Is auto insurance required in Waterloo?
Car insurance is provincially regulated, which means it’s up to each provincial government in Canada to decide if auto insurance is mandatory. In Ontario, it is compulsory, which means Waterloo drivers must hold valid, up-to-date car insurance at all times. You will need to show proof of insurance when registering your vehicle with the province.
To obtain car insurance in Waterloo, providers will ask to see your driver’s license, as well as your driver’s abstract (your driving record). If anyone else in your household, such as your partner or teenage child, will be driving the vehicle, you must also provide basic information about those drivers.
Finally, when purchasing car insurance in Ontario, you must ensure that the coverage you buy complies with the minimum requirements. For example, you’ll have to make sure you purchase a policy with no less than $200,000 in third party liability coverage.
The consequences of driving without insurance in Waterloo
Since car insurance is a legal requirement throughout Ontario, driving without insurance is an illegal act, and if caught, Waterloo drivers could face severe fines.
For a first offense in Ontario, you can be fined the minimum of $5,000 up to the maximum of $25,000.
For a second offense, you can be fined up to $50,000. There is also a 15% surcharge on any fines levied.
Most Ontario motorists will agree that driving uninsured is simply not worth the risk, especially with fines as high as $50,000. So if you’re a Waterloo driver without car insurance, get in touch with a broker today. Your local broker can help you find a car insurance policy that is both within your budget and complies with provincial law.
4 benefits of Waterloo auto insurance
Why buy car insurance? It all comes down to the protection that auto insurance offers. The right car insurance policy will provide financial protection against injury, collisions, and theft, allowing drivers to rest easy knowing that whatever happens on the road, they’re protected. A list of benefits Waterloo drivers may derive from purchasing car insurance is as follows:
You’re covered in case of accidental injury
If you get into a car accident and you’re injured as a result, having car insurance can help. Most auto insurance plans include accidental injury coverage, so if you require a trip to the hospital or even long-term rehabilitation, you can seek compensation from your insurance company to cover these medical bills.
You’re covered in case of a collision
If you get into a car accident - even a minor one - your auto insurance provider can help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Property damage coverage is a key component of car insurance.
You’re covered in case of theft
Comprehensive coverage typically means that you’re covered in the event of theft. So if your car is stolen, you can recover money from your insurance company to help pay for a new car, rather than having to do so entirely out-of-pocket.
You comply with the law
One last benefit of purchasing car insurance is that doing so puts you in compliance with the law. As mentioned above, failing to do so is illegal in Ontario and could result in fines of between $25,000 and $50,000.
What factors determine the cost of Waterloo auto insurance?
Insurers take a wide range of factors into account when calculating car insurance rates. Age, marital status, driving record, location, and annual mileage will all be used to determine how much you pay for auto insurance. To help Waterloo drivers understand exactly how insurance premiums are calculated, we’ve compiled a list of the most common factors influencing car insurance rates.
First and foremost, insurance companies will consider your driving history. This includes one’s driving experience, as well as their driving record.
The level of experience you have speaks to your skills as a driver. Therefore, those with little to no experience like young drivers often pay the highest premiums.
However, having years of driving experience under your belt is not enough on its own to lower your premiums. Adequate experience must be coupled with a clean driving record. This means a record free from tickets, accidents, and DUIs. 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 you will often save money on car insurance because of this.
On the other hand, drivers with poor records rife with speeding tickets, collisions, DUIs, and demerit points are deemed riskier and will likely pay higher premiums.
Age is a significant factor when it comes to calculating car insurance rates. In the minds of insurance companies, the younger you are, the less driving experience you have, and the greater risk you pose to the road. This is why new drivers often pay more for car insurance than older people.
A second age group adversely affected is the elderly. Studies show that as we age, our reaction times slow, and as a result, elderly drivers in Waterloo may have higher insurance premiums.
An insurance company will also ask about your location when calculating your car insurance rate. Specifically, they will request your home address, as well as the address of where you work (if you drive your vehicle to and from work). This is to help them gauge how likely you are to get into an accident and the odds of your vehicle being stolen.
If you live in or near a major city, then there will be more traffic on the road, increasing your chances of getting into an accident. Therefore, city dwellers often pay more for car insurance than those who live in rural parts of the province.
Further, if you live in a neighbourhood prone to climate-related incidents, the insurance company may raise your premium.
