Is auto insurance mandatory in Nova Scotia?
Yes, auto insurance is mandatory everywhere in Nova Scotia. Therefore, you must have a valid, up-to-date car insurance policy to legally drive in Nova Scotia, whether you live in Halifax or Pugwash. In order for your car insurance policy to be valid, it must comply with the minimum requirements set by the province since it is provincially regulated.
Driving without insurance in Nova Scotia is illegal, whether you never bought insurance in the first place or failed to renew your policy before it expired. If caught driving uninsured, you can face serious consequences, including a large fine. The minimum fine for a first offense in Nova Scotia is $1,250. For repeat offenses, this fine can go up to $5,850. Beyond a hefty fine, uninsured motorists in Nova Scotia may also have their driver’s licence suspended by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Why purchase Nova Scotia car insurance?
There are many benefits to purchasing car insurance, the number one being protection for yourself, the passengers in your vehicle, and other drivers on the road. Keep reading for other benefits that come with purchasing car insurance in Nova Scotia.
1. You are protected in case of bodily injury
If you are injured in a car accident, auto insurance(even standard car insurance plans) cover bodily injury in Nova Scotia. Therefore, if you require medical attention following an accident, your insurance company will help you pay for any medical expenses not covered by your healthcare insurance plan, like prescription medications, rehabilitation, or physical therapy.
2. You are covered in the event of a collision
Car accidents happen and they can have serious financial ramifications. The best way to prepare and protect yourself from the financial burdens of an accident is by purchasing auto insurance. For example, most auto insurance plans include coverage to help pay for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.
3. You are protected against theft
If you purchase comprehensive coverage with your auto insurance policy, you can be protected against a whole host of unforeseen incidents, including theft. Covering the costs of a stolen car by yourself may be a lot. However, with comprehensive car insurance coverage, your insurance provider will help pay for a new vehicle should yours be stolen. Depending on the coverage you choose, you may also be protected against damage caused by vandalism, fire, water, riots, falling objects, and more.
4. You are in compliance with the law
Last but not least, Nova Scotia drivers should purchase car insurance to comply with the law. Since auto insurance is mandatory in Nova Scotia, driving without insurance is incredibly risky as it can lead to expensive fines and a suspended driver’s licence. Purchasing car insurance that includes the minimum coverage requirements set by the provincial government will ensure you avoid the risks that come with uninsured driving.
What factors affect Nova Scotia car insurance rates?
Insurance companies in Nova Scotia consider several factors when calculating insurance premiums. From a driver’s age and driving record to their marital status and location, insurers take all kinds of details into account. Nova Scotia drivers might find it helpful to know which factors matter so they can understand why their insurance premium is what it is. The most common factors impacting car insurance rates in Nova Scotia are as follows:
One of the most significant factors used to determine the cost of car insurance in Nova Scotia is a person’s driving history. Driving history is a mix of one’s driving experience and driving record.
Typically, more driving experience is better, as a lack of experience is part of the reason young drivers tend to pay more for car insurance.
However, decades of driving experience does not guarantee a low premium, unless it is coupled with a stellar driving record. Your driving record is a history of any accidents or tickets you’ve received or infractions you’ve perpetrated. The goal is to have as few incidents as possible. When you have fewer incidents, this indicates that you are a safe, responsible, and lower-risk driver, and the insurance company may reduce your premium accordingly. Conversely, if your record has collisions and speeding tickets, you will likely pay more for Nova Scotia auto insurance.
Insurance companies see a direct correlation between age and driving skills. When you are young, you naturally have less driving experience, which insurance providers believe puts you at a higher risk of getting into an accident. This is why new drivers tend to pay the most for car insurance in Nova Scotia. Another age group impacted is seniors over a certain age, who may also pay higher rates for car insurance.
Location is another factor that all Nova Scotia insurance providers will use to determine your rates. Where you live and drive your car matters. Drivers who live in populous urban areas, like Halifax, are more likely to get into accidents since there is more traffic on the road. In contrast, drivers who reside in rural parts of the province with lower populations are considered less likely to get into a collision and may benefit from a reduced premium because of it.
