Explaining mandatory minivan insurance in Canada
Yes. Insurance is mandatory for all drivers, no matter what kind of car you drive, whether it be a sedan, minivan, or truck. Specifically, all minivan drivers in Ontario must purchase auto insurance policies that contain the following four types of coverage:
- Third party liability coverage
- Direct compensation - property damage coverage
- Accident benefits coverage
- Uninsured motorist coverage
Driving without auto insurance is illegal
If you choose to drive your minivan without auto insurance in Canada, then you will be committing an illegal act. If caught, the punishments can be severe. Penalties vary from province to province, with Ontario laying down some of the harshest punishments for uninsured driving. In Ontario, if you are caught operating a vehicle without a valid auto insurance policy, you could face the following consequences:
- A fine of $5,000 to $25,000 for a first offence and a 25% surcharge
- A fine of $10,000 to $50,000 for a second offence and a 25% surcharge
- The suspension of your Ontario driver’s licence for anywhere from 30 to 365 days
- Your minivan being impounded for up to three months
What compulsory auto insurance coverage looks like for minivan drivers
There are four types of auto insurance that are compulsory in Ontario. Thus, all minivan drivers will need to ensure that their policies contain the following coverage types:
Third party liability coverage
Liability insurance protects minivan drivers if they cause an accident while driving. Specifically, it can protect them from the costs associated with at-fault accidents. These costs may range from legal fees and settlement fees to medical expenses that stem from bodily harm caused during the accident or repair bills relating to any property damage caused in the accident. In Ontario, minivan drivers must hold a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times.
Statutory accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage covers minivan drivers when they get into accidents that result in bodily harm. Given how expensive medical bills can be, accident benefits are crucial for all drivers. If you or someone else involved in the accident suffers an injury, accident benefits can pay for the cost of medical care not covered by your health insurance policy. It can also pay for lost income if you are unable to do your job due to your injury.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
So long as you were not responsible for the collision, you can claim direct compensation - property damage coverage if you get into an accident that damages your minivan. Under this portion of your minivan insurance policy, your insurance company may issue you a payout directly that covers the cost of repairs to your minivan.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Last but not least, uninsured motorist coverage will cover you if you get into an accident while in your minivan with another driver. For uninsured motorist coverage to be claimed, the driver you get into an accident with must fit into one of the following categories:
- An uninsured motorist: a driver who does not have a valid auto insurance policy and is therefore driving illegally
- An underinsured motorist: a driver who does not have enough insurance coverage to cover the cost of the damages that resulted from the accident
- An unidentified motorist: a driver whose identity is not known because they illegally fled the scene of the accident, e.g. a hit and run
Additional insurance coverage for your minivan
Minivan insurance comes in many forms. Basic minivan insurance is when your policy only features the four mandatory coverage types listed above. If you want something more comprehensive, you can purchase additional coverage. Auto insurance companies across Canada offer a wide range of extra protection to minivan drivers, like collision coverage, accident forgiveness coverage, and more. Keep reading to learn about a few types of additional minivan coverage you may be interested in:
Under the collision car coverage portion of your policy, your insurance company may issue you a payout to cover the cost of repairs to your minivan if you get into an accident that damages it. The accident could have involved another car, an animal, or even a foreign object on the road. This coverage is subject to a deductible that must be paid prior to a payout or repairs are completed, however this coverage can help to protect the financial asset you have in your vehicle.
Comprehensive car coverage is designed to protect vehicles from damage and theft while parked. For instance, if your minivan was parked in your driveway and a tree branch fell on it or a burglar broke into it in the middle of the night, you would be covered for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle in accordance with the comprehensive coverage portion of your policy. With comprehensive coverage, you are only protected against damage caused by insured perils. Insured perils vary between insurance companies and policyholders but some of the most common in Canada include fire, wind, falling objects, theft, vandalism, and water damage.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One final type of optional minivan insurance coverage popular among minivan drivers is accident forgiveness coverage. 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.
Loss of use coverage
If your minivan is damaged in an accident and you are unable to use it temporarily, loss of use coverage can cover any transportation costs incurred until it is repaired. For example, this type of coverage can pay for you to take public transit, rent a car, or hire taxis or ride shares until your minivan is in working order again.
Commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance is one final type of coverage that will be worthwhile if you use your minivan for business purposes. For example, if you run a business and you use your minivan to deliver orders to customers, transport materials to and from job sites, or visit clients’ homes, then adding a commercial auto insurance add-on to your minivan insurance policy is a must. Standard minivan insurance does not cover business use, which means that you would not be covered for any losses that occurred while driving your minivan for commercial purposes. You can learn more about how commercial auto insurance works for minivans by getting in touch with BrokerLink.
Understanding the cost of minivan insurance
How much is car insurance per month in Ontario? This is a question that many policyholders want the answer to. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to provide an answer without knowing more details about the customer. The reality is that auto insurance rates in Canada vary significantly, even among those who drive the same type of vehicle, such as minivans. That said, BrokerLink can provide some insight into how minivan insurance premiums are calculated. First, we outline some of the minivan-specific factors that might make minivan insurance cheaper than with other types, before providing a rundown of the various factors that an insurance company will consider when calculating your minivan insurance premium.
First off, drivers of minivans tend to be more responsible than drivers of other types of cars. This is typically due to the fact that children are in the car, and thus, motorists operate their vehicles with extra caution. As you may or may not know, safe driving habits often translate to cheaper premiums. Second, theft and vandalism are far less common with minivans than other types of cars. Therefore, the odds of filing a theft or vandalism-related insurance company with your auto insurance provider are lower, making your premium lower as well. Next, minivans have some of the highest safety ratings of any vehicle on the market. Since they are family cars, manufacturers often aim to make them as safe and reliable as possible. The safer a vehicle is to drive, the lower your premium is likely to be. Finally, minivans are a relatively popular category of vehicle and are often fairly affordable. The more accessible a vehicle’s parts are, the easier and cheaper it will be to repair, also resulting in less expensive auto insurance rates.
While the paragraph above has provided some insight into the factors that matter when calculating rates, here is a clear list of details that your insurance company will likely consider when determining your minivan insurance premium:
- Where you live (and where you regularly commute)
- Model, make, and year of vehicle
- Past claims
- Average mileage
- Driving experience
- Driving record
- Insurance history
- Deductible amount
- Regulatory bodies
- How you use your vehicle
How can I drive my minivan safely?
You can make driving your minivan safer by adopting safe and responsible driving habits. What does driving safely and responsibly in Canada look like? Check out the following safe driving tips:
- Obey all provincial and municipal traffic laws in your region
- Drive the speed limit at all times
- Drive below the speed limit if driving in a construction area, in an area with lots of pedestrians, or in adverse weather conditions, such as snow, rain, or fog
- Install winter tires on your minivan to make driving in snowy and icy conditions safer
- Pull over if you are tired
- Use sunglasses or your minivan’s sun visors to reduce glare
- Refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking while driving
- Put your smartphone somewhere you can’t see it or reach it
- Leave ample space between you and other drivers
- Check the weather and road conditions before leaving
- Use your signal when turning or changing lanes
- Clean all windows and mirrors to increase visibility
- Use your low or high beams when driving at night
Save money on your minivan insurance policy with these tips
So you want to save money on your minivan insurance policy? Get started by following the tips below:
Drive less often to qualify for an occasional driver discount on minivan insurance
Did you know that if you drive less, you could qualify for an occasional driver discount? Occasional driver insurance is far cheaper than the average auto insurance policy in Canada, which makes it a great way to save. To qualify, you will need to drive at or below a certain mileage threshold. Contact BrokerLink to find out what the threshold is at different insurance companies, as well as how much money you can save by being categorized as an occasional driver.
Make your minivan safer and cheaper to drive by installing winter tires on it
A winter tire discount is another way to save money on minivan insurance in Canada. Insurance companies in many provinces offer winter tire discounts to drivers. In fact, Ontario insurance companies are legally obligated to do so. Thus, if you want to make your minivan safer to drive during the winter months while saving money on auto insurance, consider outfitting your vehicle with winter tires in the fall and leaving them on until the spring.
Bundle multiple insurance policies
Bundling multiple auto insurance policies or different types of insurance policies can result in major savings. Insurance bundles in Canada vary but may include everything from car insurance and home insurance to business insurance and recreational vehicle insurance.
