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Car Insurance

Save up to 25% with Canada's best car insurance quotes

Are you looking for the best car insurance quotes in Canada? Well, you've come to the right place! At ThinkInsure, you can search for the cheapest car insurance quotes from the leading insurance companies in the country. Since premiums can vary significantly between insurers, comparing rates with multiple insurers helps you maximize savings. Plus, you’ll find the lowest auto insurance quote.

We understand that auto insurance is expensive in Canada. We partner with the top car insurance companies to help drivers search the most affordable policy and coverage for their needs. It's quick and easy to compare rates and find cheaper car insurance quotes. You can compare rates online or speak with a licensed advisor. Get a quote today and you could save up to 25% or more on your auto insurance with ThinkInsure.

Continue reading to learn about how car insurance coverage works in different parts of Canada. Find out some great ways to save more and get lower car insurance quotes.

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About getting car insurance coverage in Canada

You need car insurance to drive a vehicle in Canada. It is the law. A valid car insurance policy is a requirement in all provinces and territories. But coverage requirements vary.

How you shop for quotes and where you purchase your auto insurance from also varies. In some provinces you buy coverage through a public plan. In others you purchase it through a private insurer.

All provinces offer a variety of coverage types. Some are mandatory, some are optional. Typically, your policy will include third-party liability, accident benefits, and property damage protection. You have the option to customize your plan. You can add extra protection, endorsements, and increase coverage limits.

Here are some things Canadians should know about auto insurance :

Car insurance is mandatory in Canada. All drivers are legally required to have insurance for their vehicle. Mandatory coverage requirements vary by province. Minimum amounts, limits, and optional coverage vary by region.

Types of required coverage

  • Third-party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Direct compensation property damage (DCPD)
  • Uninsured motorist insurance

Types of optional coverage

  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Specified perils
  • All perils
Car insurance is offered in a private or public system. Under private systems, you obtain coverage from private insurers. This model is used in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and the territories.

In a public system, coverage is provided through your provincial government. British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan operate using this model.

Quebec uses a hybrid model, combining public and private. The government offers personal injury insurance. Private insurers offer direct compensation property damage protection.

All drivers must meet certain eligibility criteria to obtain car insurance in Canada. You must meet the following standards :

  • You are a Canadian resident.
  • You are of legal age to obtain a licence in your home province. You must pass all required tests and have a valid driver’s licence.
  • You are using your vehicle for personal use only.
  • You must provide honest and detailed information on your application. Lying about your personal details is grounds for cancellation.
  • You must not be convicted of insurance fraud in the past 10 years.

These are the minimum requirements to qualify for coverage. A poor driving record or past insurance issues could make it more challenging for you to get insured.

Canadian drivers have a few different options to purchase their car insurance.

  • Brokers : Brokers can offer you car insurance from a variety of insurance companies. They can help you shop the market and compare plans and quotes from multiple companies. Once you have selected the best rate they will complete the process and buy your policy.
  • Agents : Agents work for a single direct auto insurance company. They can only offer you products from this specific company, limiting your options. They can help you purchase insurance with that provider.
  • Direct insurers : A direct insurer or writer is an insurance company that offers policies from a single company. Agents work for direct insurers and sell their products.

What is an auto insurance quote anyway?

When you get an auto insurance quote it is an estimate from an insurance company for how much the premium for your policy will cost. Each company uses a custom formula to calculate your rate based on the personal information you provide. So, no two quotes will ever be the same. Therefore, it is a good idea to compare quotes from multiple companies to find the best rates.

Getting a car insurance quote is free. You can complete one online or over the phone. Once you receive an estimate, it is valid for a defined period set by the provider.

What is needed to complete a car insurance quote?

Here is the information you will need to obtain a car insurance quote online or over the phone :

  • Basic personal information (name, gender, age, phone number, email)
  • Your mailing address and postal code
  • Driver’s licence information
  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • Driving habits (kilometres driven daily, personal or business use)
  • Insurance and driving history
  • Amount and type of coverage required
  • The date you need your policy to start

If you provide false or misleading information, your quoted premium will not be accurate. This is also grounds for your policy to be cancelled. Providing accurate information will get you the best quote for your auto policy.

How long do car insurance quotes last?

