Does age affect car insurance?

12 minute read Published on Jun 10, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

A Young Woman Driving A Friend in Her First Car

Curious about which factors determine insurance premiums? The BrokerLink team is here. Today, we are discussing the importance of one factor specifically: age. Age is one of the factors that matters most when an insurance company is calculating your car insurance rate. Learn more about why it matters and how you can keep auto insurance costs down no matter your age below.

How age impacts auto insurance rates in Canada

When you look into average car insurance rates in Ontario, average car insurance rates in Alberta, or average car insurance rates in really any Canadian province or territory, you may notice a pattern. The pattern being that car insurance coverage tends to be more expensive for teenagers and young adults and gradually gets less expensive as drivers enter adulthood. Then, as drivers get older in age, reaching their senior years, car insurance rates climb back up. The reason for these car insurance patterns has to do with risk, which from an insurance company’s perspective, directly correlates with age. For more information on how age impacts the auto insurance rates for teens, adults, and seniors keep reading:

Teen drivers

Teen drivers are among the riskiest drivers to insure. For this reason, your first car insurance policy is likely to be your most expensive. Research indicates that teenage and young adult drivers are far more likely to get into accidents than drivers of any other age group. This may be due to a variety of factors, though the main one is a lack of driving experience. Overall, insurance companies are likely to raise premiums for teenage or young adult drivers due to the increased odds of a claim. For more information on car insurance for young drivers, check out BrokerLink’s first time driver guide.

Adult drivers

The cost of auto insurance for adult drivers tends to be cheaper. However, it is not a one-size-fits all approach, as there are factors such as date licensed, accidents, tickets or convictions that must be taken into account. It is also worth noting that if you do get your licence after the age of 20, your rates may still be higher than those who got their licence at 16 as you have less driving experience. However, if you do get your licence at 16, you may find that your driving record is not always the reason for an increase in premium. Following this path, for the next few decades, drivers may enjoy lower premiums, so long as they maintain a clean driving record and keep their insurance claims to a minimum.

Senior drivers

Senior drivers may notice a slight increase in car insurance rates. This is due to several age-related factors that can influence one’s driving capabilities. For example, compromised vision or hearing or a slower reaction time could lead to increased accident rates for older drivers. Note that although some insurance companies may increase premiums for drivers over a certain age, these premiums are unlikely to be anywhere near the cost of premiums for teenage or new drivers. In addition, many insurance providers offer car insurance discounts to senior drivers, especially those who are of a certain age and are retired.

Car insurance premiums for experienced drivers

Though this isn’t a hard and fast rule, car insurance costs tend to drop after a driver has been driving for six years or more. However, you must have a solid driving record to benefit from this reduction. Even if you do not notice a steep reduction in your auto insurance rates, drivers can understand that their driving record was not a factor in the cost of their insurance premiums. In fact, even within the first six years of driving, your young drivers car insurance rates may drop significantly every couple of years, assuming you have a good driving record. Learn more about how young drivers car insurance works by checking out our young drivers insurance explained guide.

How much do car insurance rates change with age?

Many factors influence car insurance rates in Canada, like location, provincial laws, driving record, etc., which we discuss in greater detail below. Age is just one of these factors, albeit an important one. All other factors being equal, drivers can expect their car insurance premiums to change as they get older. Young drivers may see a reduction in premiums if they maintain a clean driving record year after year. If you keep your record clean, your premiums may continue to decrease slightly year after year as you enter adulthood, though they may increase slightly as you age and require senior car insurance.

Other factors that determine car insurance premiums in Canada

To better understand how car insurance rates are calculated in Canada, it’s important to understand what other factors come into play. As mentioned, insurance companies will certainly consider your age when determining your rates, but this won’t be the only factor considered. From your driving history to your location and the type of car you drive, check out this list of important factors that can affect your car insurance premium in Canada:

Driving history

Your driving history, though it relates to your age, is an independent factor that insurance companies will consider. Your driving history is a mix of your driving record and your driving experience. In Ontario, an insurance company is likely to request a copy of your driver’s abstract, which is a detailed driving record. Generally speaking, the more time you’ve spent on the road, the better, as driving experience is a major asset. The more experience you have, the lower your rates may be. However, years of driving experience will need to be coupled with a clean driving record if you want to benefit from cheaper car insurance rates. What is a clean driving record? One that does not include any at-fault accidents, traffic tickets, or other driving infractions. If your driving record is full of demerit points or you have been charged with a traffic-related offence, it will appear on your driving record and it will increase your risk as a policyholder, affecting your rates.


