Required car insurance in Sarnia, Ontario
Car insurance is not only provincially regulated in Canada, but it is also mandatory. This means that no matter where you live in Ontario - whether in Sarnia or Toronto, you will need to purchase a car insurance policy that complies with local laws. In Ontario, that means purchasing a policy that contains each of the following four types of coverage:
- Third party liability coverage
- Direct compensation - property damage coverage
- Accident benefits coverage
- Uninsured automobile coverage
Please note that in order to purchase a car insurance policy in Sarnia, you will need to provide a copy of your valid Ontario driver’s licence, as well as a driver’s abstract, which is a detailed driving record. If multiple people have access to drive your vehicle, such as you, your spouse, and your adult child, you will need to provide their information as well.
What happens if I drive without car insurance in Sarnia?
Getting behind the wheel without a valid car insurance policy is illegal everywhere in Ontario. Many drivers do not understand the harsh reality that awaits if they are caught committing the illegal act of uninsured driving. In Ontario, the penalties for driving without insurance are particularly severe. They are as follows:
- A fine of $5,000 to $25,000 for a first offence
- A fine of $10,000 to $50,000 for a second offence
- The suspension of your Ontario driver’s licence for anywhere from 30 to 365 days
- Your car being impounded for up to three months
In addition to the consequences listed above, in accordance with the Provincial Offences Act, if you are caught driving without insurance in Ontario and are issued a fine, you must pay an additional surcharge of 25%. Given these severe consequences, driving with insurance is the only option. Contact BrokerLink to learn more about mandatory coverage requirements in Ontario.
North Bay compulsory car insurance coverage explained
Now that you are aware that car insurance is a legal requirement in Sarnia, let’s dive into the four types of mandatory coverage in Ontario. This will give a better idea of why car insurance is so important and how it can protect you:
Third party liability coverage
Liability car insurance is designed to protect drivers who are at fault for car accidents. For example, if you accidentally rear end someone, your insurance provider will likely cover you via the third party liability portion of your policy. Under this type of coverage, you can be reimbursed for the cost of legal fees, medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, and more. In Ontario, drivers must carry no less than $200,000 in liability coverage.
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage reimburses policyholders for the cost of medical expenses that result from an accident. It doesn’t matter who caused the collision or which party was injured in the collision - whether it be the policyholder, another driver, a pedestrian, etc., accident benefits can still help cover the cost of medical bills.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage covers you if you get into a collision that you did not cause and your car is damaged. With this type of coverage, your insurance company may issue a direct payout to help you pay for the cost of repairing your vehicle.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage is the last type of compulsory coverage in Sarnia. It comes into play if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance that meets the minimum coverage requirements or does not have sufficient insurance. These drivers are known as uninsured or underinsured drivers. Uninsured automobile coverage can also compensate policyholders if they get into a hit and run.
Extra car insurance coverage to meet the needs of Sarnia drivers
Car insurance coverage in Sarnia goes beyond the four mandatory coverages listed above. There are all types of riders or endorsements that customers can add to their policies for broader protection. Some of the most common types of optional car insurance coverage you see in Ontario are the three types listed below:
Collision car coverage can pay to repair your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision with another car or object on the road. This optional Ontario auto insurance coverage can be claimed whether you or another driver were at fault for the collision.
Comprehensive car coverage, also known as parked car insurance, can protect you if your vehicle suffers damage from a non-collision-related event. For example, if a tree branch falls on your car while it’s parked in your driveway or a thief steals your car in the middle of the night, comprehensive car insurance coverage can help. With this type of coverage, you will only be protected against damage caused by a specified set of perils. These perils will be clearly stated in your policy and may include fire, wind, water damage, glass damage, theft, vandalism, falling objects, and more.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One final type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers in Sarnia 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.
