Car insurance in Hamilton, Ontario.
If you’re a driver in Canada, you’re required by law to have car insurance. Provincial regulatory bodies set the rates and must approve any annual rate changes proposed by providers.
Mandatory coverage for Hamilton drivers
Each province has mandatory coverage requirements and also allows drivers to add optional coverage to their policies.
Drivers in Hamilton are subject to Ontario’s mandatory coverage requirements which include:
- Accident benefits:
This covers medical costs – to a limit – for injuries from a collision. Any financial losses are also covered such as wage replacement as well as the rehabilitation, homecare and funeral costs.
- Direct compensation property damage insurance:
Also known as DCPD, this coverage is considered a must for Hamilton drivers. It covers the cost of damage to a vehicle, its contents and/or a rental car when the driver who holds the policy is in a collision but they’re found not at fault.
As the name implies, the policyholder’s own insurance provider will compensate them for the loss. This means the policyholder doenst have to take the at-fault driver to court which tends to be a time-consuming and expensive process.
- Third-party liability insurance:
Commonly referred to as ‘TPL’ this covers the cost of a lawsuit, up to the policyholder’s limit, brought against them for an at-fault collision where a third party is injured or killed.
Includes coverage for damage repair costs, doctor’s bills for injuries from the collision and covers damages for those injured in the collision.
In Ontario, drivers must have a minimum of $200,000 TPL, though more is recommended. A driver who has opted for the minimum amount of TPL and is successfully sued for $1 million will have to cover the $800,000 difference on their own.
- Uninsured vehicle insurance:
Protects the policyholder and their family financially if they’re injured, killed or their vehicle is damaged in a collision with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
Optional coverage for Hamilton drivers
There are two ways that drivers in Hamilton can get more auto insurance coverage: increase their coverage limits and add more coverage. It’s common for policyholders to increase their accident and third party liability coverage limits.
For those interested in adding optional coverage are:
- All perils: Protects against many perils, except those named as exclusions. This coverage is often thought of as a combination of collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Collision: Covers the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle where the insured driver is at fault. It also covers single vehicle collisions and hit and run accidents.
- Comprehensive: Protects the insured driver if the vehicle is damaged by debris, earthquake, explosions, hail, theft, vandalism and weather events.
- Specified perils: Protects against damage perils specifically named in the policy, including, attempted theft, damage in transport, earthquake, explosions, fire, lightning, riots or windstorms.
Drivers in Hamilton who would like even more coverage can add endorsements to their policy – some of the most common include:
- Damage to non-owned vehicle:
This endorsement, also known as a ‘SEF\OPCF 27’, or ‘adding a 27’ extends coverage for bodily injury, accident benefits, uninsured automobile and other property damage, for use of a vehicle that the insured doesn’t own.
Any Hamilton driver who has this coverage doesn’t need to purchase a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) when they rent a car; ‘a 27’ makes an LDW redundant.
- Depreciation waiver:
This endorsement, an OPCF 43, means that the owner of a vehicle that’s written-off will receive compensation for the full value of the car. It’s optional coverage that tends to be most useful to drivers who purchase a new vehicle.
- Family protection:
This endorsement, an OPCF 44R, covers the difference between the policyholder’s coverage and inadequate liability coverage of a third party who’s at fault.
- Greater coverage for damage to your vehicle:
Drivers can opt to have coverage for additional perils not named in a standard policy. For example, they may opt for protection against perils such as damage to the vehicle from falling tree limbs.
- Loss of use:
Covers the cost of a replacement vehicle, or transportation costs, when the insured vehicle is damaged. For this optional endorsement, an OPCF 20, the policyholder must have an all perils, comprehensive or specified perils policy.
Factors that determine your car insurance rates in Hamilton.
There are several factors that determine car insurance rates in Hamilton. Some of the most significant include:
- Age: Like it or not, the younger drivers pay higher premiums up to about the age of 30. This is because they’re considered a high-risk driver until they’ve built up a driving history that demonstrates the opposite.
- Coverage: The coverage and associated limits a driver selects has a significant impact on their premium. In general, more coverage means they’ll pay more. On the other hand, tailoring a policy is an easy way to secure savings. When a driver customizes their policy to ensure they’re only paying for the coverage they need and nothing more, they can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year.
- Driving record: Driving history is another factor that determines a car insurance rate. A driver with an accident or multiple tickets on their record will pay more for insurance than a driver with a clean record. The former is deemed a higher risk driver and more likely to make a claim.
- Mileage: How much the policyholder drives every day is a major contributor to how much they’ll pay in auto insurance rates. For example, someone driving 30-45 minutes to-and-from work each day will pay more than a driver who uses their car to run occasional errands.
