Car insurance in Mississauga
It’s illegal to drive in Mississauga, or anywhere else in Ontario, without car insurance. While paying for it may seem inconvenient, this ruling is here for a reason – to protect both you and those around you.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is the regulatory agency that oversees the insurance industry, having replaced the Financial Service Commision of Ontario (FSCO). Its goal is to ensure fair and affordable auto insurance rates for all Canadians as well as protect consumer rights.
Unfortunately, like many cities in the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga has some of the highest insurance rates in the province. However, you can mitigate this issue by comparing quotes on websites like LowestRates.ca to find the cheapest auto insurance rate available.
You also don’t need every coverage in existence to legally drive in Mississauga, so you can save some money there, if you want. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about both mandatory and optional coverages in Ontario:
Mandatory coverage for Mississauga drivers
‘Mandatory’ means that it’s enforced by law. So, if your insurance doesn’t cover some of the items listed below, expect to get fined between $5,000 and $50,000 (note that it’s extremely unlikely that your policy won’t cover the basics).
Here’s your basic auto insurance must include:
- Third-party liability: If your car injures or kills someone, or damages someone’s property, third-party liability will cover you up to the limit of $200,000, in case of a lawsuit. In Ontario, your coverage cannot be below this limit.
- Statutory accident benefits: This will cover you if you get injured during a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault. At minimum, the coverage must include medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, along with caregiver, non-earner and income replacement benefits.
- DCPD (Direct Compensation for Property Damage): This lets you collect your payout directly from your insurance provider should your vehicle and its contents end up damaged or lost. The coverage won’t apply if the accident occurs outside of Ontario, or if more than one other vehicle is involved. The other vehicle must be insured by a provider that’s either licensed in Ontario or has a special signed agreement with the FSRA.
- Uninsured vehicle: This will cover you in case an uninsured driver either damages your vehicle or injures or kills you in a hit-and-run.
Optional coverage for Mississauga drivers
If you find that basic auto insurance is not enough for you, you can always purchase additional coverage. Here are some of your options:
- Third-party liability enhancement: This increases your basic third-party liability coverage from $200,00 to either $500,000, $1 million or $2 million.
- Accident benefits enhancement: You can purchase additional accident benefits to enhance your existing coverage. For instance, you can increase your basic weekly income replacement benefit of $400 (covering 70% of your gross income) to either $600, $800 or $1,000. You can enhance the other accident benefits too, including medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance and death and funeral expenses.
- Dependent care benefits: If a car accident causes you to incur additional childcare expenses, this will provide you with up to $75 per week for your first dependent and $25 for every additional dependent. The catch is that you can’t claim this amount if you were jobless at the time of the accident or if you have the aforementioned caregiver benefit.
- Collision or upset: Whether you suffer a collision with another car or with a trailer attached to your own car, this will cover you. In addition, if your car happens to roll over due to the ground surface or object in or on the ground, this will cover you as well.
- Specified perils: Like your property, your car can get damaged or lost due to an unforeseen peril. For cars, such perils may include fire, lightning, windstorm, earthquake, explosion or theft. If you live in an area prone to various disasters, this coverage is worth purchasing.
- Comprehensive: This will cover everything listed under ‘specified perils,’ as well as losses or damages caused to your vehicle by falling or flying objects, vandalism and missiles. However, this excludes items under ‘collision or upset.’
- All perils: This included everything listed under ‘collision or upset’ and ‘comprehensive’ coverages, as well as a particular type of car theft – perpetrated either by someone who lives with you or happens to drive, use, service or repair your car as part of their job.
- Indexation: This will cover annual adjustments for inflation for benefits like medical, rehabilitation and attendant care, income replacement and others.
Factors that determine your car insurance rates in Mississauga
No two auto insurance rates are the same. That’s why you can’t simply google ‘insurance premium in Mississauga’ and find the number. Insurers take several different factors into account when determining your premium – all of which are specific to you, and you alone. Here’s what they are:
- Your neighbourhood in Mississauga: Where you live – meaning your city and postal code – tends to have a huge impact on your insurance rate. Heavy traffic and prevalence of car theft and vandalism make certain areas more expensive than others. In 2021, the average annual auto insurance rate in Mississauga was $1,971, making it the fifth most expensive city in Ontario.
- Your car: What you drive can also easily influence your insurance rate. In fact, every car (year, make and model) in the country has a Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR), which designates how likely the car is to have a claim filed for it. You can mitigate this by making your car less likely to get stolen or damaged by installing features like an anti-theft system, driver assist or anti-lock brakes.
- Your driving history: Insurers always look at your driving record. The more traffic tickets and accidents you incur, the higher your premium will be. Even if your record only has speeding tickets, your insurance rate can still be high – because speeding and other traffic violations increase the statistical likelihood of you getting into an accident in the future.
- Your driving frequency: If you drive often, and far, your likelihood of getting into an accident is high, even if you consider yourself to be a safe driver. One way to deal with this issue is by going with usage-based insurance (UBI), which will monitor your driving habits, and hopefully, help lower your insurance rates (provided you drive safely).
- Your experience, age and sex: If you’re an inexperienced driver, regardless of age, your auto insurance rates will be higher than those of more experienced drivers. That’s because inexperienced drivers have a higher chance of getting into car accidents. The same goes for ‘young’ drivers, or drivers under 25, as they are deemed inexperienced by default. If you’re male and under 30, your rates will be higher than those of an average female driver (in the same age category), since according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), males are more likely to be involved in a major car accident and engage in unsafe driving practices, such as speeding or not wearing a seat belt. Taking driving courses and driving regularly and safely are some of the most reliable ways to mitigate these factors.
