Mandatory car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Car insurance is mandated not only in Sault Ste. Marie but throughout Ontario by the provincial government. Therefore, all licenced Sault Ste. Marie drivers must have a valid car insurance policy at all times. What is a valid car insurance policy? In Ontario, it’s a policy that complies with the province’s minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance. These requirements include a minimum of $200,000 in:
- Third-party liability coverage
- Uninsured automobile coverage
- Direct compensation - property damage coverage
- Accident benefits coverage
But first, to buy car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, motorists must have a valid driver’s license. Motorists will also need to provide a record of their driving history and any information regarding other people who may be driving their vehicle, such as a spouse or adult child.
If you have questions about mandatory insurance coverage in Sault Ste. Marie, get in touch with BrokerLink today.
Uninsured driver in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
As we noted above, car insurance is required in Ontario. Therefore, if you drive your vehicle without insurance, it is illegal. If a motorist is pulled over while driving without insurance in Sault Ste. Marie, or anywhere else in Ontario, they could:
- Be fined between $5,000 and $25,000 for a first offence
- Be fined between $10,000 and $50,000 for a second offence
- Lose your licence for a minimum of 30 days to up to one year (suspension)
- Have your vehicle impounded for up to three months
Also, in accordance with the Provincial Offense Act, there is an extra 25% surcharge tacked onto the fine that the driver must pay.
Ultimately, the cost of insurance does not outweigh the risk. Therefore, if you are in need of car insurance quickly, contact BrokerLink and we will help you find a policy with the right coverage.
Why is basic auto insurance mandatory?
Mandatory car insurance works to protect anyone involved in a collision. The associated costs following a collision, such as healthcare and rehabilitation, can be quite costly and unobtainable for many. Plus, in many cases, victims would likely see minimal compensation from at-fault drivers. This is why accident benefits coverage is one of the four mandatory coverages because it covers medical care, rehabilitation, attendant care and income replacement for those who cannot work due to their injuries.
If you are found to be at fault in a car accident that injured or even killed someone, or damaged their property, you could quickly find yourself facing a lawsuit. Without mandatory third-party liability coverage, you would be forced to pay expensive out-of-pocket for any legal fees, settlement costs and associated medical bills. This could quickly bankrupt many individuals, which is just another reason why having insurance is so important.
Thus, Ontario introduced the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act in 1990 to establish the minimum requirements for car insurance coverage and to ensure drivers who were not at fault could recover.
Basic auto insurance coverage in Sault Ste. Marie
At a minimum, all licenced drivers in Sault Ste. Marie must have an auto insurance policy that meets the requirements set by the province of Ontario. There are four types of coverage included in a basic auto insurance policy: third-party liability coverage, accident benefits coverage, direct compensation - property damage coverage, and uninsured automobile coverage. Below you can find more information about each type and what kind of protection each one offers:
Third-party liability coverage
Liability coverage provides protection if you get into an accident that injures another person or results in property damage to another person’s property. Under this portion of your policy, you can receive compensation to pay for medical expenses associated with bodily injuries or repairs of a damaged car, as well as any legal fees or court fees up to the coverage limit. Sault Ste. Marie drivers are required to purchase auto insurance policies with no less than $200,000 in liability coverage.
Direct compensation - property damage coverage
Direct compensation - property damage coverage protects an insured car and its contents from the costs of property damage. This type of coverage only applies if the policyholder is not at fault for the accident that caused the damage. This type of coverage gets its name from the fact that the insurer typically provides direct payment for the damage caused (such as to repair or replace a vehicle). To receive compensation under the direct compensation portion of your policy in Ontario, the incident must meet the following criteria: it happened in Ontario, it involved multiple cars, and it involved at least one car that participates in the province’s car insurance program.
Uninsured automobile coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage protects you and any passengers in your vehicle if you get into an accident with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured. This type of coverage also protects in the event of a hit-and-run. Uninsured automobile coverage covers medical expenses relating to injuries, car repairs due to damage, lost wages, and more.
Accident benefits coverage
If you, a passenger or a pedestrian, require medical attention following a collision, accident benefits coverage comes in handy. Protection is offered regardless of which party was at fault for the collision and can help cover loss of income and medical expenses, such as prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and more.
