Does your address affect your car insurance?

13 minute read Published on Jun 27, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Two hands on a steering wheel

When purchasing a car insurance policy, it’s imperative to understand which factors determine insurance premiums. For instance, many drivers wonder if where they live plays a role in their premium. Your address is one of many factors that impact auto insurance rates in Canada. How exactly can it influence how much you pay for car insurance and in what ways? BrokerLink dives into that below:

Your home address and car insurance premiums

There are many details that insurance companies will consider when calculating your insurance premium, and one of them is your home address. An insurance provider will use your address to apply risk data based on your specific postal code. This risk data may include stats on the number of car accidents and thefts that occur near you. Keep reading to discover more about the location-related factors impacting auto insurance rates in Canada:

Population density

Urban areas have higher populations than rural areas, which translates to more cars on the road. In the eyes of the insurance company, this means that you are at an increased risk of getting into a car accident and having to file a claim. For this reason, insurance premiums for drivers who live in major cities in Canada tend to be higher. While insurance premiums for those in rural areas might be cheaper, they can also be impacted by how far you have to drive each day (those in rural areas may have to drive longer distances, on average), the conditions of the road (there might be less road maintenance in rural areas), and how at-risk you are for damage to your vehicle caused by collisions with animals or natural disasters, like wildfires.

Local traffic and accident history

When an insurance company asks for your address, they partly want to assess what local traffic is like near you. Living near an area known for heavy traffic or that is prone to accidents, such as in downtown Toronto, can lead to higher rates. Insurance providers regularly analyze the number of accidents near your home after a customer provides them with their address. If there has been a notable rise or fall in the number of accidents near you, this could also impact your car insurance premium. Further, an insurance provider may also ask for your work address, if you regularly commute to work. If you commute to work on a regular basis, your insurer may inquire about how long you are on the road for your commute. Keep in mind that the longer your commute is, the higher your rates may be.

Crime rates

Local traffic and population density aren’t the only two location-related factors that matter. The crime rate in your neighbourhood can also influence your car insurance rates. Why? Neighbourhoods with high rates of theft, trespassing, or break-ins may put your vehicle at an increased risk of being stolen or damaged. Therefore, if you live in a part of Canada with a high crime rate, your car insurance premium may be higher.

Where you park your vehicle

The specific location where you park your vehicle every night is another address-related detail impacting car insurance rates. Typically, drivers who park their vehicles in enclosed garages or carports overnight will enjoy cheaper auto insurance rates than those who park their cars on the street or on a driveway without a garage or covering.

Weather patterns

The climate where you live will also be considered. If you have comprehensive coverage, then living in an area prone to weather-related incidents like floods or fires can increase the risk of your vehicle being damaged. Similarly, even if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, living in an area where rain, snow, hail, or other inclement weather occurs frequently makes driving more dangerous and can increase your risk of getting into a car accident.

Road maintenance

The road conditions of your neighbourhood also matter. A lack of road maintenance can cause car accidents. Therefore, an insurance company will look into how well-maintained the roads are that you drive on. The better maintained they are, the lower your premiums may be.

Your home province and car insurance premiums

It’s not just your home address that can influence your rates. The province or territory you live in also has the ability to affect how much your auto insurance policy costs. This is because car insurance requirements vary from province to province. Each province has its own minimum coverage requirements, and the higher these are, the more the car insurance policy is likely to be. For this reason, average car insurance rates in Ontario are not the same as those in British Columbia or Quebec. Typically, auto insurance rates are highest in British Columbia and Ontario and lowest in Quebec. Since the province you live and drive in can influence your rates, make sure to inform your insurance broker if you are moving to a new province as this can change your premium.

How does changing my address impact my car insurance rates?

Changing address for insurance, whether it be car insurance, home insurance, or business insurance, can always impact your rates. For this reason, you are required to notify your insurance provider of a change in address.

A reminder that using a different address for car insurance is a form of insurance fraud, especially if you are using a fake or old address in an attempt to qualify for a lower rate. If you have questions about how changing your address can impact your rates or the process of informing your insurance provider about a change of address, contact BrokerLink today. A BrokerLink insurance advisor can walk you through the entire process, answering any questions you may have.