How auto insurance premiums are calculated in Sarnia
Insurance companies use several factors to determine insurance premiums for Sarnia drivers. In order to assess your risk level, they will look at details like the type of car you drive, your age, your driving history, your insurance claims history, and whether you use your vehicle for business use, personal use, or both. A list of factors that an Ontario insurance company is likely to consider when calculating your auto insurance rates are as follows:
- 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
Keep car insurance rates low in Sarnia with the following tips
BrokerLink wants to make car insurance as affordable as possible for all Sarnia customers. That is why we are always happy to offer tips and advice that can help our customers save money on auto insurance. Learn about some of the best ways you can qualify for cheap car insurance in Sarnia by reading the following list:
Get help from a BrokerLink insurance broker in Sarnia
Save big on car insurance by seeking help from an insurance expert. BrokerLink has several licensed insurance brokers local to Sarnia who can help you save money on car insurance in all kinds of ways. We can unlock discounts you didn’t know you were eligible for, as well as give advice on ways that can help you cut costs. On top of all this, when you enlist us to help you purchase car insurance, we do our due diligence by researching tons of different car insurance products offered by insurance providers across Ontario. This way, you can know you’re getting the best coverage at the most affordable rate.
Sign up for an approved driving course in Ontario
No matter your age, signing up for a driver’s education course in Ontario can help you save money on car insurance. If you can provide proof that you graduated from an approved driving school, you can qualify for a car insurance discount.
Swap all-season tires for winter tires
Insurance companies in Ontario are now legally required to offer discounts to drivers who install winter tires on their cars. Take advantage of this and reduce the odds of an accident in the winter by swapping your summer or all-season tires for snow tires. Just make sure you meet the conditions met by your insurance company to qualify. Some insurance companies require all four tires to be the same make and model and most have a set date that the tires must be installed by each year
Buy an eco-friendly vehicle
Who wouldn’t want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on Sarnia car insurance? It’s a win-win. Many insurance companies in Ontario have started offering discounts to customers who drive hybrid or electric vehicles. So if you’re in the market for a new car, consider an eco-friendly model.
Keep your record clean
The safer you drive, the fewer accidents you are likely to get into, and the cleaner your record will be. Clean driving records can result in lower premiums. Contact BrokerLink for safe driving tips that may help you qualify for a cheaper car insurance rate.
Make your insurance payments on time
Whatever you do, prioritize making your car insurance payments on time. Otherwise, you run the risk of your policy being cancelled, and a policy cancellation is very likely to lead to higher premiums down the road. If you are struggling to keep up with your insurance payments, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They may be willing to arrange a new payment plan to help you make your payments.
We’re in your community
BrokerLink not only serves our customers in Sarnia, we serve the Sarnia community at-large. You can find us participating in local events and giving back to the community whenever we can. Corporate social responsibility is a major part of who we are as an insurance brokerage. Contact BrokerLink today to learn more about our values and the way we operate.
Local Ontario Insurance Links
If you’re a member of a group or association, you may be eligible for more discounts.
At Sarnia BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible.
You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any one of our locations throughout Ontario. No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool that can provide you with a competitive quote in minutes.
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FAQs on Sarnia auto insurance
How do I get a free car insurance quote in Sarnia?
You can obtain a free car insurance quote in Sarnia by contacting a local insurance agent or broker near you. Many insurance companies offer free quotes to prospective customers. Obtaining a free quote can give you a better idea of how much you can expect to spend on car insurance. It is important to request free quotes from multiple companies before purchasing a policy so you can compare them and choose the best policy for your needs.
How do I know what car insurance policy is right for me?
The car insurance policy that is right for you is the one that has the coverage you need at a price you can afford. To determine this, think realistically about your ideal budget and carefully consider the risks that you face and your level of risk aversion to help you decide what coverage makes the most sense for you.
If I get into a collision, will it impact how much I pay for car insurance in Sarnia?
This depends on whether you were at fault for the collision or not, how at fault you were (if applicable), and the type of coverage you have on your policy. Generally speaking, if you cause a car accident, your insurance premium is likely to go up. However, if this is your first at-fault collision and your policy contains accident forgiveness coverage, then your rates may not increase due to the sole factor of your incident. Further, if you were involved in an accident that you did not cause, your rates may not be affected at all.
Does Sarnia auto insurance cover me if items are stolen from my car?
