Is auto insurance required in St. Catharines?
Yes, car insurance is mandatory in St. Catharines, along with everywhere else in Ontario. Auto insurance is provincially regulated and the government of Ontario has made it compulsory for all drivers. This means that no matter where you live in the province, you must hold valid car insurance at all times.
Further, St. Catharines drivers are not only required to have a car insurance policy but the policy must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by the provincial government. In the case of Ontario, one such requirement is that all motorists must carry $200,000 in third party liability coverage. In order to register your vehicle in Ontario, you will need to show proof of insurance.
Driving without insurance in St. Catharines
Since car insurance is a legal requirement in Ontario, St. Catharines drivers who decide to get behind the wheel without insurance risk severe fines.
For a first offense in Ontario, you can be fined anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000, and if caught a second time, you can be fined up to $50,000. There is also a 15% surcharge applied to all fines.
Therefore, most people will agree that driving without insurance in St. Catharines is simply not worth the risk. So if you’re currently driving around without insurance, do yourself a favour and get in touch with your local broker as soon as possible. A trusted broker like BrokerLink can help you find a comprehensive yet affordable car insurance policy that complies with provincial regulations.
Why purchase St. Catharines car insurance?
St. Catharines drivers have so much to gain by purchasing car insurance. From peace of mind to financial protection in the event of an accident, a list of four reasons to purchase auto insurance can be found below.
You’re covered in case of bodily injury
Collisions happen, and they often result in injury. While car insurance can’t prevent an accident from happening, it can offer financial protection if you are injured following a collision. Car insurance often covers medical expenses that may not be covered by your health insurance, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
You’re covered in the event of an accident
As mentioned above, accidents happen, even to the most responsible of drivers. Prepare yourself for the financial realities of an accident by purchasing car insurance. Should you get into an accident that involves property damage, your insurance provider can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
You’re covered in case of theft
Another reason why St. Catharines drivers choose to purchase car insurance is that it provides peace of mind concerning theft. Car insurance policies with comprehensive coverage typically include protection against theft, meaning if your car is stolen, the insurance company will help you pay to replace it.
You comply with the law
Finally, one last reason to buy auto insurance is because it is illegal not to. Thus, by purchasing car insurance, you’re complying with the law, and therefore not at risk for incurring hefty fines. As a reminder, uninsured motorists in Ontario can face fines of up to $50,000. Avoid the stress and financial risks of getting caught by purchasing a quality car insurance policy.
How St. Catharines car insurance is calculated
Calculating insurance premiums is no simple task. Insurance companies must consider several factors in order to determine how much a person pays for car insurance. St. Catharines drivers might find it useful to learn these factors so that they can understand why their premium is what it is. The following is a list of the most common factors influencing car insurance rates in Canada:
One of the main factors in determining a person’s car insurance rate is their driving history. Driving history is made up of two components: driving experience and driving record.
Generally speaking, the more driving experience you have, the better off you will be. A lack of experience is what raises the cost of insurance for young drivers.
However, beyond years of experience, one must also possess a clean driving record if they want to pay less for car insurance.
A clean driving record is an indication that you are a safe and responsible driver, and are therefore less at risk of getting in an accident. As a reward for your impeccable driving record, your insurer may lower your premium.
Conversely, if your driving record is rife with tickets, accidents, DUIs, and demerit points, you are a riskier investment and the insurance company will likely raise your premium.
In the eyes of an insurance company, age is indicative of experience which speaks to driving skill. This means that the younger you are, the less experience you have and therefore the less skilled of a driver you are. As such, young people tend to pay the highest premiums of any drivers on the road. Another age group affected is the elderly. The data shows that senior drivers may have slower reaction times on the road, and therefore they may pay more for car insurance.
Location will also influence your car insurance rate. Every single insurance provider will ask about where you live and work. Although auto insurance is provincially regulated, the cost of insurance varies depending on where you live in Ontario. For example, if you live in or near a high-density urban area, like Toronto, you will typically pay more for car insurance. This is because there is more traffic on the road, increasing your odds of getting into an accident. In contrast, drivers who live in rural parts of the province often enjoy lower insurance premiums.
Further, if you live in a part of the province prone to climate related incidents, such as flooding, your insurance rate can also go up.
Make, Model, and Year of Vehicle
When purchasing car insurance, all St. Catharines drivers will be asked about the type of car they drive. Specifically, the insurance company will want to know the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Why? These details about your vehicle provide insight into how likely it is to be stolen and how much it will cost the insurance company to repair or replace it. This is why newer, more expensive cars generally cost more to insure.
