Compulsory car insurance in Niagara Falls
Car insurance is a legal requirement in the province of Ontario, which means Niagara Falls drivers must have valid, up-to-date auto insurance at all times. In order to drive in Ontario, you must also hold a valid driver’s license and register your vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation. Proof of insurance is required to register your vehicle with the province.
It’s important to note that not just any type of auto insurance will do. Rather, the province of Ontario has specific regulations about the minimum coverage requirements for car insurance. For example, all Niagara Falls drivers must purchase auto insurance that includes a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage (though many drivers will opt to have greater coverage than this).
Uninsured motorists in Niagara Falls
As mentioned above, car insurance is a legal requirement in Ontario, which means uninsured motorists are breaking the law and can face major fines if caught.
For a first offense, you can be fined a minimum of $5,000 up to the maximum of $25,000.
If you are caught driving with insurance a second time, you can be fined up to $50,000. It’s also important to note that there is a 15% surcharge on any fines incurred, which you are also responsible for.
Ultimately, the consequences of driving without insurance in Niagara Falls are severe, so you do not want to be caught in such a scenario. For this reason, we recommend purchasing car insurance as soon as possible. If you aren’t sure which policy to choose or where to begin, contact BrokerLink today.
Reasons to buy Niagara Falls auto insurance
There are several reasons why purchasing Niagara Falls auto insurance is a wise decision. From offering protection in the event of injury to helping you cover the costs of repairing your vehicle after a collision, check out a few reasons why Niagara Falls motorists may wish to buy auto insurance.
You’re protected in case of bodily injury
Auto insurance can help cover medical costs if you are injured in a car accident. While your health insurance will likely cover the majority of healthcare expenses, your car insurance company may be able to help cover additional costs, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
You’re protected in the event of a collision
Thousands of car accidents happen in Ontario each year. Even if you drive safely, accidents can still happen. Car insurance provides Niagara Falls drivers with peace of mind knowing that if they get into an accident, their insurance provider will help cover the costs of repairing or replacing their damaged vehicle.
You’re protected in case of theft
Comprehensive coverage offers protection if someone steals your vehicle. If your car is stolen, your insurance company can help cover the costs of replacing it, rather than you having to pay for a new car out-of-pocket.
You’re in compliance with the law
The final, and perhaps most important, reason to purchase Niagara Falls auto insurance is because it is mandatory, and failing to do so would put you in breach of the law. Driving without insurance in Ontario is extremely risky, given the hefty fines that can be levied if you are caught. For a first offense, you can be fined up to $25,000, and for a second offense, the maximum fine doubles, going up to $50,000.
Types of auto insurance coverage in Niagara Falls
Mandatory car insurance in Niagara falls must include several types of coverage, which we outline below. These types of coverage were made compulsory to protect all drivers, passengers, and cars on the road. A reminder that auto insurance is compulsory for all Niagara Falls drivers, no matter whether you lease or own your vehicle, and no matter whether you are a full-time resident or visitor to the region.
Liability coverage protects drivers against the cost of accidental injury or property damage if you get into an accident that you are at fault for. Liability coverage may not only help cover the cost of vehicle repairs or medical bills, but also legal defense and court fees, if applicable. This type of coverage is mandatory across Canada, though each province and territory sets the minimum amount. In Ontario, the minimum amount of liability coverage drivers must carry is $200,000.
Direct compensation coverage protects you in the event that you get into an accident that was not your fault. This type of coverage provides compensation if you suffer a bodily injury or vehicle is damaged in the collision. In the case of direct compensation, you contact the insurance company directly to settle your claim.
Accident benefits coverage
If you, a passenger, or a pedestrian require medical attention following a collision, accident benefits coverage will kick in. Unlike liability coverage or direct compensation, it does not matter whether you are deemed at fault for the accident. You can still receive compensation from the insurance company to cover medical expenses. That said, there are limits to what is covered and the amount of money you can claim, so it’s important to understand these terms when choosing a car insurance policy.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage protects you and any passengers in your car if you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
What determines the cost of car insurance?
Several factors determine how much you pay for car insurance. Your location, marital status, driving history, annual mileage, and more, can all impact your insurance premiums. Niagara Falls drivers might find it helpful to know how each of these details can affect the cost of your car insurance. To learn more about how insurance companies will determine your Niagara Falls auto insurance rate, keep reading.
One of the most important factors in determining the cost of auto insurance is a person’s driving history. Driving history takes into account both driving experience and driving record. Having several years, or even decades, of driving experience can work to your advantage, assuming you have a relatively clean record.
A clean record means no speeding tickets, collisions, or DUIs. Those with driving records that include several incidents will likely pay a higher premium.
Similarly, those with minimal driving experience, such as young drivers who only recently obtained a driver’s license, may also pay a higher premium.
Alternatively, those with years of experience and a stellar track record will enjoy the benefits of lower premiums.
The cost of car insurance can depend on the amount of coverage you choose. Each Canadian province sets its own regulations relating to car insurance, including the minimum amount of coverage required. For example, in Ontario, drivers are legally required to carry $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times. However, many drivers will choose to carry more than this, which can raise the cost of insurance.