Car insurance rates for Mississauga seniors
If you’re over 50 years old, you can start saving on your car insurance with senior car insurance. People between the ages of 50 and 70 are considered some of the safest drivers around. However, once you turn 70, you’ll start seeing your insurance rates go up, as insurers consider drivers between 70 and 80 to be less safe – due to the decline in their driving abilities.
If you find yourself struggling with paying your insurance rates for one reason or another, consider doing the following:
- Join an association: Insurers offer senior discounts to members of associations such as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), so consider joining one.
- Try out usage-based insurance (UBI): If you’re a safe driver, UBI may work better for you, as it will monitor your driving habits via a device attached to your vehicle. If you drive carefully, your rates will be lower.
- Bundle your insurance policies: Most insurance companies offer a discount when you bundle car insurance with home or tenant insurance, so it might be worth exploring this.
- Ask for a retiree discount: You may be entitled to age-based discounts, like a mature driver discount, retiree discount or claims/conviction-free discount – provided it’s been a while since you filed a claim.
- Ask about loyalty discounts: If you’ve been with the same insurance provider for a long time, ask about their loyalty discounts. You may be surprised by what you get.
- Shop around:Shop around: If all else fails, switch to a new provider. You can use LowestRates.ca to compare quotes and find the cheapest car rates in your area.
Car insurance rates for students in Mississauga
If you’re a student under 25, and you’re hoping to insure your car for a cheap rate, you may find yourself struggling. This is because insurers consider you to be a ‘young’ driver – someone who’s inexperienced or high-risk due to their age group. Basically, in their eyes, you’re more likely to get into an accident or receive a traffic ticket than someone above 25.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with high insurance rates, especially if you’re a good driver. Here are some options to consider:
- Get a driving certificate: Take government-approved driving courses both to improve your driving skills and gain a more favourable outlook from insurers, since they see certified drivers as less likely to file a claim.
- Bundle your insurance policies: You can secure a lower car insurance rate by bundling your car insurance policy with your home or tenant insurance policy.
- Build a clean driving record: Don’t speed, always wear your seat belt and don’t drink when driving. You must avoid traffic tickets and accidents at all costs, so you can build a clean driving record.
- Get usage-based insurance (UBI): If you’re certain you’re a safe driver, consider getting UBI. It involves installing a device on your vehicle that will monitor your driving habits. Good habits are rewarded with lower car insurance rates.
- Shop around: Just because one insurance provider offers you a high rate doesn’t mean another one will too. Use comparison tools like LowestRates.ca to find the lowest student insurance rates in your area.
Car insurance for new immigrants in Mississauga
What happens to your driver’s license once you immigrate to Canada from another country? In most cases, you get to keep it for up to 60 days. After that, you have to get a Canadian driver’s license.
Do note that once you secure your G2 or G driver’s license in Ontario, you’ll be legally required to carry auto insurance whenever you drive. In addition, if you don’t have an insurance history from your previous country, most insurers in Ontario will see you as a novice driver – someone whose driving experience they’re yet to assess. This can lead to a high insurance premium.
If the latter is the case, your best bet is to try the following:
- Take driving courses: Enroll in a government-approved driving program. This will not only help you learn Canadian driving rules but improve your chances of getting a lower insurance rate – since providers will perceive you as a safer driver.
- Bundle your insurance policies: Many insurers offer bundling discounts. If you bundle your car insurance with your home or tenant insurance, your rates will go down for both.
- Drive safely: This one should go without saying. Follow the rules. Wear your seat belt, don’t drink when driving, don’t speed, and most importantly, do your best to avoid accidents. This will allow you to build a clean driving record, which is arguably one of the most important factors in determining your premium.
- Get usage-based insurance (UBI): With UBI, you can install a device on your vehicle that will monitor how you drive. If you drive safely and carefully, then your rates will be lower. However, depending on your driving skills, lower rates are not a guarantee.
- Look for a better rate: Lastly, don’t accept the offer from the first insurer you meet. Look at quotes from other insurers and utilize comparison tools like LowestRates.ca to discover the cheapest rates available to newcomers.
Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Mississauga
Incurring too many traffic tickets or suffering too many at-fault accidents can make you a high-risk driver in the eyes of insurers. They base this assessment on the likelihood of you filing a claim in the future. The more driving mistakes you make, the more likely you are to file one.
This can be a precarious situation, as many insurers may refuse to work with you in the first place, making it impossible for you to drive legally. If that’s the case, consult the Facility Association – an organization that includes all auto insurance providers and offers insurance to those who have trouble finding it by regular means.
If your situation isn’t quite so dire, here’s what you can do to lower your rates:
- Drive better: Correct the mistakes that cause you to collect traffic tickets and/or get into car accidents. Don’t speed, don’t drink when driving and follow the rules. This will not only help you improve your driving record but keep you and everyone else safe.
- Take a course: It’s possible that you’re not as skilled as you believe yourself to be. Consider hiring a driving instructor or having another experienced driver assess your skills and pinpoint your biggest gaps. Again, this will both improve your driving record and keep you and others safe.
- Shop around: Finally, never miss the opportunity to look for a better offer from other insurers. Compare quotes on comparison tools like LowestRates.ca to find the cheapest rates for high-risk drivers.