Optional car insurance coverage in Sault Ste. Marie
Beyond the required coverages mentioned above, drivers in Sault Ste. Marie can also add-on other types of coverage to their policies. While not required by law, these additional coverages can offer further protection and peace of mind. Some examples of optional auto insurance coverages available in Sault Ste. Marie are as follows:
If you get into an accident with another car or object on the road, no matter which driver is at fault for the accident, collision coverage can help cover the costs. Under the collision coverage portion of your policy, your insurance company can help pay for property damage that resulted from the collision, such as a damaged vehicle.
For added peace of mind, Sault Ste. Marie drivers may choose to include comprehensive coverage in their auto insurance policies. While standard auto insurance coverage in Ontario provides some protection against accidents, it does not protect drivers from many other circumstances on the road. For example, if your car is stolen, basic car insurance won’t help. But if you purchase this coverage, you can be protected against everything from theft and vandalism to water damage, fire, and more. This means that if your car was stolen, your insurance company would help cover the costs of replacing it, rather than having to pay for a new one entirely out-of-pocket.
Accident forgiveness coverage
One final type of optional coverage popular among Sault Ste. Marie drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your 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 insurance companies calculate car insurance rates in Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario insurance companies consider many factors when calculating car insurance premiums. Sault Ste. Marie motorists might find it helpful to learn which details matter most when determining the cost of car insurance. Below you will find a list of key factors we have outlined that impact how much your insurance in Sault Ste. Marie is:
- Where you live (and work - if you drive to work)
- Make and model of vehicle
- Past claims
- Annual mileage
- Driving experience
- Driving record
- Prior insurance coverage
- Your deductible
- Local laws
- How you use your vehicle
- Marital status
How you can save money on Sault Ste. Marie car insurance
No one should ever overpay for car insurance. With the help of our knowledgeable insurance brokers at BrokerLink, you will be saving money on insurance in no time. BrokerLink insurance advisors shop around and compare several insurance quotes for you and can even unlock car insurance discounts to get you the best insurance rates. Below you can find our top tips for saving money on Sault Ste. Marie car insurance that the BrokerLink insurance advisors have put together for you:
Increase your policy deductible
Our first tip is about raising your policy deductible as having a higher deductible can lower your premium. A deductible is how much the policyholder has agreed to pay upfront toward an insured loss before the insurance company steps in. All insurance policies have a deductible and it is up to you to decide what yours will be. However, while increasing it will likely lower your insurance rate, please note that you should only do so if you can afford it. Reach out to a BrokerLink insurance advisor to find out more about how increasing your insurance deductible can affect your rates.
Choose annual over monthly insurance payments
Our second tip to help you save on car insurance is about when to pay for your policy. Many insurance companies will give you the option of paying in one annual installment or twelve monthly installments. While monthly payments can be tempting, we recommend you pay for it annually instead. Should you choose to pay in twelve monthly installments instead of one annual installment, your insurer may charge you an administrative fee for each payment. Thus, paying for your policy in one annual installment instead of monthly, typically ends up saving you money.
Bundle multiple insurance policies together
Tip number three is to bundle multiple insurance policies together. Policyholders are often rewarded with insurance discounts when they purchase multiple policies from one insurance company. Therefore, if you are looking to insure multiple cars in your household (e.g. your car and your spouse’s car) or purchase car insurance in addition to another type of insurance (e.g., business insurance, home insurance, or recreational vehicle insurance), we recommend purchasing it all from the same insurance provider. You could save up to 15% per policy. Contact BrokerLink to learn more about the car insurance savings that may come with bundling policies.
Install winter tires on your car
Tip number four to help you to save on car insurance in Sault Ste. Marie is putting winter tires on your vehicle. You could be eligible for an insurance discount of up to 5% just by installing snow tires on your vehicle. While they are not required in Ontario, insurance companies acknowledge that winter tires have superior capabilities to all-season tires. Having them on your vehicle reduces your chances of getting into a collision during the winter. To learn more about a winter tire insurance discount, speak to one of our insurance brokers today. A BrokerLink insurance advisor can walk you through what conditions must be met to qualify (e.g. some companies might stipulate that all four winter tires must be the same model or that the tires must remain on your vehicle for a set time period).
Buy a hybrid or electric vehicle
Owning a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) can help you save money on your insurance. Insurance providers across Ontario are now offering discounts to owners of hybrid or electric vehicles to help incentive motorists to go green. Not only will owning an EV save you gas money, but it can also save you up to 10% on your insurance policy.
