How car insurance is calculated in St. Thomas, Ontario
Knowing which factors are used to calculate car insurance will help St. Thomas drivers better understand their insurance premiums. When determining car insurance rates, insurers consider a multitude of factors, from age to marital status. Although insurance companies may weigh each detail differently, here is a list of the most common factors influencing how much St. Thomas drivers will pay for auto insurance:
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle
- Past claims
- Annual mileage
- Prior insurance coverage
- Your deductible
- Local laws
- How you use your vehicle
- Marital status
Driving history = driving experience + driving record
As seen above, there is a long list of factors that car insurance companies consider when calculating premiums. Annual mileage, age, gender, location, marital status, and past claims can all affect how much St. Thomas drivers spend on auto insurance. But there is one other factor not listed above that comes into play: driving history.
Driving history combines one’s driving experience and driving record. From the insurer’s point of view, experience and record are clear indications of risk level on the road. Therefore, driving history is one of the most important details in determining insurance premiums.
The theory goes that the more driving experience a person has, the better their driving skills will be and the less likely they are to get into an accident. Therefore, insurance companies will lower their premiums.
A lack of experience is the single reason young drivers often pay the highest insurance premiums.
Beyond driving experience, your driving record will also be reviewed. Experience alone is not enough to reduce your car insurance rate, it must go hand in hand with a clean driving record. A clean driving record indicates to the insurance company that you are a safe and responsible driver who is less likely to get into an accident, and your premium will be lowered accordingly.
Alternatively, if your record is full of speeding tickets, demerit points, DUIs, and collisions, you are considered a greater risk and your insurance premium will be raised.
How to pay less for St. Thomas car insurance
Auto insurance can be expensive, but there are ways to save money if you know what to look for. BrokerLink’s team of expert insurance advisors are always available to offer their guidance on how to find cheap car insurance in St. Thomas. A few of our top tips for finding a car insurance policy that won’t break the bank are below.
- Purchase car insurance for multiple vehicles together (savings of up to 20%)
- Buy multiple insurance policies (travel insurance, leisure vehicle insurance, etc…) from the same provider (savings of up to 15%)
- Purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle (savings of up to 5%)
- Increase your deductible
- Enrol in driving school (for young drivers)
- Pay auto insurance annually rather than monthly
- Partner with a reliable insurance broker
Is car insurance required in St. Thomas?
In short, yes. Car insurance is mandatory everywhere in Ontario, including St. Thomas. In Canada, the government of each province and territory gets to decide whether to make auto insurance compulsory, and the government of Ontario has made it so. Not only is car insurance a legal requirement, but the province has also stipulated that all motorists must purchase car insurance policies that meet the minimum coverage requirements, which includes $200,000 in third party liability coverage.
Uninsured motorists in St. Thomas
As car insurance is compulsory in Ontario, St. Thomas drivers who choose to drive without insurance are breaking the law, and in doing so, may be subject to severe fines.
Specifically, uninsured motorists in Ontario can be fined between $5,000 and $25,000 for a first offense. If caught a second time, the maximum fine doubles to $50,000. To make matters worse, there is a 15% surcharge applied to all uninsured motorist fines.
Overall, driving without insurance in St. Thomas is not worth it. So if you do not currently have a valid car insurance policy, whether you let your last policy expire or never bought it in the first place, get in touch with a local broker to learn about your options. An experienced broker will explain the coverage options available to you, ensure you understand the minimum coverage requirements in Ontario, and help you find a budget-friendly car insurance policy that suits your lifestyle.
The 4 components of mandatory car insurance in Ontario
Auto insurance policies are complex, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in the insurance industry. To help St. Thomas drivers understand the types of coverage that must be included in their car insurance policies, we’ve outlined a list of the four mandatory components of car insurance in Ontario. From third party liability coverage to uninsured automobile coverage, keep reading to discover the types of coverage all Ontario car insurance policies must feature:
If the policyholder gets into an accident that they are liable for, third party liability coverage can help cover the associated costs. Whether the collision resulted in accidental injury, property damage, or both, you can recover compensation from your insurance provider to pay for these costs. Liability coverage can also help you pay for legal representation or court fees if necessary. As a reminder, St. Thomas drivers must carry a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times.
