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COVID-19 Update: We’re here for you.

These are uncertain times, but one thing that is certain is our commitment to you. As an online business, we're set up to help you remotely so you can still take care of your insurance, mortgage and money decisions.

To learn about financial relief, insurance rebates, billing flexibility and other relief efforts offered by insurance and personal finance companies, read our COVID-19 insurance relief guide. You can also use our Covid-19 rebate calculator to figure out how much money these efforts can help you save on your auto insurance premiums during this unprecedented time.

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What is a car insurance quote?

A car insurance quote estimates the premium you’ll pay for a car insurance policy. The quote is calculated using the information you provide, such as your age, the car you drive, your driving history and your postal code. Every insurer uses a unique formula to calculate your personal car insurance quote, so even if you provide the same information to different insurance companies, no two quotes will look the same.

How do companies calculate your auto insurance quote?

Auto insurance companies use the information you provide to determine the risk you pose as a client - i.e. how likely you are to make a claim, and how expensive that claim is likely to be. Different companies assess risk in their own unique way, which means the information you provide will yield a wide variety of quotes from different insurers.

There are somethings you cannot easily change about your quote - e.g. the car you drive or where you live - but other things, like the extent of coverage and the deductible you'll pay in the event of a claim, can considerably change the value of your quote.

Where can I get car insurance quotes?

When it comes to shopping for a car insurance policy, you can choose to get your quotes from a variety of sources, such as an insurance agent or an online comparison site like RATESDOTCA. Shopping around for car insurance allows you to find the best deal possible.

Here are the different places you can find auto insurance quotes in Canada:

  • Insurance agents - Insurance agents usually work with only one insurance company. They are basically resellers of that company’s products, which means they can provide you with up-to-date information on the latest policies and discounts. Their job is to make sure that all your coverage needs are met while selecting and customizing your policy.
  • Direct writers - Direct writers work for an insurance provider and sell insurance products either online or over the phone. Like an insurance agent, a direct writer issues policies from one provider, meaning that they are unable to comparison shop on your behalf.
  • Insurance brokers - Insurance brokers work with multiple insurance companies (sometimes a few, sometimes 50+) to offer you different types of coverage, prices and service levels. Most insurance brokers offer you their services over the phone or in person, which can be time consuming for those who want to see quotes instantly.
  • Insurance comparison sites - Similar to insurance brokers, car insurance comparison sites offer lots of options. You can instantly access quotes from of a variety of insurance companies and direct writers. When you shop online for car insurance by using a comparison site like RATESDOTCA, you can easily find the cheapest insurance quote available, saving you both time and money.

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How do I get a better car insurance quote?

You may have noticed that different insurance companies offer different rates for the same coverage. So how do you know if you have the best deal? By comparing quotes on RATESDOTCA of course!

There is a reason people trust us to find the cheapest car insurance quotes in Canada: we make insurance transparent, simple, and fun. By comparing quotes, you can easily see which company is offering you the best insurance rate, based on your unique driving history and insurance needs.

Last year, drivers who shopped for car insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA paid 30% less than the average market rate.* Ready to compare quotes and save on your car insurance policy? Let’s get started!

Factors that determine the cost of your car insurance premium

Insurance companies consider several factors when calculating your insurance rate.

  • Vehicle type: The type of vehicle you drive impacts the premiums you pay. Different vehicles are associated with different risks including their likelihood of being stolen, how much they cost to repair, their safety rating and features, and claims history. There is also some perceived behavioural risk associated with different vehicles. Insurers are more willing to offer low rates to drivers with “sensible” vehicles. As a result, when shopping for insurance, you might notice your dad’s 10-year old minivan suddenly seems more appealing.
  • Commute distance: How much you drive will also affect your premiums, which is why you are always asked to provide your anticipated vehicle usage when obtaining a car insurance rate. The less you drive, the cheaper your car insurance premium is. The more you drive, the higher the chance that you could be involved in a motor vehicle accident, and the more you will have to pay for insurance.
  • Driving history: Individuals with a clean driving can expect to pay lower premiums than those with tickets and/or accidents on their record. The number of years you have had a licence also matters.
  • Demographics: Where you live makes a difference. Areas with higher occurrences of theft and collisions result in higher premiums. Your age can also come into play. Drivers who are 25 years old or older will generally pay less to insure a vehicle. This is based on data that shows that younger, less experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in traffic collisions.
  • Coverage type: The larger the scope of the coverage and the higher the coverage limits you choose, the more you will pay for insurance. The deductible, which is the portion that you must pay out of pocket following a claim, is also important in the calculation of your insurance premium. If you are willing to take on more risk with a higher deductible, the insurer will offer a cheaper rate.
  • Discounts: Most insurance companies will provide you with discounts if you meet certain criteria. For example, if you have winter tires, or if you have more than one vehicle, you may be eligible for discounts. When you get quotes with RATESDOTCA, we ask the same questions as the insurers do to ensure you are getting the lowest possible price.

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Information that you need to get and compare car insurance quotes online

RATESDOTCA makes it easy for you to get an accurate auto insurance quote. You will be asked to provide basic information about yourself that will help insurance companies determine your premium. All we need is:

  • Your age, gender and marital status.
  • Your name and address, and names of any other drivers in your household.
  • Your vehicle make and model.
  • Number of years you have held a licence.
  • Your insurance claims history.