Finally, if you live or work in a part of Nova Scotia prone to climate related incidents, such as floods, your insurance premium may be affected.
Vehicle, make, model, and year
The type of vehicle you drive can directly impact your insurance rate. Generally speaking, newer, more expensive vehicles will cost more to insure because the cost of repairing or replacing them is greater. The one exception to this is if the car is equipped with safety features, such as anti-theft devices or electronic security systems. On the other hand, budget-friendly, older, or used vehicles may cost less to insure.
How frequently you drive
Another factor that can affect your insurance rates in Nova Scotia is how frequently you drive your vehicle. For example, if you spend an above-average amount of time on the road (perhaps you have to drive for work), or you frequently drive at night and on major highways, your premium may be affected.
Alternatively, if you are an occasional driver who only drives on weekends or a few times each week, your insurance rates may be lower because your chances of getting into a collision are also lower.
One final factor that Nova Scotia insurance companies may consider when calculating your car insurance premium is your marital status. Data suggests that married people are more responsible and financially stable, which insurers may take into consideration when calculating auto insurance premiums.
It’s important to note that insurance brokerages like BrokerLink do not set insurance rates. It is the insurance companies that calculate insurance premiums. While we do now have the power to raise or lower your premium, BrokerLink can certainly help you shop around, obtain quotes from the top insurance companies in Canada, and compare coverage to find the best policy for you.
How to save money on Nova Scotia car insurance
At BrokerLink, we want car insurance to be as affordable as possible. That’s why we’re experts at blocking discounts on behalf of our customers and letting them in on industry secrets for saving money on car insurance. To learn more about how you can pay less for Nova Scotia auto insurance, check out our top money-saving tips below.
1. Increase your deductible
A rule of thumb in the insurance industry is the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Therefore, one quick and easy way to save money on car insurance in Nova Scotia is to raise your deductible. The average car insurance deductible in Nova Scotia is $500. By raising your deductible to $1,000 or more, you could lower your premium. Get in touch with BrokerLink to learn more about how car insurance deductibles work and the pros and cons of increasing yours.
2. Pay annually
One simple way to save money on Nova Scotia auto insurance is by paying for your policy annually rather than monthly. Paying monthly or quarterly may cost more in the long run if insurance companies add administrative fees for each payment. So if it’s feasible, you may want to pay for your policy up front. Doing so is also more convenient, as you’ll only have one payment due date to remember!
3. Insure multiple vehicles together
If your household has more than one vehicle, insuring them together can save you money. Insuring multiple vehicles at the same time with the same insurance provider may result in a discount of between 15% and 20% per policy.
4. Bundle insurance policies
Bundling insurance policies together is another way to find cheap Nova Scotia car insurance. When you purchase more than one policy from a provider, they will be more likely to give you a discount. So if you are also in the market for home insurance, business insurance, or insurance for your boat, cottage, RV or more, find a provider that sells several types and bundle your policies together. Buying more than one type of insurance from the same company can save you up to 15% on each policy.
5. Install winter tires on your vehicle
Maritime winters are no joke. Save money on car insurance while keeping yourself and others safe by installing winter tires on your vehicle. Snow tires are known for their superior performance on icy, snow-covered surfaces, and insurers know this. Insurance providers in Nova Scotia recognize that outfitting your car with winter tires reduces your risk of getting into an accident, and they will reward you for doing so. Nova Scotia motorists who install snow tires on their cars may save up to 5% on their insurance.
6. Purchase an electric vehicle
Save the planet and save money by purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle. Nova Scotia is just one of many Canadian provinces that offers insurance discounts to those with eco-friendly vehicles. Specifically, purchasing a green vehicle could save you up to 10% on Nova Scotia car insurance.
7. Enroll in driving school
Enrolling in a recognized driving school in Nova Scotia is one last way to save money on car insurance. This tip is for young drivers only. Insurance companies acknowledge that driving schools produce skilled and safe drivers who know the rules of the road and are more likely to obey them, so new drivers who can prove they graduated from an approved driving school in the province may be eligible for a discount. Since young drivers often pay the highest premiums, receiving formal lessons from a professional may be worthwhile for both educational and financial reasons.
