Car insurance in Sarnia, Ontario.
Getting car insurance in Sarnia is much the same as the rest of the province. It begins with understanding which coverages are mandatory — meaning you’ll need them, no matter what — and which are optional.
Car insurance is regulated provincially in Ontario, so the requirements are the same whether you’re insuring a vehicle in Sarnia or in Toronto. Familiarize yourself with the mandatory and optional coverages, which we list out below.
Mandatory auto insurance coverage in Sarnia.
Third-party liability insurance:
Ontario requires that you carry a minimum liability amount of $200,000 for this type of insurance. This covers you if you are sued after an accident for damage to property, or injuring or killing another person.
Statutory accident benefits insurance:
This will cover you in the event that you require care if you are hurt in an accident. It includes coverage for supplemental medical benefits, attendant care and rehabilitation services. You may also receive coverage for caregiver benefits if your injuries stop you from being able to care for a dependent, as well as income replacement.
Standard coverage for accident benefits:
The following benefits are standard coverage in an accident, and are per person.
- $1 million for combined catastrophic injuries and medical and attendant care.
- $65,000 for combined serious injuries and medical and attendant care for up to five years (the period may be longer for children).
- $3,500 to cover medical care for any minor injuries.
Direct compensation property damage insurance:
Also known as DCPD, this coverage protects your vehicle or any personal belongings inside your vehicle when it is damaged. This coverage’s name reflects the fact that your insurance company directly compensates you for the loss, although another person may be at fault.
Uninsured vehicle insurance:
This will protect you in the event that an uninsured driver or a driver that flees the scene is in an accident with you. Your family is eligible to receive compensation in the event you are killed, otherwise you will receive compensation. This covers both injuries to you, as well as damage to your car.
Optional auto insurance coverage in Sarnia.
There are many optional coverages available to drivers in Sarnia that you should consider to ensure that you are fully protected. Not all of these coverages may be right for you, but you should at least take the time to read and understand them, and ask yourself whether you’d be able to financially protect yourself without insurance in these situations.
Extra third-party liability coverage: You’re required to have $200,000 in coverage, but often times, drivers opt to get more. That’s because if you cause damage or even kill someone in an accident, you can be sued for far more than $200,000. That’s why it’s common for drivers to look for extra third-party liability coverage, with $1 million and $2 million being popular amounts.
Additional accident benefits coverage: This is mandatory coverage with the option to increase the base amount. Standard coverage starts at $65,000 for serious injuries and $1 million if you have catastrophic injuries. But you can increase these to $1 million and $3 million, respectively.
Greater coverage for damage to your vehicle: This is basically more money in the event that your vehicle is an accident with another vehicle, object or building. There’s also the option to buy additional coverage to cover you for perils such as fire, theft, a falling tree, etc. This coverage gives you the option of having a limited number of perils, or a large list. Use this optional coverage to give you peace of mind that you will be covered no matter the extent and type of damage to your car.
Stronger coverage for collisions with uninsured or hit-and-run drivers: We covered this in the mandatory section, but given the risks that come with being an accident with a driver who is not insured, or an irresponsible driver who flees the scene of an accident, you might want to look into increasing your coverage here.
Loss of use coverage: This coverage is in reference to protection of your rental car while your vehicle is being either repaired or in the process of being replaced due to an accident or some other event that was insured (e.g. a tree branch falling on your car).
Borrowed and rented vehicles coverage: This coverage allows you to also be protected for any vehicle you borrow or rent during a short period of time. This coverage is included in OPCF 27, Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s).
Leased vehicle coverage: OPCF 5, Permission to Rent or Lease Automobiles and Extending Coverage to the Specified Lessee(s), is the endorsement that adds this protection. As the name suggests, this will specifically cover a leased vehicle.
New vehicle replacement: This coverage, often meant to protect you during the first two years of buying a new vehicle, means your insurer won’t include depreciation in its compensation to you in the event of an accident or total loss. This coverage is offered under the endorsement Removing Depreciation Deduction endorsement (OPCF 43).
While these are some key optional coverage, you may be able to get coverage beyond the above if you feel that you require more coverage. The best way to explore your options is to get a quote on LowestRates.ca, compare car insurance pricing, and then be connected with a broker or insurance agent.
Factors that determine your car insurance rates in Sarnia.
Car insurance companies all have their own complex ways of figuring out how to price your insurance. The bottom line is that they use a variety of different factors to try and determine how risky you are for them to insure, and then price their insurance accordingly.
For most people, better understanding insurance pricing starts by understanding what factors can affect your insurance. We list out those factors below:
- Your driving experience: The more you have, the better. Newer drivers are charged higher insurance premiums.
- Driving history: If you have speeding tickets or accidents on your record, insurance companies are going to view you as riskier to insure, and price your premiums accordingly.
- Your age and gender: Insurance companies view young men as the riskiest to insure. If you’re an older woman, meanwhile, you can look forward to lower insurance rates.
- Where you park and drive: Insurance companies use postal codes to determine how many accidents or thefts occur in an area. If you live somewhere with more claims, your rates will be higher.
- How much you drive: Those who drive often, or long distances, are charged higher premiums. That’s because more time spent on the road translates to higher risk.
- Your vehicle: If you have a speedy sports car which has a history of being in accidents (based on data from other drivers), expect to pay more. If your car also tends to be a model that is popular with thieves, also expect to pay more. A quick search online can save you money by steering you away from vehicles that are more expensive to insure.