Make, Model, and Year of Car
The make, model, and year of the vehicle you drive is another factor used to determine how much you’ll pay for auto insurance. Typically, the newer and more expensive your vehicle, the higher your insurance premium. This is because newer, luxury vehicles are greater targets for thieves, and will cost more for the insurance companies to replace or repair, whether the vehicle is stolen or you get into an accident. That said, if your car is new but is equipped with certain safety features, the insurance company may take this into account and lower your rate.
The Number of Kilometres Your Drive
Lastly, how often you drive is one final factor that can influence your insurance premium. The higher your annual mileage, the more your insurance will cost. For example, if you have a long daily commute during rush hour, or part of your job involves driving, then you will likely pay more for car insurance.
In contrast, if you rarely hit the road, such as only driving on the weekends or once a week to your daughter’s home, then an insurer may take this into account and lower your premium. If you’re an infrequent driver, we recommend speaking to an insurance broker about your driving habits when shopping for auto insurance.
Marital status is another factor that can influence your insurance premium. This is because studies have shown that married people tend to be more financially stable, which insurance companies believe translates to better driving skills. For this reason, married drivers tend to pay less for car insurance than unmarried people.
How to save money on Waterloo car insurance
If you want to save money on car insurance, we can help. BrokerLink’s team of expert insurance advisors knows the ins and outs of the industry, meaning we know exactly how to spend less on auto insurance. We’ve put together a list of our top tips for getting cheap car insurance in Waterloo below:
Enrol in driving lessons
This piece of advice is for young drivers. To reduce their already-high insurance premiums, new drivers can enroll in driving school. If you can prove you completed a professional driving course, most insurance companies in Ontario will offer a discount.
Insure multiple cars together
Similar to the principle outlined above, the more car insurance you buy from a single provider, the more likely they are to give you a discount. So if you own more than one vehicle, whether you’re a collector or your family requires more than one car, insuring them together can save you money. Car insurance companies offer discounts of up to 20% per policy when you insure multiple cars at once.
Bundle multiple insurance policies together
Buying more than one insurance policy from the same provider is another way to get cheap car insurance in Waterloo. In general, the more insurance you buy from a company, the better the odds that they will give you a discount. So if you’ve been debating when to buy home insurance, travel insurance, business insurance, or insurance for a leisure item like a cottage, ATV, or boat, wait to do so until your car insurance policy is up for renewal. Finding an insurance company that offers multiple types of insurance and buying all your insurance from them can result in savings of up to 15% on each policy.
Increase your deductible
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. This goes for pretty much all types of insurance. For those that don’t know, a deductible is the amount of money the policyholder (you) are responsible for paying towards an insured loss. So basically, the more money you are willing to pay in the event of a car accident, injury, or theft, the less your auto insurance will cost. The average car insurance deductible in Ontario is roughly $500, so to reduce your car insurance rate, you may want to raise your deductible to $1,000 or more. Before increasing your deductible, we always recommend speaking with a professional broker who can help you weigh the pros and cons of doing so.
Opt for annual over monthly payments
If it’s within your budget, it’s always wise to pay for car insurance annually rather than monthly. This is because most car insurance providers will tack on administrative fees for monthly payments. So to pay less for car insurance, opt for annual payments.
Invest in snow tires
Finding ways to make your vehicle safer will almost always reduce your car insurance rate. One such way is by investing in snow tires. Snow tires, AKA winter tires, are known for their superior capabilities in freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and slush. And given that Waterloo’s winters are far from mild, installing winter tires on your vehicle is a factor that insurance providers will take into account when calculating your rates. By increasing your safety on the road for several months of the year, Waterloo drivers will likely be rewarded with car insurance savings of up to 5%.
Buy an eco-friendly car
Thinking about buying a Tesla? Now is the time. Save money at the gas pump and on car insurance by investing in an eco-friendly vehicle. In recent years, a growing number of Ontario insurance companies have started offering discounts to drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles. What can we say? Reducing your carbon footprint pays. If you drive an eco-friendly vehicle, you can expect to save up to 10% on car insurance.
Get in touch
Want to learn more about Waterloo car insurance? BrokerLink is here.
Contact us today to speak with a BrokerLink insurance advisor and receive a free car insurance quote in just 5 minutes.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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