It depends on what provider the car insurance quote is from. For some insurance companies, quotes will be valid for 30 or 60 days. Some may be longer or shorter. Speak with your advisor for clarification on how long your car insurance quote will last.

Helping Canadians save with cheaper car insurance quotes

What factors do insurance companies use to determine car insurance quotes?

The way auto insurance companies determine your rates is unique. Each company has its own formula they use to assess your risk level and calculate your car insurance quote. Some companies weigh certain variables more heavily than others.

There are variables you can control and others you cannot. Focus on the factors you can control to reduce how much you pay. Insurers generally use the same information when completing car insurance quotes, including the following :

You are one of the biggest factors. How old you are, gender, and marital status matter. The unfortunate thing is you can’t change the majority of these. Most drivers will see rates drop once they turn 25. Single males under 25 are the most likely to be in a crash. It’s a reason why they pay more than others.
You will pay a higher rate if you live in the city. Rural areas tend to pay less. Providers use your postal code, neighbourhood, and region to assess the risk level in your area. They look at statistics for accident and claim occurrences, theft, and fraud to determine the risk level.
Your vehicle brand, model, year, and features are all used to determine rates. Cars that are expensive to repair or are more likely to be stolen have higher premiums.
Your personal driving record is a significant factor. How long you’ve been an insured and licenced driver, if you’ve completed drivers training school, and tickets are all considerations. Staying claims free and not having at-fault accidents on your record can help you pay less in auto insurance premiums.
Do you have a long commute each day? Do you drive infrequently? In general, the more you drive, the more you will pay. Why? The more you are on the road, the higher likelihood you could be involved in a wreck. Notify your carrier if your driving activity changes, especially if you drive less.
Your coverage type, limits, and endorsements will all affect your premiums.
Do you qualify for discounts? Ask your provider about the discounts offered and take advantage of cost saving opportunities for cheaper car insurance rates. There are dozens of discounts available. They vary by company and you may need to meet certain criteria.
Anyone with less than a full G licence will have higher rates. A beginners or intermediate licence like a G1 or G2 has higher premiums because of the increased risk to insurers. You are less experienced behind the wheel and statistically more likely to be a crash. Drivers with a full licence have more experience. They are less likely to be in an accident than a younger driver.
Your insurance company has a direct effect on how much you pay. Staying with the same provider without assessing your options could be costing you money. It is recommended to weigh your options when your auto insurance policy is up for renewal. Get some estimates, compare options, and choose the one that best addresses all your needs.

How much does car insurance cost in Canada?

Car insurance costs in Canada vary widely. Where you live will determine your rates. The average annual car insurance rates are the highest in British Columbia at $1,832. Rates are the lowest in Quebec at $717. The average premium for Canadian drivers is $1,244.

Data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) provide an overview of the average car insurance premiums by province :

$1,224
$1,832
$1,634
$1,316
$1,232
$1,168
$1,140
$983
$962
$891
$867
$830
$816
$717

Auto insurance by Canadian province

The auto insurance systems, rules, regulations, and rates are different by province and territory. Plans are available through private insurance companies and brokers in Ontario, Alberta and most parts of Canada. British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan drivers obtain coverage through public government run programs.

All provinces require you have at least $200,000 in third-party liability coverage (except for Nova Scotia and Quebec) and accident benefits. Some require direct compensation property damage, while others do not. Only Alberta does not require uninsured automobile protection.

The table below illustrates basic auto insurance requirements across the country :

Province or Territory Public or Private No-fault Insurance Minimum Liability Coverage Required Coverage Minimum Driving Age
Ontario Private Yes $200,000 Accident benefits, Direct property compensation damage, Uninsured automobile 16
Alberta Private No $200,000 Accident benefits 14
British Columbia Public No $200,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile 16
Manitoba Public No $200,000 All perils, Personal injury, Hit and run, Inverse liability 16
New Brunswick Private Yes $200,000 Accident benefits, Direct property compensation damage, Uninsured automobile 14
Newfoundland and Labrador Private No $200,000 Uninsured automobile 16
Northwest Territories Private No $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury 17
Nova Scotia Private Yes $500,000 Accident benefits, Direct property compensation damage, Uninsured automobile 16
Nunavut Private No $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury 15
Prince Edward Island Private Yes $200,000 Accident benefits, Uninsured automobile 16
Quebec Public and Private Yes $50,000 Accident benefits, Property damage 16
Saskatchewan Public No $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury 16
Yukon Territories Private No $200,000 Property damage, Personal injury 15

Mandatory car insurance coverage

If you want to drive in Canada, you must be insured. Mandatory car insurance in Canada is different depending on where you live.