- Postal code: Insurance companies determine car insurance rates partially based on the postal code where the driver lives. If the area generally has a greater concentration of claims, the policyholder is likely to pay more for coverage than those who live in another postal code area.
- Vehicle type: Vehicles that are expensive to replace or repair tend to command a higher car insurance premium for the owner. Every year, Insurance Bureau of Canada publishes a list ranking which vehicles are cited most often in collision-related insurance claims. Policyholders who insure vehicles known to be in many collisions tend to pay more for their car insurance.
Car insurance rates for Hamilton seniors.
Adults between the ages of 50 and 70 have some of the lowest car insurance rates in Hamilton because drivers in this age group tend to have a long history of being insured. In other words, insurance providers have a lot of information with which to gauge how likely the driver is to make a claim based on previous claims history.
After age 70, however, premiums begin to creep up because older drivers, statistically, are more likely to file a claim. In the event of claim, older drivers may also need longer to recover from an injury sustained in a collision. Comparison shopping for new automobile insurance in Hamilton is one of the most effective ways for drivers over 50 to manage their car insurance costs.
Car insurance rates for students in Hamilton.
Car insurance for new drivers in Hamilton is expensive. Young people pay, on average, the highest insurance premiums of any demographic (adults with driving convictions notwithstanding). For drivers who’ve been insured since the age of 16, rates start declining in the mid-twenties and typically persist until their thirtieth birthday.
Here are some ways young drivers can trim their car insurance rate in Hamilton:
- Being listed as a secondary driver on the policy of a parent or guardian is an easy way to get coverage while also building up an insurance history.
- Secure any available discounts available to students who maintain a certain GPA.
- New drivers who complete a driving education course may be able to secure a lower premium.
While it can be challenging for new drivers to find cheap insurance in Hamilton, it’s the demographic that finds the greatest savings on LowestRates.ca.
Car insurance for new immigrants in Hamilton.
Drivers who have recently immigrated to Ontario are required by law to have proper licensing and insurance. Within 60 days of arrival, they must trade-in any driver’s license secured abroad.
Happily, the provincial government does recognize licences from several countries as equivalent to an Ontario license, sparing many new immigrants you from going through Ontario’s graduated licencing system.
To help secure a lower car insurance premium, we recommend that new immigrants provide to their new car insurance provider a letter of reference from their previous insurance company acknowledging proof of previous insurance and driving history.
Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Hamilton.
Having several traffic convictions or a revoked licence places drivers in a high-risk category which means they’re considered to be at high risk of making a claim. Insurance providers willing to offer coverage will do so at a cost to the driver.
It’s very hard to find cheap auto insurance rates in Hamilton as a high-risk driver. There are insurance companies that cater to high-risk drivers, however.
Those who have been turned down by multiple insurance companies, can purchase facility insurance, a pooled fund subsidized by Canadian insurance companies to provide coverage to high-risk drivers who have no other way of obtaining insurance.
To secure coverage from the Facility Association, a high-risk driver must speak to a broker.
Facts and myths about Hamilton auto insurance.
Car insurance policies include so many details that it’s easy to get confused. Some common misconceptions are debunked, below.
- Myth: Men pay more than women for car insurance. Fact: Men are more likely to pay more than women for car insurance, especially men under 25 years old. This is because, statistically, they’re more likely to be in a collision. As drivers age and accrue more driving experience, their car insurance rates tend to go down – regardless of gender. From 5-70 they begin to increase again because insurance providers consider them more likely to make a claim and less likely to recover quickly from an injury sustained during a collision.
- Myth: Staying with an insurance provider over many years will guarantee a low premium Fact: While some providers will offer discounts to long-time customers, it’s just as likely that a driver can secure a lower rate with a different provider. We recommend that drivers compare available rates every time their policy is up for renewal. Doing so upon renewal helps avoid any fees associated with changing policies within the policy term.
- Myth: Each ticket will lead to more expensive car insurance premium. Fact: Tickets from speed cameras don’t impact a driver’s insurance premium because the cameras don’t necessarily identify the driver accurately. Tickets are sent to whomever the car is registered to, though they may not have been behind the wheel when the speeding occurred. On the other hand, unpaid fines could eventually show up in a driver’s history and lead to a higher rate. Drivers who opt-in to a telematics program and allow their driving habits to be electronically monitored may be eligible for car insurance discounts.
- Myth: Where you live in Hamilton impacts your car insurance premium. Fact: Drivers who live in neighborhoods with high density of traffic and/or high rates of car theft may pay more for car insurance.