Add an anti-theft device to your minivan
Anti-theft device discounts are offered by some insurance companies. Why? Equipping your minivan with an anti-theft device can drastically reduce the odds of it being stolen. In turn, this makes you less likely to file a claim, and therefore less risky as a policyholder. As such, your insurance company may reduce your premium if you can show proof of your vehicle’s anti-theft device.
Reduce your minivan insurance coverage
This might sound like a strange tip, but the reality is that many policyholders pay for coverage that they don’t need. Additional coverage quickly adds up, leading to higher insurance rates. So if there are ways that you can cut down on insurance coverage, you can save money. For expert advice on what types of coverage are worth adding or removing to your minivan insurance policy, speak with one of BrokerLink’s licensed car insurance specialists.
Choose higher deductibles for your minivan insurance policy
Picking higher deductible amounts can also save you money on minivan insurance. While selecting a lower deductible may be tempting, it is a surefire way to increase your premium. So if you’re looking to find cheap minivan insurance, review your finances and pick the highest deductible amount you can afford to pay if you need to file a claim.
Make all minivan insurance payments on time
Next, make sure that you pay all of your insurance bills on time. Delayed or missed payments can lead to your policy being cancelled, which in turn, can lead to much more expensive premiums down the road. If you are struggling to make your monthly insurance payments, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible and see if you can work out an alternative arrangement.
Ask a BrokerLink minivan insurance specialist for help
Finally, if you want to lower minivan insurance costs in Canada, all you have to do is ask a BrokerLink insurance advisor for help. All BrokerLink insurance specialists are fully licensed and are experts in the insurance industry. They can provide you with all kinds of money-saving advice and strategies. They can also shop around on your behalf to help you find a competitive rate on your minivan insurance coverage.
Find quality minivan insurance with help from BrokerLink
Ready to purchase insurance for your minivan? BrokerLink can help. We are the leading brokerage in Canada for a reason. We have helped thousands of customers just like you find the right insurance for their minivans. Contact us today, and you will be matched with a licensed insurance broker who will shop around and compare rates to ensure you get your policy for the most competitive price possible. We can also answer any questions you may have about minivan insurance, make coverage recommendations, and even provide you with a minivan insurance quote, completely free of charge! To request a free quote, contact us by phone, email, or in person at one of BrokerLink’s 200+ insurance branches. You can also use our online quote tool to receive a complimentary minivan insurance quote in as little as five minutes.
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FAQs on minivan insurance
Where can I buy minivan insurance in Canada?
You can buy minivan insurance in Canada through an insurance company or an insurance broker in your province.
What types of minivan insurance do I need in Canada?
This depends on the province you live in. In Ontario, all minivan drivers must purchase policies that contain $200,000 in third party liability coverage, along with accident benefits coverage, direct compensation - property damage coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage. However, on top of this, you may also decide that you need optional coverage like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, accident forgiveness coverage, loss of use coverage, commercial auto coverage, roadside assistance coverage, etc.
How do I renew minivan insurance?
You can renew car insurance or minivan insurance by reaching out to your insurance provider. Contacting your insurance company directly is the quickest way to renew any type of insurance policy. No matter how you choose to get in touch - whether by phone, online, or in person - all you have to do is let them know that you’d like to renew your policy. This is also a great time to make any changes to your policy that you see fit, whether you want to increase or reduce coverage, raise or lower your coverage limits, or alter one or multiple deductible amounts. Keep in mind that reducing coverage, lowering limits, or raising deductibles can all lead to a cheaper auto insurance premium.
Before you renew, make sure to find out how much your premium will be for the year ahead. If you aren’t satisfied with your new premium, take the time to shop around and compare rates in case there is another insurance company offering the same or better coverage for a cheaper rate. Remember that insurance companies are constantly underwriting behind the scenes, which means that just because your current provider offered the best rate last year doesn’t mean they do this year. Whether you choose to renew your existing minivan insurance policy or not, just make sure to renew it or find a new one before your current policy expires. While expired car insurance renewal is still possible, it can be harder to do and lead to more expensive minivan insurance rates.
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