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How comparing auto insurance quotes in Nova Scotia works. Hint: It's free!

Insurance comparison sites like LowestRates.ca generate and rank insurance quotes from top car insurers by using the specific information you provide. After you receive and select your quote, a professional car insurance broker in Nova Scotia will lock in your rate with the insurance company and help you set up your new policy. That’s why it pays to compare Nova Scotia auto insurance policies online to secure the cheapest rate. 

From start to finish, the entire process takes just minutes to complete, which means you save time and money when you shop around for car insurance. Bonus: Because you’ve seen quotes from Canada’s best insurers, you'll also get the satisfaction of knowing you found the cheapest rate available for your policy.

Not ready to fill out a form just yet? No problem. Keep reading for more information on searching for car insurance in Nova Scotia at the best rates. 

 

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What you need to know about car insurance in Nova Scotia.

 

Who sets auto insurance rates in Nova Scotia?

In Nova Scotia, car insurance companies set auto insurance rates, which are then reviewed and approved by The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, the organization that enforces the Insurance Act.

The Nova Scotia Insurance Review Board  (NSIRB) also regulates auto insurance and monitors rates across the province. If an insurer wants to increase its rates or change its rules, it must apply to the Board. It's the NSIRB's job to protect the public's interest at all times and to ensure that auto insurance rates in the province are fair and reasonable.

What factors determine auto insurance rates in Nova Scotia?

Car insurance is a complex product. Nova Scotia auto insurance companies will take a number of variables into consideration when calculating your premium. Here are the major ones:

Your licence level - Not having a full licence will cause your premium to be higher. Conversely, having a full licence has a positive effect on your car insurance rates. New drivers looking for car insurance in Nova Scotia may see higher rates due to this factor. 

Mileage - Premiums are based on how many kilometers you drive a year. Insurance companies find your annual total by looking at the number of kilometers you drive per day. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in a collision. 

Car make and model - The more expensive the model of car you drive, the more you’ll be paying to insure it. However, insurance companies also pay attention to other factors, like whether your vehicle is prone to theft. If your car’s on the “most stolen” list, even if it’s not a status symbol, you could be paying more than average to insure it. 

Driving habits - Maintaining a record that’s free of claims and convictions will keep your premiums stable. Throughout the years, you will even see your insurance costs decline. However, car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Nova Scotia may be higher than the average rate. This is why car insurance for high risk drivers in Nova Scotia may be more expensive.

Age - Young drivers — think age 30 and under — pay the highest car insurance premiums, even if they don’t have any claims or convictions to their names. This is another reason why coverage providers might be hesitant to give new drivers in Nova Scotia a cheap rate on their car insurance. 

However, being young isn’t the only way age can impact your car insurance rates. Adults between the ages of 50 and 70 get some of the lowest car insurance rates in Nova Scotia . If you belong to this demographic, you probably have a long history of being insured and you might even have bundled your home insurance policy with the same provider of your auto insurance.  After age 70, though, you might see  your rate begin to creep up because people in your age group are more statistically more likely to need to file a claim and need longer to recover from an injury. Therefore, seniors in Nova Scotia who hold car insurance policies may pay higher rates due to a higher rate of accidents in their age group. 

Coverage amounts - Buying coverage that exceeds what the law says is mandatory to have will result in a higher premium. Buying more coverage isn’t a bad idea, especially since legal fees can exceed the mandatory minimum benefit amount for liability coverage ($500,000). . You can always ask your insurance company to downgrade your coverage later on.   

Your insurance history -  In addition to having a poor driving history, your insurance history can also play a role in determining your rates. If you’ve filed multiple claims or have a history of missing payments, you may be given a higher rate. New immigrants who need car insurance in Nova Scotia may also face challenges because they have no Canadian insurance history at all. Your income level: How much money you make can also impact your car insurance rates. A higher income may indicate to an insurance company that you’re less likely to get behind on payments. This is why students looking for car insurance in Nova Scotia may face challenges securing an affordable rate.

As of November 2014, Nova Scotia insurers stopped using age and marital status to determine drivers' risk classifications. Removing gender as a rating factor was reviewed, but ultimately denied in the 2011 reforms.