Your annual mileage (or the number of kilometres you drive on average each year) is one last detail that can impact your insurance premium. The more you drive, the higher your insurance premiums are going to be. For example, if you have to drive every day as part of your job, then you will likely pay more for car insurance. Similarly, if you drive during rush hour every day, the insurance company can use this as an excuse to raise your premium.
However, if you do not drive very often, such as only on weekends, then your insurance premium may be lower. Those who drive infrequently should always speak to an insurance broker about their driving habits when shopping for car insurance.
Being married is another factor that can influence your insurance rates. Statistics show that married people tend to be more financially stable, which insurance companies believe translates to more responsible drivers. For this reason, married drivers often pay less for insurance than their unmarried counterparts.
How to get cheap car insurance in St. Catharines
Car insurance can be expensive, but there are ways that those on a budget can save money. From increasing your deductible to insuring multiple vehicles together, BrokerLink’s expert insurance advisors have put together this list of tips for getting cheap car insurance in St. Catharines:
Increase your deductible
One surefire way to reduce how much you pay for car insurance is to increase your deductible. Generally speaking, the higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium. For those that don’t know, a deductible is the amount of money the policyholder is responsible for paying towards an insured loss. Thus, the more you increase your deductible, the less the insurance company is responsible for paying, and the more they will lower your premium. In Ontario, the average car insurance deductible is $500, so to save money, you may wish to consider raising your deductible to $1,000 or more. If you have questions about how insurance deductibles work, your local insurance broker can help. When debating whether to raise your deductible, we always recommend contacting a broker who can ensure you understand the pros and cons of doing so, as well as offer their objective opinion.
Make annual payments
If it’s feasible, paying for car insurance upfront will almost always pay you money. Alternatively, if you choose to make monthly payments, most insurance companies tack on administrative fees that ultimately make your car insurance more expensive.
Insure vehicles together
Similar to the principle behind bundling multiple insurance policies into one, if you purchase more than one car insurance policy from the same provider, they are more likely to give you a discount. So if your household has more than one car (perhaps your spouse or adult child has their own vehicle), then try to insure them together. Doing so can make you eligible for a discount of up to 20% per policy.
Combine insurance policies
Bundling more than one insurance policy together is another way to get cheap car insurance in St. Catharines. The more insurance you buy from a company, the more likely they are to give you a discount. So if you’re also in the market for another type of insurance, such as home, travel, or business insurance, look for a provider that sells all three and buy them all from them. Doing so might result in savings of up to 15% per policy.
Install snow tires on your car
The safer your vehicle, the less likely you are to get into an accident, which is why insurance companies offer discounts to St. Catharines drivers who invest in snow tires. While winter tires are not mandatory in Ontario, they are known to have superior capabilities in winter conditions, such as ice and snow. For this reason, if you equip your car with snow tires, insurance companies will reward you with a discount of up to 5%.
Buy a hybrid or electric vehicle
Saving the environment pays. In recent years, an increasing number of car insurance companies in Ontario have started offering discounts to drivers of eco-friendly vehicles. So if you’ve been debating whether to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle, now is the time because it could save you up to 10% on auto insurance.
Enrol in driving school
This last tip is for young drivers. Enrolling in driving school is one of the best ways to lower your insurance premium and ultimately reduce how much you pay for car insurance. Receiving formal instruction from a professional has major benefits. It will make you a safer, more confident driver, and insurance companies recognize this, which is why they will reduce your rate.
Your go-to resource for car insurance
Finding a policy that offers comprehensive car insurance coverage at an affordable rate is no easy task. It takes hard work and dedication, which not everyone has time for when it comes to auto insurance. Luckily, BrokerLink is here to pick up the slack.
When you partner with a reputable insurance broker like BrokerLink, we do all the heavy lifting. While you sit back and relax, we’ll be obtaining and comparing quotes, unlocking discounts, and analyzing coverage options. At the end of the day, your BrokerLink insurance advisor will work tirelessly to find a policy that’s the right fit for you and your family.
Make BrokerLink your go-to resource for car insurance, and we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Get in touch
Interested in learning more about St. Catharines car insurance? We’ve got you covered.
BrokerLink’s expert insurance advisors are always available to discuss your auto insurance options. They can also provide you with a free quote on your St. Catharines auto insurance.
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