Other factors that impact car insurance rates in Canada

As mentioned, where you live is just one of several factors that an insurance agent will consider when calculating your auto insurance premium in Canada. A few of the other major factors that they will consider are as follows:

The make and model of your car

The type of car you drive is one major factor that can impact how much you pay for car insurance in Canada. An insurance company will consider the safety rate of your vehicle, as well as its theft rates. They will also take into account if it contains any additional safety features, like an anti-theft device or winter tires. Any modifications made to your car can also impact your rates. In fact, modifications can make such a difference that if you already have an existing car insurance policy, and you plan to modify your car, it is important to let your insurance provider know in advance. This is especially important since certain modifications may violate your car insurance policy, which means failing to notify your insurer before modifying your car could invalidate your policy, leaving you without coverage.

Your age

How old you are can also influence how much you pay for auto insurance, with younger drivers typically paying more for coverage than older drivers. This is due to a lack of experience. Even if you are older but have only been driving for a few years, insurance companies consider you to be at a higher risk of getting into an accident, which can increase your rates.

Your driving record

Your driving record is another major factor that can impact how much you pay for car insurance. For example, in Ontario, an insurance company will request a copy of your driver’s abstract. A driver’s abstract serves as a driving record, revealing any traffic tickets, at-fault accidents, infractions, or other driving incidents you have been involved in. The cleaner your record, the better your rates will be. Conversely, if you have a poor driving record full of infractions, you will be deemed a higher risk, and your insurance provider will likely raise your rates. Keep in mind that not only can maintaining a clean record lower your rates, but it can also allow you to qualify for a safe driver discount. Lastly, it’s worth noting that how long you’ve had your driver’s licence can also impact how an insurance company views your driving record.

How frequently you drive

How frequently you drive can also impact your car insurance rates. When applying for a car insurance policy with your provider, you will need to provide information on how often you use your vehicle. Specifically, they will ask for your annual mileage, or the number of kilometres driven per year. Drivers who spend an above-average amount of time on the road are more likely to pay a higher rate for car insurance than those who drive infrequently. If you drive infrequently, you may even qualify for an occasional driver discount.

Why you drive

Finally, why you drive can also affect your auto insurance rates. If you drive your car for business purposes, such as to deliver items to customers, transport materials, or travel to and from job sites, a separate commercial auto insurance policy or commercial add-on may be required. Personal auto insurance does not typically cover vehicle use related to businesses. Remember that commercial automobile insurance premiums may differ from personal auto insurance, in addition to the coverage options available to you. Speak with a BrokerLink insurance advisor to learn more about commercial auto insurance today.

Other factors

A few other factors that may come into play include:

  • Past claims
  • Average mileage
  • Driving experience
  • Insurance history
  • Deductible amount
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Gender

How to find cheap car insurance no matter your address

No matter where you live in Canada, there are ways that you can save money on auto insurance. From enrolling in a driver’s education course to installing winter tires on your vehicle, check out a few tips for ways that you can find cheap car insurance in Canada:

Reach out to a BrokerLink insurance advisor for advice

The first way to ensure you find car insurance at a competitive rate in Canada is to contact a BrokerLink insurance advisor. BrokerLink has offices all across Canada, each of which is staffed with licenced insurance professionals who can help you find great coverage at an affordable rate. To avoid overpaying for auto insurance ever again, get in touch with BrokerLink.

Sign up for a driver’s education course

Enrolling in a driver’s education course is another way to save money on car insurance as doing so can allow you to qualify for a driving school certificate discount. Make sure that you enrol in a driving school that is approved or recognized by your province.

Inquire about telematics insurance discount

Some insurance companies offer telematics discounts to drivers who exhibit good driving behaviour. Ask your insurance broker if you are eligible, and they will give you a telematics device to install in your vehicle or a similar mobile application to install onto your phone. The device will then track your driving habits, such as hard braking or fast acceleration and you could qualify for even cheaper car insurance rates in subsequent years if you demonstrate positive habits.

Install snow tires on your car

Want to make driving in the winter safer and save money on car insurance? Install winter tires on your vehicle and save big through the winter tire car insurance discount. Insurance companies in Ontario are now required to offer a car insurance discount to drivers who outfit their cars with winter tires. Reach out to an insurance broker to learn more about how to qualify and what level of discount you can expect.

Buy an eco-friendly vehicle

Driving an electric vehicle in Canada comes with many perks. You can reduce your carbon footprint, save money at the gas station, and lastly, save money on car insurance. Insurance providers in Canada now offer car insurance discounts to those who drive eco-friendly vehicles, such as hybrid or electric vehicles.

