Every vehicle registered in Ontario must have insurance coverage. Whether you are commuting to work, going on a road trip, or driving for business purposes, you want to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe and protected.
However, beyond the mandatory minimum insurance coverage, there are also other types of car insurance in Ontario.
Below, we discuss the different types that you can purchase.
Short Term Car Insurance Ontario
Most people think of a long-term commitment of monthly payments over several years. However, short-term car insurance, also known as temporary car insurance, allows you to find insurance policy plans on a much shorter basis.
Short-term car insurance provides temporary coverage that generally lasts for a few months, although there are also plans available to provide coverage for only a few weeks.
You might find yourself looking for short-term car insurance if you:
- Only drive your car during certain periods of the year, such as during road trips, business trips, hauling a trailer or a boat, or moving houses and furniture.
- Own a classic vehicle that you rarely drive.
- Are a student or have kids that only drive the car when they are visiting from school (i.e. university students).
- Have house guests or employ house sitters that need a vehicle from time to time.
- Recently purchased a car and have not decided on a permanent insurance policy yet.
- Are selling a car and want temporary coverage during the sales process.
- Are visiting Ontario temporarily and need a special permit for insurance coverage.
Short-term car insurance is a great choice for saving money if you are not looking for a permanent insurance policy.
Most insurance companies in Ontario will offer a one-year or 6-month insurance policy that you can cancel later on when it is no longer needed. However, you should do your research and be aware of any early cancellation fees that may be charged.
Student Car Insurance Ontario
As a student driver, your car insurance premiums can be more expensive than the premium of an older, more experienced driver. This is understandable because young drivers have less driving experience and are statistically more likely to have a car accident and file an insurance claim.
However, if you are registered in a full-time college or university program or are a recent graduate, you may be eligible for discounts from your insurance company. Companies offer different types of discounts and at varying policy rates, so it is best to do your research on the types of factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance and the options available.
One type of discount that may be available to young drivers and students in Ontario is the Graduated License Discount. This discount is available for drivers who have successfully progressed through Ontario’s licensing system (G2 and G license) and have had no convictions or at fault accidents prior to receiving their license.
Alternatively, you can also choose to purchase insurance coverage under your parents’ policy to save money.
Vintage Car Insurance Ontario
Vintage car insurance has some of the lowest premiums available.
The CAA defines a vintage car as:
- A car that is considered a collector’s item.
- A car that is at least 20 years old without modifications.
- A car that is used for parades, exhibitions, and more for up to 5,000km/year.
For owners of vintage cars, you also need to have at least the minimum car insurance coverage required. However, there is also vintage car insurance available with certain restrictions and eligibility requirements:
- The vintage car cannot be your primary driving vehicle.
- You should not be driving the vintage car for work, school, shopping, or errands.
- You need a minimum of 10 years of driving experience in Ontario.
- You have a clean driving record with no more than two minor convictions and no at fault accidents.
- You must have a separate primary vehicle that is under a different insurance policy where you are the main driver.
- The vehicle must meet the requirements of being considered a vintage car.
- You must have the minimum road coverage and an Agreed Value of Automobile indicating the appraised value of the car.
Collector Car Insurance Ontario
Collector car insurance operates similarly to vintage car insurance.
- Your collector vehicle has restricted usage in terms of how much you can drive it.
- Your collector vehicle will be properly stored away or kept indoors during the winter.
- Your vehicle must be at least 20 or 30 years old to be considered a classic collectors car.
Insurance for collector vehicles considers the possible appreciation value of the car as well as the replacement value. Similar to the vintage car insurance process, you must also get an Agreed Value of Automobile with the appraised value of the vehicle recorded.
Commonly Asked Questions About Car Insurance
One of the most common questions is what types of insurance coverage are mandatory and what types of coverage are optional.
We already discussed that every car registered in Ontario must have third-party liability coverage, accident benefits, uninsured motorists coverage, and direct compensation coverage.
The optional coverages that you can add to your insurance policy include:
- Collision – damage to your vehicle where you are at fault or are caused by an unidentified object.
- Comprehensive – pays for all insured damage to your vehicle except for collision damage.
- All Perils – combines collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Specified Perils – pays only for losses caused by perils listed in the policy.
If I make a claim, how is my insurance premium affected?
It depends on who is at fault and the situation. If you were at fault for the collision in any way or someone you lent your car to caused an accident, your insurance premium can be affected. Some companies allow one at fault claim for drivers with a good record, but your insurance will increase if you have many accidents.
Your insurance rates will not increase if you were 100% not at fault for the accident.
How do deductibles work?
A deductible is a part of a claim that you have to pay yourself. Deductibles are determined by who is at fault (which is determined by the Fault Determination Rules) and the insurance coverage you have. For accidents where you are not at fault, there is usually no deductible.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Car Insurance in Ontario?
Here are common factors that influence your insurance premiums:
- The purpose of your vehicle and annual mileage.
- The type of vehicle driven, including the make, year, model, and body type.
- Whether you qualify for a discount or special insurance plan.
- Driving history and years of driving experience.
- Your location, gender, and age.
- Credit score.
- Insurance history and coverage level.
- How many drivers are listed on the vehicle, and how much each driver will use.
- Conviction records.
What is the Minimum Coverage for Auto Insurance in Ontario?
Under FSCO rules, all Ontario drivers must have, at the very least:
- A minimum third-party liability coverage of $200,000.
- Accident benefits coverage for additional medical expenses from collision injuries that are beyond your provincial health insurance coverage.
- Direct compensation coverage for when your car is damaged by another driver.
- Uninsured motorist coverage which pays for medical expenses from collision injuries sustained from another driver that does not have insurance.
How Can I Lower My Car Insurance Premiums in Ontario?
There are several ways to lower your car insurance:
- Pay only for the coverage you need.
- Ask about insurance discounts like retiree discounts, winter tire discounts, student discounts, and more.
- Pay your premium on time.
- Drive safely.
- Consider an insurance plan with higher deductibles.
As insurance brokers, we want our clients to be informed throughout the entire car insurance process. Contact one of our insurance experts to find the best policy for you.