How do Nova Scotia auto insurance rates compare to other provinces?

Nova Scotia auto insurance premiums are among the lowest in the country — lower even than the sparsely populated Northwest Territories.

Average auto insurance rates by province

ProvinceAverage Rates
Ontario$1,505
British Columbia$1,832
Alberta$1,316
Newfoundland & Labrador$1,168
Manitoba$1,140
Northwest Territories$978*
Nunavut$963*
Yukon$812*
Nova Scotia$891
Saskatchewan$1,235
New Brunswick$867
Prince Edward Island$816
Quebec$717

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2020, "BC - Better Auto Insurance."

*Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2017

Which cities have the most expensive auto insurance in Nova Scotia?

Looking for an estimate of your car insurance fees in Nova Scotia? According to LowestRates.ca’s user database, the top three cities and communities in Nova Scotia with the most expensive car insurance quotes are:

  1. Armadale 
  2. Halifax 
  3. Beaver Bank 

Which cities have the cheapest auto insurance in Nova Scotia?

In other parts of Nova Scotia, affordable car insurance is easier to find. According to LowestRates.ca's user database, the top three communities in Nova Scotia with the cheapest car insurance quotes are :

  1. Billtown 
  2. Auburndale 
  3. Donkin 

Which providers offer the best and cheapest insurance in Nova Scotia?

Car insurance costs in Nova Scotia are varied and complex. Therefore, there isn’t one single car insurance company that offers cheap car insurance policies to everyone who applies for a policy. Insurance companies don’t often advertise low prices to draw in customers.

Calculating insurance premiums is a complex process that takes many variables into account, including age, gender, address, type of car, and more. Insurance companies want to ensure that they’re properly hedged for risk so they can keep their obligations to their policyholders. That’s why they tend to be pretty conservative with the prices they charge.

However, car insurance companies are not interchangeable. Companies also base their premiums on how well their business is performing. If they pay out a lot of premiums in one year, they’re going to raise rates for all customers.

If you have a strong driving record, there’s a good possibility that another insurance company can offer you a lower rate. That’s why it’s important to compare car insurance quotes from different insurers in Nova Scotia.

Why are insurance rates so low in Nova Scotia?

Auto insurance rates in Nova Scotia are among the lowest in the country, largely due to government reforms introduced in 2003. These auto insurance reforms have helped reduce rates by 27% across the province. The average policy in 2003 was $1,069, compared to an average of $891 in 2019. The reforms gave drivers a wider range of auto insurance choices and now there are more than 60 private insurance companies they can choose from.

How can I get cheap auto insurance in Nova Scotia?

There are many ways to get cheap car insurance in Nova Scotia:

  • Always pay your premiums on time.
  • Choose a vehicle with more safety and security features.
  • Maintain a good driving history.
  • Obey the rules of the road and avoid speeding tickets.
  • Shop around for your policy. LowestRates.ca can help you compare quotes so you can find the policy that fits your needs.
  • Inform your insurer of any changes to your policy. Changes can sometimes drop your premium.
  • Understand and choose the right type of insurance coverage — only choose the coverage you need.
  • Take advantage of your insurer's discounts — drivers can get discounts by taking a safety course, and group rates are available through many companies, universities, and professional associations.
  • Opt for a higher deductible. You'll get a lower premium if you agree to contribute more toward the cost of a claim.
  • Know about the vehicle you're buying. Your premium will be higher if you buy a car with a high theft rating.

While this list is a good place to start, getting cheap automobile insurance in Nova Scotia isn’t an exact science. Every insurance company underwrites risk a bit differently. 

Does your credit score impact your car insurance rates in Nova Scotia?

Under the current rules, car insurance companies operating in Nova Scotia aren't prohibited from asking about credit scores when determining a premium — but only if it will help the consumer get a better rate. Drivers can’t be denied insurance because of their credit.

The use of credit scores by auto insurance companies is prohibited in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Which other types of car insurance are available to Nova Scotia drivers?

Beyond third-party liability insurance  (Nova Scotia drivers must purchase coverage with a benefit of at least $500,000), you can also purchase extended coverage that will help with costs to repair or replace your vehicle.

