In order to operate a vehicle in Canada, you need to have a valid car insurance policy in place at all times. Car insurance policy requirements vary from province to province, depending on the type of insurance system each is mandated by (public vs. private). However, you need to have a minimum amount of third-party liability insurance, to protect yourself financially in the event that you injure someone or damage their car/property. You’ll also need a minimum amount of accident benefits, which provides coverage for any medical/rehabilitation costs that resulted from an accident. You can also decide to buy more than the minimum amount required, as well as purchase additional coverage (such as comprehensive insurance) on top of your basic car insurance policy.
Why Compare Car Insurance Rates?
You might think that car insurance quotes for the same driver/car would be similar across all providers, but every car insurance company has its own costs to cover, based on data about all of their existing users/claims. Broken down, every car insurance company has a number of “risk groups” it divides people into, and they charge premiums based on the claims experience of each group. When an insurance company gathers information about you, their system places you into one of those groups – and a portion of your quote is based on the group you’re in. You can’t see what goes on behind the scenes, but the group you’re placed into and the premium that follows could vary greatly from company-to-company, which is why it’s wise to compare car insurance rates and see who can offer you the cheapest insurance.
How Car Insurance Rates are Calculated
Dozens of factors contribute to the total cost of your car insurance premium, all of which can be divided into four categories:
Your driving profile
Your car insurance provider
Based on the information you provide for your driving profile, the car insurance company will place you into one of its risk groups, which outlines the majority of the costs in the other points. You can read more about how car insurance rates are calculated on our site.
How to Save on Car Insurance
Car insurance rates vary from province-to-province, city-to-city and provider-to-provider. There are some costs you can’t control, such as the base rates determined by the public car insurance systems in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. However, there are a number of ways you can save money on your car insurance, including:
Maintaining a safe driving record
Increasing your deductible
Making all payments on
Asking for discounts
You can read about these tips and find more ways to save on car insurance on our site.
How to Buy Car Insurance
When you’re ready to buy a new car insurance policy, you can do so in person or over the phone, at a bank/credit union, insurance company or insurance brokerage. If you haven’t already done so, we always suggest you start by comparing car insurance rates online. We shop the most competitive providers to bring you a list of the best car insurance rates in Canada. Even if you don’t use one of the providers on our site, you should at least do this as part of your research, to make sure you know what’s available to you. Once you’ve picked and purchased the best car insurance coverage for you, the insurance company is responsible for providing you with a certificate of insurance to keep in your vehicle. The certificate lists details about the vehicle that’s insured, the coverage you have on it and the period of time which you are covered.
When shopping for auto insurance, you want the best company for you — not to be swayed by funny commercials and catchy jingles, all promoting a positive experience.
A clearer picture emerges of the best car insurance companies when you look at customer satisfaction and complaints. For NerdWallet’s 2018 rankings, we analyzed customer service and claims satisfaction scores from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, along with complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Only insurers rated by both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports are included. That means many smaller insurers aren’t represented here — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth considering, too.