Minimize how much time you spend behind the wheel

Driving less could save you money on car insurance. One type of car insurance discount out there is the occasional driver discount. You must drive very infrequently to qualify for such a discount, but if you do, the savings can be huge. Conditions vary between insurance providers, but an occasional driver discount may only be available to you if you drive less than 5,000 kilometres per year. For more information on how this discount works or for tips on how to stay beneath the threshold, get in touch with BrokerLink today.

Bundle insurance

Qualifying for a bundling insurance discount can lead to significant savings on car insurance, home insurance, and more. By purchasing more than one insurance product from the same provider, an insurer may reward your loyalty by giving you a serious discount on each policy you buy.

Keep your driving record clean

Maintaining a clean driving record can help keep auto insurance rates low. Thus, one of our best tips is to drive safely and obey the rules of the road. This way, your odds of being involved in any at-fault accidents, of incurring a traffic ticket, or of being charged with an auto-related offence, will be much lower. In turn, the cleaner your record, the better your rates will be. If your record is so stellar, you might even qualify for a safer driver discount.

Consider several factors before buying another vehicle

The type of car you drive is another factor that can have a significant influence on how much you pay for Richmond Hill car insurance. There are several vehicle-related factors that can lead to higher rates. For example, driving an expensive or luxury car may lead to more expensive insurance. Similarly, driving a car with a high theft rate can also increase your premium. Conversely, driving a vehicle with a high safety rating or one that is outfitted with an anti-theft device can actually reduce your car insurance premium. For more information on the vehicle-related details that can affect your auto insurance premium in Richmond Hill, give BrokerLink a call. It can also be a good idea to get an estimate when you are pricing out your car so that you do not experience a large unexpected insurance bill after adding your new vehicle to your policy.

Make your insurance payments on time

One last tip for saving money on car insurance, no matter where you live in Canada, is to always make your auto insurance payments on time. If you opted for a monthly payment schedule, be sure that you are always making your payments by the deadline. If you start falling behind or are in danger of falling behind, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance providers will agree to reinstate your policy or amend your payment plan if you get in touch with them, so long as you’ve only had one or two payment issues by this point. A reminder your insurance company is within its rights to cancel your policy if you do not make your monthly payments. Cancellation due to non-payment can have serious long-term consequences, including higher auto insurance rates down the road with little to no options for financing.

Contact BrokerLink to learn more about your home address can influence your auto insurance plan

For a complete list of which factors can influence premiums and deductibles in Canada, get in touch with BrokerLink. A BrokerLink insurance broker can go into further detail about how your home address and the province you live in can affect your car insurance premium. We can also help you find a great policy, whether you need car insurance in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, or somewhere else in Canada. Get in touch today to begin your car insurance journey. Our brokers will handle your situation with care and take the time to find coverage that meets your unique needs. Call, email, or visit one of over 200+ branches to contact BrokerLink today.

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FAQs on car insurance address

What happens if I forget to change my address on car insurance?

If your home address changes, you will need to contact your car insurance provider as soon as possible. Failure to notify them within a reasonable amount of time can lead to a policy cancellation or worse.- You also run the risk of not receiving your documents in the future. If your insurance provider suspects insurance fraud, the consequences could be even more serious.

How do I change my address on my car insurance?

Changing the address on your car insurance policy is usually relatively simple. Get in touch with your local insurance agent or insurance advisor and request the change be made. Sometimes, you can even do this at home by logging into your account with your insurance company. From there, your insurance company will review your policy and notify you if your new address has affected your rates.

How many days do I have to reinform my car insurance provider about a change of address?

The amount of time you have to notify your car insurance company about a change of address varies, but experts typically recommend notifying your insurer within 30 days of the address change.

Do I have to change my car insurance address when I move provinces?

Yes, anytime you move, whether you move to a new address within the same province or an entirely new province, you will need to notify your insurance provider. This is especially important when moving to a new province since each Canadian province has its own unique car insurance requirements. You typically have 30 days from the date you move to notify your insurer. If your current insurance company doesn't offer car insurance in your new province, you will need to cancel your current policy and purchase a brand new one.

Does lying about my car insurance address invalidate my policy?

Yes, if you intentionally lie about your address in an effort to qualify for a cheaper car insurance rate, and your insurance company finds out about it, they could void your policy. This means that you would not have coverage, and trying to find coverage in the future would likely be more difficult and expensive.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.