Car insurance typically does not cover stolen items from a vehicle, such as if you left your smartphone or wallet in the backseat of your car and a thief broke in and stole them. However, it may cover you if a permanent fixture in your car is stolen, such as the steering wheel. Further, if your Sarnia auto insurance plan features comprehensive coverage, then your insurance company may reimburse you for any damage caused during the act of burglary. For example, if a thief smashed your car window or broke the lock in your car door in the process of stealing items from your car, your insurance provider might help pay to repair this damage.
How do I know what car insurance coverage I need?
First, the type of car insurance you need will depend on the province you live in. As a Sarnia resident, you live in Ontario, which means you will need coverage that meets Ontario’s provincial requirements. Thus, at a minimum, your car insurance policy must contain third party liability coverage, accident benefits coverage, direct compensation - property damage coverage, and uninsured automobile coverage. Beyond this, you will need to think about what other coverage you would like to include in your policy. This will depend on how risk averse you are, as well as the type of car you drive. For example, some optional coverage types may not make sense if you drive an older or less valuable car.
Should I renew my Sarnia car insurance plan?
Some policyholders wish to renew their car insurance plans, while others prefer to cancel them upon the expiry date and find another. It varies between customers and will ultimately depend on your needs. Most insurance professionals recommend assessing your policy before renewing it to make sure that it still works for you and that you are still getting the most competitive price for your coverage. When reviewing your policy, take the time to consider whether your current coverage, deductibles, and limits are still in line with your needs. You may also want to shop around and obtain quotes from other insurance companies to make sure that your current provider is offering you the most competitive rates.
If you find better coverage at a more affordable price somewhere else, it may be worth cancelling your policy at the end of the term and purchasing a new one. If you go this route, make sure that your new policy begins on the date your last one ends to avoid a lapse in coverage. Learn more about cancelling car insurance, renewing car insurance, and the expired car insurance renewal process by contacting an insurance professional near you.
How can I save money on Sarnia car insurance?
Save money on Sarnia car insurance by inquiring about the discounts that may be available to you. You can also qualify for lower rates by bundling insurance policies, choosing a higher deductible, paying for your plan yearly instead of monthly, installing an anti-theft device in your car, swapping summer tires for winter tires, driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, and more.
I am buying my first ever auto insurance policy. Do I need a valid driver’s licence to do so?
Yes. You must have a valid driver’s licence in the province you wish to purchase a policy before doing so. Thus, if you are buying your first ever policy in Sarnia, you will need to provide a valid Ontario driver’s licence.
Will my Sarnia car insurance cover me if I drive to another province?
Yes, so long as you are temporarily visiting that province. For example, if you are driving from Ontario to Quebec for the weekend, you will be covered by your Ontario auto insurance plan. However, if you are permanently moving to another province, you will need to obtain a new policy. Remember that car insurance in Canada is provincially regulated, and each province has different coverage requirements.
Thus, if you are moving to a new province and plan to drive there, you will need to notify your provider and potentially update your coverage so that it meets local laws in your new province of residence. The good news is that if your current provider offers coverage in your new province, you may not need to switch providers. Lastly, location is one of the biggest factors that determines auto insurance rates, so if you are moving provinces, your premium will likely be affected.
Is auto insurance coverage mandatory in Sarnia?
Yes, it is legally required throughout Canada and that includes in Sarnia. If you want to drive in Sarnia, you must purchase a car insurance policy that meets local laws.
What happens if I am caught driving without car insurance in Sarnia?
If you are caught driving without insurance, you can face serious consequences. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the officer who stops you, but the penalties for uninsured driving include up to $50,000 in fines plus a 25% surcharge on any fine incurred, a suspended driver’s licence, and your vehicle being impounded. Avoid these harsh penalties by purchasing a valid car insurance policy.
Will an insurance company increase my premium if I let a friend borrow my car and they get into an accident?
It depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. If your friend was at-fault for the accident, then your insurance premium is likely to increase. However, if they did not cause the accident, your rates may not change at all. It’s important to remember that auto insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. Assuming you gave your friend permission to use your car, they are not listed as an excluded person on your policy, and they were not committing an illegal act at the time of the accident, your car insurance coverage will extend to them when they are driving it.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.
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