pay a higher deductible, you may be eligible for savings. Paying the annual cost of coverage up front may also result in savings.
  5. Make fewer claims: Drivers with a clean driving history are more likely to receive lower premiums. On the other hand, if you’ve made claims in the past, you can expect to pay more for coverage.
  6. Telematics: When you consent to having your driving monitored by an electronic device installed in your car, you may be eligible for savings. Information the device captures allows the provider to assess how safe you are on the road and reward you with savings on your premium.
  7. Usage-based: If you agree to be charged for car insurance based on how much you drive, you may be able to bring down your rate. Reducing mileage is sure to net savings on car insurance.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Thunder Bay

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in Thunder Bay?

Securing cheap car insurance in Thunder Bay depends on many factors, though not necessarily the provider. The best way to get a good car insurance rate is to take steps to reflect to the provider that you’re at low risk of making a claim. Drivers in Thunder Bay with a clean driving record, limited or no claims history and clarity about what amount of coverage they need are well-positioned to find cheap coverage, especially when they’re willing to shop around and compare available rates each time their policy is up for renewal.

What are the best car insurance companies in Thunder Bay?

The best car insurance companies in Thunder Bay are the ones that offer you the coverage you need at the lowest rate. Before committing to a policy, think carefully about what coverage makes sense for your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a rural area, but don’t drive often you’re likely to need much different coverage than if you commute daily into and out of a busy city.

Can I get month-to-month car insurance in Thunder Bay?

In general, car insurance providers offer a 1-year policy term, though you may be able to find some providers who offer a six-month term.

How do I get car insurance as a new driver in Thunder Bay?

If you’re a new driver in Canada, expect to pay more for auto insurance while you establish a driving profile. After one year, if you’ve managed to avoid getting any infractions, you’ll likely be able to secure a lower rate.

If you’ve relocated to Thunder Bay from elsewhere in Ontario, the only change required is an updated address on your driver's license. If you’ve moved to Thunder Bay from out of province, the province’s ministry of transportation requires that you update your plates within 60 days of relocating.

Is ride sharing insurance available in Thunder Bay?

Yes. Drivers in Thunder Bay who use their vehicles for commercial purposes will be required by the ride share company to purchase their coverage. However, those policies provide limited coverage so the driver should also have their own car insurance policy.

*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA and transacted via our contact centre from July to December 2021 saved an average amount of $772. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA.

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