Gender is a second factor that insurance companies may consider when determining your auto insurance premium. According to Statistics Canada, male drivers are statistically more likely to get into a collision than female drivers, which is why rates for men may be higher than those for women.


Your home address will also come into play when an insurance company is determining your rates. An insurance provider will assess the risk of your location based on details like population density, crime rate, weather, and accident rates. Typically, drivers who live in densely populated areas, like the Greater Toronto Area, pay more for car insurance than those in rural areas, simply because more drivers on the road equals more risk. However, traffic isn’t the only consideration. An insurance agent will also research the crime rate in your neighbourhood to determine the odds of your vehicle being damaged or stolen, as well as accident or claims rates for drivers in your location and any relevant weather-related factors, such as if your neighbourhood is prone to flooding or other natural disasters. One last location-related factor that can influence car insurance rates is where you park your car. Parking your car in a carport or covered garage can lead to cheaper rates than if you park your car on the street.

Vehicle make, model, and year

Next, the type of car you drive will also play a role in determining your auto insurance premium in Canada. An insurance company will ask for details about the make, model, and year of your car to assess its risk. From there, they will do some research into the safety rating, rate of theft, and estimated value. The more valuable the vehicle, the higher your car insurance rates are likely to be, simply because it costs the insurance company more to repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a claim. The higher the safety rating of your vehicle, the cheaper it may be to insure. However, less expensive cars with high rates of theft may also be costly to insure.

How frequently you drive your vehicle

Spending a lot of time on the road can further impact your auto insurance rates in Canada. The more you drive, the more at risk you are of getting into an accident. Thus, if you spend an above-average amount of time behind the wheel, e.g. if you have a long commute to work or frequently drive on major highways, your premium may be higher. Oppositely, if you do not drive your car very often, your rates could be lower, especially if you qualify as an occasional driver. Occasional drivers can benefit from significantly lower auto insurance rates, though you will have to make sure you do not exceed the maximum number of kilometres per year.

Auto insurance for drivers of all ages

No matter your age in Canada, you will need to purchase a car insurance policy if you plan to drive. Why? Auto insurance is a legal requirement everywhere in Canada. Each province has its own rules and regulations on car insurance. Below is a list of coverages that are available to all drivers in Ontario, regardless of how old they are. Some of them are mandatory and some of them are optional:

Third party liability coverage

Liability coverage for car insurance is made to protect drivers if they are involved in an at-fault accident. In other words, if you cause a collision, your third party liability coverage can help pay for the associated costs, such as legal fees to defend yourself or settle the matter in court, medical expenses, repair bills, and more. Depending on the province, drivers must carry a minimum amount of third party liability coverage for their auto insurance policy to be valid.

Accident benefits coverage

Accident benefits coverage is a type of mandatory coverage that is designed to pay for medical expenses if someone requires medical attention following an accident. To be covered, the person requiring medical attention could be anyone involved in the collision, whether it be a pedestrian, passenger, or the other driver.

Direct compensation - property damage coverage

Direct compensation - property damage coverage can pay for repairs if a collision results in property damage. For example, if another vehicle hits you and dents your car, your insurance company may compensate you for the cost of repairing it through the direct compensation - property damage portion of your policy.

Uninsured automobile coverage

Uninsured automobile coverage is the last type of mandatory auto insurance in Canada. It protects drivers if they find themselves in an accident with a driver who is uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified in the case of a hit and run.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage can pay for the cost of vehicle repairs if a policyholder gets into a collision and their vehicle is damaged.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage, or parked car coverage, protects drivers of any age from a wide range of incidents. Specifically, comprehensive insurance covers non-collision accidents, such as your vehicle being stolen or damaged by a falling object while parked in your driveway. The particular risks that comprehensive coverage safeguards you against depend on the perils named in your policy. Common perils included in comprehensive insurance policies are fire, wind, vandalism, theft, falling objects, and water damage. You can pick and choose the perils that are most applicable to your situation or opt for all perils coverage for the broadest protection.