Mandatory requirements vary by province. There are four main types of required coverage. All provinces require third-party liability. But the limit differs.

For example, Nova Scotia requires $500,000, whereas Quebec only requires $50,000, with the rest of the country requiring $200,000. How accident benefits work can be different based on where you are located.

Here are the most common types of mandatory auto insurance :

Third-party liability insurance is mandatory across the country and it is the basis for all plans. It covers expenses for damage caused to another vehicle, property or person in a crash. It gives you compensation for medical bills, legal fees, and other related costs.

This protection comes into play when you are the at-fault party. Here are some examples :

  • You lose control of your vehicle on an icy road and damage a streetlight.
  • You back into a parking meter.
  • You collide with another vehicle and injure the driver.
  • You hit a pedestrian and cause injury or death.
Accident benefits coverage is required everywhere in Canada. It provides you with financial assistance if you are injured in an automobile accident. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. It helps to supplement medical expenses not covered under your provincial health care plan.

This includes rehabilitation, attendant care, and even income replacement, among others. Some provinces allow you to sue for pain and suffering. Max limits apply.

Direct property compensation damage or DCPD is available in a number of provinces. It covers damage to your automobile, its contents and loss of use where another driver is at fault.

For example, another driver rear-ends you at a stop sign. Your provider will ensure your vehicle is repaired.

It is only applicable in provinces where DCPD is mandated. This includes Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. You cannot increase the limits for this protection. You can enhance your plan with collision insurance.

With uninsured motorist coverage, you are protected against uninsured or unidentified drivers. It is mandatory everywhere except for Alberta. It provides insurance in the event you are injured or killed by an uninsured motorist. You also have coverage if you’re the victim of a hit and run.

Optional auto insurance coverage

Most Canadians have more than the minimum required amount of auto insurance. They do this by upping the limits on mandatory coverage and by adding optional coverages. Here are the most common types of optional auto insurance :

You will have protection if your vehicle is damaged in an accident with collision insurance. It covers you if you are in an accident with another vehicle or a stationary object. For example, you hit a parked car, mailbox, or tree. It is optional but well worth adding to your plan.

Without this, you are on the hook for the repair bills if you are in an at-fault accident. Adding it is simple. You choose a deductible amount. The higher your set it, the less you will pay for collision coverage.

A crash is not the only way your vehicle could be damaged. This is where optional comprehensive insurance comes into play. You are covered against damage or loss because of non-driving events. This includes damage from falling trees, weather, theft, vandalism, and more.

Adding this will give you peace of mind in knowing you are covered even when you are not driving. Like collision, you will choose your deductible amount. It typically costs a few hundreds dollar per year to add this protection.

Get extra protection by adding coverage for specific types of risks. You can buy coverage for specified perils such as theft, fire, hail, wind, lightning, flooding, and more. They must be listed in your plan for you to have protection.

All perils is a combination of collision and comprehensive coverage. You will have protection from all risks unless they are otherwise specifically excluded from your policy.
No one wants their vehicle to break down, but it can happen. Emergency roadside assistance provides you with help if your vehicle breaks down or has mechanical issues. It aids with getting your car back on the road. This includes boosting the battery, tire changes, locksmith services, towing, and more. It gives you peace of mind in knowing, help is only a call away.
Policyholders can add endorsements (or riders) to expand and customize policies. The name of endorsements varies by province. For example, with car insurance in Ontario they are Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF). With car insurance in Alberta and the Atlantic regions, they are referred to as Standard Endorsement Forms (SEF). In Quebec, they are called Quebec Endorsement Forms. But the number of the endorsement remains the same across the board.

