Mackay Insurance Blog
When Is It Time to Shop Around for a New Auto Insurance Quote?
If you own a vehicle, auto insurance in Belleville, or anywhere in Ontario, is not optional. Paying for car insurance is just the cost of being able to drive ourselves around.
But buying car insurance is not very satisfying. It is not one of those purchases we look forward to or talk much about.
And auto insurance coverage certainly isn't an expense we want to over-indulge in!
Every year, drivers all across Canada decide to make the switch to a new auto insurer. Is this your year? Find out now!
How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Is Required in Ontario Canada?
Before you can decide whether you are paying too much for your car insurance, you need to find out about the current Ontario minimums for auto insurance.
The current mandatory minimum for Ontario is $200,000 of third party liability coverage per single accident, but that is far too low.
At minimum you should have 1,000,000, but we highly recommend 2,000,000
Third party liability coverage protects you in the event you are involved in an accident where someone else is hurt or killed or their property is damaged or destroyed.
It also covers you in the case you are sued, whether you lose and have to pay out or you opt to settle out of court.
All Ontario drivers are also required to carry these coverages:
- Statutory accidents coverage provides you with medical and rehabilitative benefits if you are injured in an accident.
- DC-PD (Direct Compensation, Property Damage) coverage pays to repair your vehicle if it is damaged by another insured driver.
- Uninsured motorist coverage pays to repair your vehicle if an uninsured motorist hits you. This coverage also compensates your loved ones if you are killed by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run incident.
Why Do You Need Auto Insurance Coverage?
So what is stopping you from simply dropping your Belleville auto insurance policy altogether?
In a word....fines. Any Ontario driver caught driving without proof of required minimum auto insurance may be assessed fines up to $50,000 per incident!
Aren't Auto Insurance Rates Regulated in Ontario Canada?
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has the unenviable task of reviewing and regulating auto insurance rates for all providers licensed to offer auto insurance in the province.
But this does not mean that all auto insurance companies are required to provide the same product for the same exact price.
Each auto insurance provider has some wiggle room within which to propose premium rate changes to the FSRA.
Insurers may request to increase their rates based on inflation, overhead, prior claims payouts, interest rates and the need to make a certain level of profit.
This means it is very important to research the longevity and overall financial health of your auto insurer.
For example, if your current or prospective auto insurance provider has had an unprofitable year or a huge recent claims payout, you can potentially expect to see your premiums go up even if you have maintained a perfect driving record.
When Is It Time to Change Auto Insurance Companies?
According to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), the average Ontario-area adult driver pays around $1,651 per year in auto insurance premiums.
If you pay less than the average and are happy with your coverage and provider, you may not have any need to shop around for new auto insurance.
But if you are paying more than the average and are carrying only the mandatory minimum in auto insurance, you should definitely start gathering new auto insurance quotes.
And if you are paying at or above the Ontario average and do not feel satisfied with your coverage or insurer, it is a good idea to take some time to shop around for new coverage.
Warning Signs You Are Paying Too Much for Ontario Auto Insurance Coverage:
1. Your premiums keep increasing and your driver record is squeaky clean.
Make no mistake - your clean driver record is a moneymaker for your auto insurance provider. You should absolutely expect to be rewarded for not costing your provider money!
2. Your rates didn't go down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), up to 95 percent of auto insurers chose to drop their rates during the global pandemic.
If your insurer abstained, this may be a sign it is time to switch providers.
3. Your insurer is not offering you any incentives to stay with their company.
Auto insurance is one of the most competitive industries in the nation. Customers switch providers every single day.
If your insurer is not fighting hard to keep you, perhaps it is time to find a provider who will.
4. You are nearing your policy renewal date and haven't shopped around for the past five years.
Current industry averages indicate the typical motorist switches auto insurance providers about once every five years.
If you have held your policy for four years or more, it might be refreshing to do some shopping and see what other auto insurance companies have to offer.
5. You are unhappy with the customer service or perks provided by your current insurer.
An auto Insurance broker knows that shopping around for new car insurance isn't fun.
And while all Ontario insurance companies have some leeway to set their own auto insurance coverage rates, this isn't the arena where loyal customers are won or lost.
Real customer loyalty is built on exceptional customer service and great perks. You should be getting both from your current insurer. If you are not, it is time to start shopping for a new provider.
Contact Your Napanee and Belleville Auto Insurance Policy Experts!
Did you know you can switch insurance providers without having to switch your auto insurance broker?
Our friendly, knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers are committed to helping you get the most auto insurance coverage - affordably! If you are not happy with your current auto insurance rates, give us a call! We’re happy to provide you with a new auto insurance quote that fits your coverage needs best.