Accident forgiveness coverage

One final type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim. Note: coverage varies by province.

Tips for lower car insurance premiums for drivers of any age

Regardless of your age, you probably want to keep your car insurance premiums as low as possible. BrokerLink wants to help you save as much money as possible on car insurance, which is why we’ve put together the following list of tips on how to lower car insurance premiums in Ontario. Check them out below:

Research alumni and employment discounts

Many insurance companies offer car insurance discounts to graduates of certain post-secondary institutions and employees of certain companies in Canada. This means that you may qualify for a car insurance discount without even realizing it. When applying for auto insurance, be sure to research if any insurance companies near you will give you a discount simply because of where you attended school or a job you’ve worked at in the past.

Maintain a high credit score

Do you have a high credit score? Use this to your advantage and you could benefit from a cheaper rate. Not all provinces offer credit score car insurance discounts, but some, such as Quebec and Alberta, might. Inquire about credit score auto insurance discounts near you by getting in touch with BrokerLink.

Choose your coverage wisely

Another way to save money on car insurance is by choosing your coverage wisely. If you are particularly risk-averse, you might be tempted to purchase the highest coverage limits and every type of optional coverage available to you. While protection is important, not all coverages are right for all drivers. For instance, comprehensive and collision coverage, both of which are optional (unless you lease or finance your car), may not be worth it depending on what car you drive. If you drive an expensive, luxury car, these coverages can make a big difference in the event of a claim, but if your vehicle is old or used, and ultimately isn’t worth much money anymore, then these optional coverages might lead to you paying more money to protect an asset than the asset’s actually worth.

Thus, we recommend consulting with a licenced insurance broker at BrokerLink before purchasing coverage. They can provide you with an honest opinion on what coverage makes sense for you and your family. They can also give you advice on which coverage limits and deductibles to choose.

Increase your deductible

Premiums and deductibles go hand in hand, which is why you should pay close attention to the deductible you select for your policy. If you want to keep your car insurance rates low, choose a higher premium. If you don’t mind paying more for car insurance, choose a lower deductible. To find out exactly how much money you can save according to the deductible you choose, contact BrokerLink.

Opt for an annual payment schedule over a monthly one

You will likely have multiple payment schedule options when purchasing car insurance. The thing is that some insurance companies charge more if you want to pay for your plan monthly. Make sure to ask an agent about any differences in cost between the two payment schedules. If the monthly plan costs more, opt for the annual plan and pay for your policy upfront.

Install winter tires on your car

Qualify for a winter tire discount on auto insurance by having snow tires installed on your vehicle. Many insurers now offer savings to drivers who equip their cars with snow tires during the winter months.

Buy a hybrid or electric vehicle

Buy a hybrid or electric vehicle to qualify for a major auto insurance discount. Driving an eco-friendly car is one way to save money on car insurance in Canada. Provinces want to motivate drivers to go green and ditch gas-powered vehicles and an insurance discount is one way they have started doing so.

Enrol in a driver’s education course

Signing up for a driver’s education course in your province can also help you reduce car insurance costs. Many young drivers choose to do so, not only to learn more about the rules of the road but to become eligible for an auto insurance discount.

Add an anti-theft device to your car

Reduce the odds of your car being stolen and save money on insurance by adding an anti-theft device to your vehicle. Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who install these kinds of security systems in their vehicles due to the added safety they provide.

Contact BrokerLink to learn more about how age impacts car insurance premiums in Canada

Get in touch with BrokerLink if you want to gain further insight into how age, among other factors, impacts car insurance rates in Canada. A BrokerLink car insurance specialist will be pleased to give you a complete breakdown of which factors influence auto insurance rates. They can also give you even more tips on ways to save money on car insurance and walk you through the process of purchasing a new policy, renewing car insurance, or adding another driver to your policy. Of course, a BrokerLink insurance advisor would also be happy to provide a professional opinion on the right coverage for your needs. As insurance experts, we specialize in finding tailor-made auto insurance coverage for each of our customers and will stop at nothing until we find you a great policy at an affordable rate. Contact BrokerLink by phone, email, or in-person to get started today.