From an insurance company’s perspective, age is a key factor in calculating your car insurance rate because age correlates to experience. The younger you are, the less driving experience you have, and the more likely you are to get into an accident. For this reason, young drivers typically pay higher premiums. Another age group that may see higher rates are drivers over the age of 60. This is due to statistics showing that this group may be involved in a higher incidence of accidents for a number of reasons.
Where you live and work (assuming you drive to work) will directly impact what you pay for car insurance. Typically, drivers that live in or frequently travel to urban areas, such as Toronto, will pay a higher premium. High-density areas translate to more traffic, which in the eyes of the insurance company, increases your odds of getting into an accident. Those living in rural areas tend to have lower insurance premiums.
Another geographic factor that can influence the cost of auto insurance is if you live in an area prone to climate related incidents, such as flooding.
Car make and model
In order to get an accurate auto insurance quote, you will need to provide details on the type of car you drive. Such details include the make, model, and year of your vehicle. These factors help insurance companies determine how likely it is that your car will be stolen and how much your vehicle would cost to repair or replace if damaged or stolen. Typically, insurance premiums go up for drivers of new or luxury vehicles, such as sports cars. However, if your car is new but is equipped with safety features, the insurance company may take this into account.
How often you drive your car is another factor that can impact your Niagara Falls car insurance rate. If you drive infrequently, such as once or twice a week or only on weekends, you are less likely to get into an accident and your insurance rate may be lower.
Conversely, if you spend a lot of time driving, perhaps your job requires it or you have a lengthy daily commute to work, then your chances of getting into an accident rise, along with your insurance premium. The same can be said for drivers who frequently drive at night and on highways.
Insurance providers may ask you about your marital status when providing you with a quote. Why? Data reveals that married people are more financially stable, which insurance companies believe translates to better driving. It might not seem fair, but the reality is that married drivers tend to pay less in car insurance than their unmarried counterparts.
How to save money on auto insurance in Niagara Falls
People should never have to pay more than necessary for car insurance. That’s why BrokerLink is dedicated to finding the best possible coverage at the best possible rates for all of our customers. Beyond working with a broker who knows the ins and outs of the industry, there are several other ways that Niagara Falls drivers can save money on their car insurance. From bundling multiple policies into one to investing in winter tires, check out our top tips for saving money on auto insurance.
Increase your deductible
One of the quickest ways to reduce the cost of car insurance is to increase your deductible. A general rule of thumb in the insurance industry is that the higher your deductible (the amount of money you are responsible for paying towards an insured loss), the lower your insurance premium. In Ontario, car insurance deductibles typically average around $500, though most insurance companies give you the option of a higher deductible. To save money on car insurance, consider raising your deductible to $1,000 or more. That said, raising your deductible is not a decision that should be made lightly. Consult with an insurance broker to understand what this means and how doing so could affect you in the future.
Make annual payments
If it’s feasible, pay your car insurance annually versus monthly. Most insurance providers will give you the option, however, monthly payments often come with administrative fees, making it less expensive to pay for your annual car insurance at once.
Insure all cars together
If you own more than one car, purchasing auto insurance for each vehicle from the same provider can save you money. Insuring multiple cars at once can save you between 15% and 20% on each respective car insurance policy.
Combine different insurance policies
Generally speaking, the more insurance you buy from a provider, the more money you can save. For this reason, bundling insurance policies is a great way to reduce the cost of car insurance. For example, if you bundle home insurance and car insurance or leisure vehicle insurance and car insurance together, you can save up to 15% on each respective policy.
Install winter tires on your vehicle
Winter driving in Niagara Falls can be dangerous. But installing snow tires on your vehicle can minimize the risks of driving in the winter. Even better, it can save you money on car insurance. Auto insurance companies recognize that winter tires have far superior capabilities to the average all-season tire. Thus, if your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, you will be less likely to get into an accident, and as such, you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance. Discounts vary by insurance company but you may save up to 5% on your vehicle by investing in winter tires.
Drive an electric vehicle
Being good to the environment saves more than just the planet. In recent years, an increasing number of insurance providers in Ontario have started offering car insurance discounts to drivers who own eco-friendly vehicles. SO in addition to saving you money at the gas pump, investing in a hybrid or electric vehicle could save you up to 10% on car insurance.
Enrol in driving school
One way to save money on auto insurance, especially for young drivers, is to enroll in and attend driving school. Insurance companies appreciate when drivers have received professional driving instruction, and will take this into account when calculating your rate. The reasoning behind this is that formal driving schools are said to produce safer, more confident drivers, which means the drivers may be less likely to get into accidents.
Get in touch with a Niagara Falls insurance broker
Are you ready to learn more about auto insurance in Niagara Falls? Contact BrokerLink today!
We have offices all across Ontario and would love to meet you. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone or online. No matter how you choose to get in touch, one of our insurance advisors will be able to answer your questions and explain the coverage options available to you.
Even better, BrokerLink is pleased to offer free auto insurance quotes to all Niagara Falls drivers. In just five minutes, you can gain access to an accurate and competitive quote that is 100% obligation-free.
Click the “Get a quote” button in the top right-hand corner of this webpage to get started. From there, answer some basic information about yourself, such as your age, marital status, address, and the type of vehicle you drive. Lastly, we will review your answers and provide you with a free Niagara Falls car insurance quote. If you have any questions, give us a call and a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you.