Here are some of the most widely used policy riders :

  • Accident forgiveness : Your first at-fault accident will not appear on your driving record. This is known as SEF/QEF/OPCF39.
  • Remove depreciation deduction : If your vehicle is a write-off, your insurer will pay you the actual cash value. This is called SEF/QEF/OPCF 43.
  • Loss of use : This is commonly referred to as the rental car endorsement. Your insurance will provide you with a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired after an accident. Known as SEF/QEF/OPCF20.
  • Liability for damage to non-owned automobiles : This extends your liability and accident benefits for other vehicles you drive but don’t own. For example, this would cover you for a rental car. This is called SEF/QEF/OPCF 27.
  • Suspension of coverage : This allows you to put your car insurance on hold if you are not planning on driving for a short period of time. This is called SEF/QEF/OPCF16.

What are the best ways to get the cheapest car insurance?

There are many things you can do to find a cheaper car insurance rate. These tips will help you save hundreds on your premiums :

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Your car insurance FAQs answered

Auto insurance rates change frequently and vary based on the insurance company. Comparing car insurance quotes from multiple providers allows you to see what the market has to offer – given your driving history, vehicle, insurance needs and other factors. It’s recommended to compare each time your policy comes up for renewal. This will help make sure you find the lowest rate.

Yes. Where you live will impact your car insurance quote. It is a leading variable used to assess and determine how much you’ll pay. There are many things associated with your location that can determine what you pay, including :

  • Your province, city, and postal code
  • The type of provincial insurance system
  • Population
  • Weather conditions
  • Crime
  • Infrastructure and road systems
  • Accident, claims, and fraud in your area

Regardless of where you live, take the time to compare quotes and find a better price.

There is not one specific company that offers the cheapest auto insurance rates. There are many considerations used by each company and premiums can vary. Fees could differ by hundreds of dollars depending on a provider’s risk tolerance and assessment criteria.

In provinces with a private system, companies can compete for your business. This means there is an incentive for them to offer you cheap premiums. No two insurers are the same. It is in your best interests to shop around for the lowest price. The only way to know for sure who can offer you the lowest rates is to check quotes from multiple companies.

The type and amount of coverage you require will depend on your location and driving needs. Each province has a minimum amount of insurance you must have to drive. No matter where you live, you’ll be required to have third-party liability insurance.

Whether you finance, lease, or own your vehicle outright, can also affect your requirements. For example, if you lease a car, the loan lender will require you to have more than the minimum amount. It’s common for them to require you to have a comprehensive plan.

If you own the vehicle, you can select the right amount of protection you think is best. It comes down to assessing your level of risk, budget, and what you want to cover. If you have a new vehicle, collision and comprehensive make sense. But if you have an older car that holds minimal value, a basic plan could suffice. Choosing the proper type and amount of insurance is unique to you.

Speak with your advisor about your situation to better understand the types of coverage and amount you need.

You cannot drive without insurance in Canada. While it is not a criminal offence, you face serious fines and penalties (they vary by province). If you are caught behind with wheel of a vehicle that is not insured you could face these repercussions :

  • Licence suspension
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Fines

For example, in Ontario, you could have fines starting at $5,000 for the first offence. You also face a suspension of your licence for up to one year. Plus, you could have your vehicle impounded for up to three months. It is not worth driving without a valid policy.

Most drivers will see a considerable decrease in auto insurance rates once they turn 25. That is, if they don't have any driving convictions and are claims free. You will also see your rates decrease over time as you build up your driving experience.

Choosing an insurance friendly vehicle, getting married, and bundling home insurance will also help you save money. You can also expect another drop in rates once you turn 50.

A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket in the event you file a claim.

For example, let’s say your deductible is $1,000 and your claim cost is $5,000. You would have to pay the $1,000 and your insurer would cover the remaining $4,000.

You can choose your deductible amount and it can vary based on your coverage type. They can range from $500 to $2,000 or more. Having a higher deductible amount will reduce your rates and how much you pay for premiums.

No-fault car insurance means that you will deal with your insurance company in the event of a claim. Your provider will compensate you for your claim if you are at-fault or not. All provinces have some form of no-fault insurance in place.

How it works varies depending on the rules in your area. For example, some provinces allow you to sue the other parties involved in an accident for damages. The no-fault system is beneficial because it helps to speed up the processing time. It ensures people have quick access to medical care.

woman driving a car on highway

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