Accident benefits coverage
Accident benefits coverage is useful if you, a passenger, or a pedestrian require medical attention following an accident. No matter who is at fault for the collision, accident benefits coverage can still help cover the cost of medical fees. When choosing a car insurance policy, pay close attention to the accident benefits section in order to understand the limits of this type of coverage.
The opposite of liability coverage, direct compensation coverage comes into place when the policyholder gets into an accident caused by someone else. In such an instance, direct compensation can help cover the costs of medical expenses or vehicle repairs. To recover compensation, the policyholder must file a claim directly with their insurance company.
Uninsured automobile coverage
The uninsured automobile coverage protects you and any passengers in your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault motorist who is uninsured or underinsured.
Advice for young drivers in St. Thomas
Driving for the first time can be intimidating, which is why we urge young drivers to remember that driving is a skill. And like any skill, it takes practice to master. The more time you spend on the road, the more comfortable and confident you will become, especially if you develop safe driving habits. To aid in this transition, the following are a list of tips for new drivers in St. Thomas:
Keep your eyes moving
You’ve probably been told to keep your eyes on the road. And while the intentions behind this are sound, the reality is that you’re actually safer if you keep your eyes moving. Scanning all lanes ahead of you and glancing at your rear-view and side mirrors every few seconds ensures you’re aware of everything happening around you. So keep your eyes on the road, but don’t keep them locked on the one vehicle in front of you. A safe driver is aware of what’s happening ahead of them, beside them, and behind them at all times. The more aware you are of other vehicles on the road, the less likely you are to be involved in a collision.
Enroll in driving school
Attending a driving school is one of the best ways to learn about the rules of the road and develop safe driving habits. Young drivers can find driving schools all over Ontario, most of which offer a combination of in-class and in-car lessons. Taking a driving course also gives young drivers an opportunity to practice driving with someone other than a family member, which can be nerve-wracking. As an added bonus, enrolling in driving school in Ontario can save you money on car insurance. Many insurance providers will lower your premium if you can prove you graduated from a professional driving institution.
Our third piece of advice is to slow down. Whenever you’re on the road, do your best to remain calm, take deep breaths, and most importantly, take your time. Whether you’re accelerating, braking, turning, or parking, going slow is always better. Additionally, remember to drive the speed limit, or below it when driving through a construction zone, at night, or in poor weather conditions. Ultimately, the slower you drive, the more time you will have to react, and the better off you will be.
Give yourself space
One final tip for new drivers in St. Thomas, Ontario is to give yourself ample space on the road. Whether you’re stopped at an intersection or in motion, always leave two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. You can increase this distance when driving on the highway or in inclement weather. This way, if you have to stop suddenly for any reason, you have room to do so safely.
The right approach to car insurance
Getting comprehensive coverage at a competitive rate is no easy task. That’s why we’re here.
As one of the top insurance brokerages in Ontario, BrokerLink will stop at nothing to find a car insurance policy that suits your lifestyle and budget.
We will work around the clock, obtaining quotes from car insurance companies and comparing them to ensure you receive the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable price. If it’s amazing results you’re after, look no further than BrokerLink.
Get in touch today to learn more about St. Thomas car insurance
Still have questions about St. Thomas car insurance? We can help!
BrokerLink’s skilled insurance advisors are always available to discuss policy options and explain the necessary coverage.
So if you want to learn more about St. Thomas car insurance, we invite you to get in touch.
Give us a call to speak directly with a broker or visit us in person at one of our many nearby locations in Ontario.
Alternatively, if you prefer to contact us online, you can do so with ease. We also offer free car insurance quotes to all St. Thomas drivers. Providing accurate and competitive quotes is our specialty here at BrokerLink.
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