Compulsory auto insurance in Nova Scotia, Canada
Auto insurance policies are not simple as they are made up of a wide range of coverages, with their own terms and limits. Some of these coverages are mandatory while others are optional. Three types of mandatory car insurance coverage in Nova Scotia are third party liability coverage, accident benefits coverage, and uninsured and unidentified driver coverage. These three coverages are legally required in all circumstances, no matter whether you own, lease, or finance your vehicle. Keep reading to learn more about how each coverage protects you.
Third party liability coverage
Third party liability coverage protects Nova Scotia motorists if they get into an accident that they are liable for. In the event that you cause an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage, liability coverage can help pay for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and even any applicable court or legal fees. In Nova Scotia, drivers must hold a minimum of $500,000 in third party liability coverage at all times, though many people choose to purchase in excess of the legal minimum ($1,000,000 in third party liability coverage is often recommended).
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage is another mandatory component of Nova Scotia auto insurance plans. This coverage helps cover the costs of medical expenses following an accident, whether these medical expenses are incurred by the driver, passenger, or any pedestrians involved in the accident. Accident benefits can be claimed no matter which party was at fault for the accident and can help pay for costs not covered by one's health insurance, such as prescription medications or physical therapy.
Uninsured and unidentified driver coverage
Uninsured and unidentified driver coverage protects you and any passengers in your car if you are involved in a collision with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured. This type of compulsory coverage will also help if you fall victim to a hit-and-run.
Optional car insurance coverage available to Nova Scotia motorists
Optional car insurance coverage is coverage that is not legally required in Nova Scotia. However, just because it’s not mandated doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it. Some of the most popular types of optional coverage are listed below.
Collision coverage protects the policyholder if they get into a collision with another vehicle or object on the road, regardless of whether they are at fault for the accident. Under the collision coverage portion of your policy, you can be compensated for the cost of property damage caused by the collision, such as a damaged car.
Comprehensive coverage protects Nova Scotia drivers from a wide range of risks beyond collision. Sometimes referred to as parked car insurance, comprehensive coverage can protect you from all kinds of unforeseen incidents, known as perils. Perils that may be included under the comprehensive coverage portion of your policy include theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, hail, riots, falling objects, windstorms, and more.
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.
The benefits of working with a Nova Scotia insurance broker
When shopping for car insurance, there’s no better decision you can make than enlisting the help of an insurance broker. Reputable insurance brokerages like BrokerLink can help you save time and money. Plus, you’ll have an auto insurance expert at your fingertips to help you find the best coverage at the most competitive price. Keep reading for a list of the top reasons to partner with an insurance broker in Nova Scotia.
Brokers work independently of insurance companies
One of the top reasons to work with a broker is that they operate independently of insurance companies. This means that brokers like those at BrokerLink can focus entirely on your needs. They take the time to understand your lifestyle and budget before offering our unbiased, objective, professional opinion on the right policy for you.
Brokers take care of everything
A second reason to work with an insurance broker is that they take care of everything. From the moment you contact BrokerLink, you will be assigned a dedicated insurance advisor who will obtain quotes, compare coverage options, and unlock discounts on your behalf.
BrokerLink brokers are car insurance experts
BrokerLink has been in business since 1991, which means we have over 30 years of experience in the car insurance industry. With our resources and expertise on your side, we will find you a car insurance policy in no time.
Contact BrokerLink to request a free Nova Scotia auto insurance quote today
Are you ready to purchase a Nova Scotia auto insurance policy?
BrokerLink’s expert insurance advisors are on hand to answer your questions, compare coverage options, or provide you with a free quote.
No matter where you live or what car you drive, we can provide you with a no-obligation quote. Give us a call, visit us in person, or use our online quote tool to obtain a free quote in minutes. Whatever way you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink representative will be pleased to assist you.
What are you waiting for? Jumpstart your Nova Scotia car insurance journey by contacting BrokerLink today.
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