Oh, and don’t worry, RATESDOTCA values your privacy, and will never sell your personal information. Your info will remain safe, secure, and protected.

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The types of car insurance coverage in Canada

Auto insurance is required by law in every Canadian province and territory. The type(s) or coverage and the amount of coverage required vary by location.

Mandatory car insurance requirements typically include the following coverages:

  • Third-Party Liability
  • Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DC-PD)
  • Uninsured Automobile Insurance
  • Accident Benefits

Here’s a breakdown of each of these coverages:

Optional car insurance coverages

These are the optional coverages you can add to a car insurance policy. Note that in some provinces or territories, these coverages may be mandatory.

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Car insurance in Canada: A national picture

Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia operate within a public car insurance model. Car insurance in these provinces is available through the government. In other provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, drivers must purchase insurance from private insurance companies. Quebec is the only province that uses a mix of both.

In each province and territory, a minimum amount of auto insurance is required by law. This typically includes third-party liability insurance, which covers medical expenses and property damage caused by the insured (aka, you). There’s also some level of accidents benefits or property damage coverage that is also mandatory.

Average rates vary across the country. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, British Columbia has the highest average auto insurance rate in Canada, averaging $1,832 per year. Ontario and Alberta are in second and third place, averaging $1,505 and $1,316 respectively. Drivers in Quebec pay the least in Canada, with an average premium of just $717.

Mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage across Canada

Province or Territory Mandatory Minimum Liability Mandatory Minimum Coverage Average Premiums in 2018 Average Premiums in 2019
Alberta Third party liability $200,000 Accident benefits $1,251 $1,316
British Columbia Third party liability $200,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile protection $1,680 $1,832
Manitoba Third party liability $200,000 All perils (collision, comprehensive), Personal injury, Hit and run, Inverse liability protection $1,080 $1,080*
New Brunswick Third party liability $200,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile protection, Direct Compensation – Property damage $819 $867
Newfoundland & Labrador Third party liability $200,000 Uninsured automobile protection $1,132 $1,168
Northwest Territories Third party liability $200,000 Property damage, personal injury $978 N/A
Nova Scotia Third party liability $500,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile protection, Direct Compensation – Property damage $842 $891
Nunavut Third party liability $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury $963 N/A
Ontario Third party liability $200,000 Accident benefits, Direct Compensation – Property damage, Uninsured automobile protection $1,445 $1,505
Prince Edward Island Third party liability $200,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile protection, Direct Compensation – Property damage $796 $816
Quebec Third party liability $50,000 Accident benefits, Property damage $661* $717
Saskatchewan Third party liability $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury $936* $1,235
Yukon Territories Third party liability $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury, $812 N/A

Average insurance premium numbers are according to data released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada press releases in July 2018 and August 2019.

* Previous year's average

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Frequently asked questions about car insurance

Is it legal to drive without insurance?

No! All registered vehicles in Canada must have insurance, as required by law. If you own and drive a vehicle in Ontario, for example, you are required to take out a basic car insurance policy that includes four types of auto insurance. Vehicle owners in Ontario who do not carry valid auto insurance can be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. You also risk having your license suspended and your vehicle impounded, not to mention facing sky-high insurance rates in the future.

Is RATESDOTCA car insurance service available throughout Canada?

RATESDOTCA is currently available to drivers in Ontario and Alberta.

Are the rates you show accurate?

What you see is what you get. The auto insurance quotes you receive are accurate, based on the details you provide. A representative from the insurance company will confirm your information before issuing a policy. As long as your details stay the same, so will your rate.

What’s a deductible, and how does it work?

A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay in the event of a claim before the insurance coverage kicks in. A driver with a $500 deductible and $2,000 in damage resulting from an accident will pay $500 out of pocket while the insurance company covers the remaining $1,500. Think of a deductible as your share of the repair cost.

Your deductible will also determine your policy premium. The higher the deductible you are willing to pay, the lower your insurance rate will be.

How can I reduce my insurance rates?

There are many ways to save on your car insurance! Here are some tips to help you bring down the cost:

  • Take a ministry-approved driver’s education course
  • Bundle your home and car insurance with the same company
  • Increase your policy’s deductible
  • If you have an older vehicle, consider removing collision coverage
  • Maintain a clean driving record
  • Reduce your annual mileage by walking, cycling or taking transit
  • Compare rates annually, it’s the easiest way to save!

Which insurance companies will I get quotes from?

RATESDOTCA partners with over 50 top insurance companies in Canada, more than any other comparison site. Our partners include Intact, Aviva, Wawanesa, Jevco, Allstate, and Echelon, to name a few. See our full list of insurance partners here.

How much does it cost to use RATESDOTCA?

RATESDOTCA is 100% free to use. We are committed to saving you time and money.

What’s the catch?

There is no catch! There are no hidden costs or strings attached. We make our money from the partners we work with, not from you.

Is it cheaper to shop direct?

No. Your quotes come straight from the auto insurance companies. They are the same rates you would get if you called them directly.

The last word

RATESDOTCA makes buying car insurance easy. We compare more insurance providers than anyone else, so you can be confident that you are getting the best deal.

*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on RATESDOTCA and transacted via our contact centre from August to December 2020 saved an average amount of $676. 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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