Enrol in driving school
Lastly, our final money-saving tip is for young drivers or even just drivers who haven’t driven in a while. Consider enrolling in a recognized Ontario driving school. There are many approved driving schools in Sault Ste. Marie that can teach you the rules of the road and defensive driving fundamentals. Also, driving schools generally include a set number of hours for driving lessons. This gives you the opportunity to practice your driving skills with someone other than a friend or family member. By graduating from an approved driving course, you have been taught the correct rules of the roads in Ontario. This makes you a safer, more responsible driver and decreases your odds of getting into an accident. As such, your insurance provider may offer you a driving school discount on your insurance policy.
Tips for young drivers in Sault Ste. Marie
When you first learn to drive, it can be overwhelming. As a young driver in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, it’s essential for you to learn the rules of the road quickly so that you can become a safe and responsible driver. To help improve your driving skills, we have put together a list of helpful tips below:
This is one of the most important driving tips - no matter your age. The more cautiously you drive, the less likely you are to get into a collision because driving slowly gives you more time to react. Always follow the speed limit and never drive beyond it. Also, never rush when accelerating, braking, turning, parking, or changing lines. Furthermore, you should also slow down anytime you are driving during inclement weather like fog, rain, or snow, at night when visibility is reduced or through a construction zone.
Leave ample space
Our second tip is to leave ample space around you. We recommend leaving two car lengths of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you on a regular road and four car lengths on a highway. Doing this can help prevent an accident if you need to stop suddenly by giving you more time and space to react. It will also help prevent you from colliding with anything in front of you if you are rear-ended.
Minimize distractions while on the road. Always. It can be tempting to text your friend back while driving (which is also illegal, by the way), or snack on some french fries that you just picked up in the drive-thru, but doing so instantly increases your odds of getting into an accident. Therefore, put your phone away and decide on a radio station before taking the car out of park. As for eating, either park before eating your food or wait until you get home. This way you can guarantee that all of your focus is on the road.
Never drive impaired
Impaired driving refers to operating a vehicle while your ability to make quick and responsible decisions has been compromised. This includes drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking drugs, including over-the-counter medications or illegal substances. The risk of driving impaired is not just dangerous for you but also for anyone else on the road. You are significantly more likely to be involved in an accident when you drive impaired.
By driving impaired, you risk the following penalties:
- An immediate licence suspension
- Paying a fine and reinstatement fee
- Enrollment in an education or treatment program
- Your vehicle being impounded
- And even harsher penalties upon an impaired driving conviction
Which penalties you will face depends on several factors, including your age, licence type, how much drugs or alcohol is in your system and whether you have been convicted of impaired driving before.
Compare rates with licenced Sault Ste. Marie insurance brokers
BrokerLink can help you save both time and money. Our fully-licenced insurance advisors make shopping for insurance and comparing quotes hassle-free by doing all of the work for you. We have the assets and experience required to find you your ideal policy and we pride ourselves on providing unbiased, professional advice. By having a BrokerLink insurance advisor compare rates on your behalf, you can rest easy knowing you are in great hands.
Here is why you should choose a registered Sault Ste. Marie insurance broker today:
Brokers operate independently of insurance companies
First, insurance brokers work independently of insurance companies. This means that you can trust us to make you our top priority. Upon getting in touch, you will be matched with a dedicated insurance advisor who will take the time to understand your needs and find an insurance policy that fits your lifestyle and budget.
Brokers do the work for you
The second reason for you to enlist the help of a Sault Ste. Marie insurance broker is that they do the work for you. Brokers offer a convenient service, contacting Sault Ste. Marie’s top insurance companies and comparing quotes on your behalf. They can also unlock discounts before presenting you with their top options.
Brokers are insurance experts
One final reason to consult with a licenced Sault Ste. Marie insurance broker is the expertise they bring to the table. BrokerLink insurance advisors are fully licenced with years of experience helping Sault Ste. Marie residents just like you find quality auto insurance policies. Take advantage of our invaluable expertise and resources by getting in touch today.
Contact BrokerLink Sault Ste. Marie for a free car insurance quote
Do you want to learn more about Sault Ste. Marie insurance? BrokerLink can help. You can reach us by phone or email or visit us in person at any one of our locations throughout Ontario. We can answer your insurance questions, explain your coverage and policy options and even provide you with a free quote! No matter how you choose to get in touch, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you.
Protect yourself with Sault Ste. Marie car insurance by contacting BrokerLink today. We can’t wait to hear from you!
We also invite Sault Ste. Marie drivers to take advantage of our online quote tool. BrokerLink offers free quotes to all Sault Ste. Marie residents. Simply provide us with some basic information about yourself and your vehicle, such as the make and model, and we will get back to you with an accurate and competitive quote in minutes.
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