- The amount of coverage you need: Naturally, the more coverage you need, the more you’ll pay for it.
As we mentioned, insurance companies look at troves of data to price your insurance. Here are other factors, some outside of your control, that can lead to increased or lower insurance rates for you.
- Auto theft: if crime is increasing in your area, and things like car jackings are rising, unfortunately, your insurance rates will increase as well.
- Insurance fraud: insurance companies lose money if people falsely file claims, and those costs get passed on to all consumers. Insurance fraud has been an issue in parts of Ontario, unfortunately.
- Trends in legal damages to settle claims: In the past three decades, changes in policy have meant that claims settlements for injuries have gone up, a cost which is passed on to consumers.
- Auto design and manufacturing: New cars have far more technology in them than in the past, such as sensors and touchscreens. This makes repairs more complicated when the car gets into an accident, thus making overall repairs more expensive. That expense gets passed on to consumers in the form of higher insurance rates.
Car insurance rates for Sarnia seniors.
The good news is that seniors pay some of the lowest car insurance rates among age groups.
A few reasons are behind this. First of all, most seniors tend to have long driving histories, giving insurers a pretty clear picture of how responsible someone is on the road.
As well, these drivers also tend to have been insured for a long time, giving insurers a clear picture of whether these drivers can afford to pay their insurance premiums.
Given that many insurance companies want to insure seniors, it’s important to compare insurance rates to see what all companies are willing to offer you. Never settle with just one quote, as you can be costing yourself thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs a year.
Car insurance rates for Sarnia students.
The good news for students is that many insurance companies offer discounts for students or alumni of certain post-secondary schools in Ontario.
However, if you are a young student, you will likely be paying higher than average insurance rates. That’s because insurance companies deem driving history and age as important factors in pricing insurance.
Young, inexperienced drivers are more likely to get into accidents, and they tend not to have very long driving histories for insurance companies to gauge how safe they are on the road.
This makes it especially important to compare rates for students. Insurance for young students can be expensive, and you want to save as much money as possible.
Sarnia car insurance rates for new immigrants.
New immigrants to Canada, unfortunately, often start off with higher insurance rates. That's because not all insurers consider your driving history from your previous country as relevant.
That being said, some insurers do. When coming to Canada, be sure to contact your previous insurance company for a record of your driving history. Register this with your provincial transportation ministry. This can help you save considerable amounts of money on your annual premium.
Be sure to speak to your new insurer in Canada about whether they’ll accept your driving history, and if not, try to shop around for another insurer.
Sarnia car insurance rates for high-risk drivers.
This is one of the most expensive groups to be in for insurance. A high-risk driver is someone who’s been convicted of a serious driving offence or been charged with driving without insurance.
High-risk drivers can still get insurance, but it’s more expensive. So it’s best to compare to find the best rate.
Facts and myths about Sarnia auto insurance.
Getting car insurance in Sarnia can be complicated by the myths some drivers have about what affects their insurance. But that’s OK, because we’re here to help you separate fact from fiction. Read below to see us dispel some common myths you might encounter when learning about car insurance in Sarnia.
- Myth: All traffic tickets impact your insurance rate. This isn’t true. While tickets you receive from officers can impact your car insurance rate (unless you challenge them in court and win), tickets received from speeding cameras and red light cameras do not impact your rates. That’s because the ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle, and the camera can’t confirm who was driving the car. Regardless, these tickets will still dent your wallet. The fine for a red light ticket from a camera in Ontario is $325.
- Fact: Women pay less for car insurance than men, on average. This is true. While car insurance is priced individually, being a man, especially a man under 25, means the insurance company will view you as a riskier driver to insure and price your insurance higher.
- Myth: Insurance will cover any damage to your car. This depends on your insurance. If a house fire destroys your car or if a tree limb falls on it, you won’t be covered unless you have comprehensive insurance coverage. This is different from collision coverage, which is designed to cover damage in the event of a car accident. Make sure you ask your insurer all the events you’re covered for if you’re concerned of damage beyond car accidents to your vehicle.
- Fact: Where you live impacts your insurance rates. This is true. Insurance companies in Ontario price your insurance based on a variety of factors, and one of them is your postal code. That means that simple crossing from one side of the street to the other can have a significant impact on your premium. If there are higher thefts or accidents in one postal code, insurers will view insuring someone there as riskier, and raise their premiums accordingly.
- Myth: You can only change your insurance company at renewal. This is incorrect. You can change anytime. However, the question is do you want to. Changing your policy before your annual renewal means you’ll likely incur a termination fee. Sometimes this is worth it if you find an incredibly good deal on insurance. However, most of the time, it’s best to start comparing and shopping around right before your renewal to see who’s offering you the best rates. That way, switching is free.
We hope this information was helpful to you! At the end of the day, the most important takeaway for you is that car insurance pricing is different for every person. An insurance company will look at where you live, your driving history and the car you drive, among other factors, to price your insurance.
One insurance company may deem you riskier to insure, thus pricing your premium higher, while another may view you as safer, meaning a lower premium. The only way you’ll find out who’s willing to give you the best deal is by comparing. So don’t forget to compare!
*Shoppers in Ontario who obtained a quote on LowestRates.ca from January to December 2021 saved an average of 32%. The average savings percentage represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of all other quoted premiums generated by LowestRates.ca and displayed to shoppers.