  • Collision - Collision coverage in Nova Scotia covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, but only if it’s damaged in a collision.
  • Comprehensive - Comprehensive coverage in Nova Scotia covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged by an insurable risk, minus collisions. Insurable risks that are covered by comprehensive insurance include damage from falling objects, vandalism, or theft.
  • Specified perils - Covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle but only against insurable risks that you specifically ask for coverage against. If it’s not in the policy, you’re not covered.
  • All perils - A hybrid of collision and comprehensive insurance.

Is auto insurance required in Nova Scotia?

Yes. The law requires you to carry insurance on your vehicle.

What is the minimum requirement for auto insurance in Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia residents are required to carry $500,000 in third-party liability insurance on their vehicles. Without the minimum amount of coverage, you can't register your automobile.

You also need uninsured and unidentified insurance (also known as uninsured motorist coverage outside Nova Scotia), which protects you if you're involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver that can't be identified. 

Other examples of mandatory auto insurance in Nova Scotia includes accident benefits or direct compensation property damage. Nova Scotia drivers can account for these mandatory minimum coverages when they apply for quotes on LowestRates.ca. 

What kind of auto insurance system does Nova Scotia have?

Nova Scotia has a no-fault system: drivers deal with their own insurance companies, regardless of who's at fault.

In addition to vehicle repairs and property damage, what else will my auto insurance policy cover?

If you're in an automobile accident in Nova Scotia, regardless of who's at fault, your coverage provides supplementary benefits:

  • Medical payments: up to $50,000/person.
  • Funeral expense benefits: up to $2,500.
  • Disability income benefits: 80% of gross weekly income; 104 weeks partial disability; lifetime if totally disabled; maximum $250/week; unpaid housekeeper, if completely disabled, $100/week for maximum of 52 weeks.
  • Death benefits: death of head of household $25,000, plus $1,000 to each dependent survivor after first; death of spouse/partner $25,000; death of dependant $5,000.

What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Nova Scotia?

If you're convicted of driving without insurance in Nova Scotia, you'll have to pay a $1000 fine or spend 45 days in jail. That's for your first offence. The fine increases to $2000 or 90 days in jail for a second, and $5000 or 120 days for a third.

And that's not all. Once you're convicted of driving without the minimum auto insurance coverage, you'll also be identified as high risk, and you'll likely face higher auto insurance rates in the future.

What is the minimum legal driving age in Nova Scotia?

You can begin the licensing process when you turn 16.

To earn your learner's licence in Nova Scotia, you have to pass a road theory test and an eye vision test. You can then drive as long as you're accompanied by someone with a fully valid driver's licence. You must stay in this licence level for a minimum of 6 months, or 3 months if you complete a recognized driver education or training program. Drivers with this licence level must maintain a blood alcohol level of 0.

How do I get a newly licensed driver's licence in Nova Scotia?

To get your newly minted driver's licence, you must pass a road test and a knowledge test. Then you have to drive with this licence for at least 2 years. And there are a couple driving restrictions: you must maintain a BAC of 0, and you can't drive between 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM. If you need to drive during these hours for employment purposes, you can apply for an exemption. Also, drivers with this licence can only have one passenger in the front seat and rear passengers are limited to the number of seat belts. If you're driving between 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM, you can't have any passengers.

How do I get a full licence in Nova Scotia?

After you hold the Class 5N licence for 24 consecutive months with no suspensions, you're eligible to take a driver training program approved by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Once you successfully complete this program, you'll be granted your full Nova Scotia driver's licence.

Is usage-based insurance available in Nova Scotia?

Yes. Nova Scotia rolled out usage-based insurance (UBI) policies in early 2016, making it the second province in Atlantic Canada to leverage telematics technology. Now you can get a UBI quote and start lowering your car insurance with responsible driving habits.

Is ride-sharing insurance available in Nova Scotia?

Yes, ride-sharing insurance is available in Nova Scotia.

While Uber and Lyft provide insurance for their drivers, you may need to purchase more insurance to fill in any gaps. Learn more about ride-sharing insurance here.

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