Comprehensive Auto Insurance for Ontario Drivers
Perhaps no other topic gets people talking about insurance more than Auto Insurance. Auto insurance in Ontario is mandated and heavily regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (formerly FSCO) and insurers are bound to using the standardized Ontario Auto Policy (OAP1) to insure personal use vehicles. The coverages provided by this policy are common amongst all insurers in the province.
To legally operate a vehicle in the province, the liability and accident benefit coverages provided by this form are mandatory. The policy covers you and anyone operating your vehicle with your permission. There are options to increase your coverages to include damage to your vehicle, and there are endorsements to add to the basic coverages to ensure you and your vehicle are properly covered in the event of a claim. With the recent reductions in Accident Benefits mandated by the provincial government, your ability to supplement the basic auto policy is more important than ever.
Auto policies cover more than just your personal automobile. You can cover collector vehicles, snowmobiles, ATV’s, and motorcycles under your auto insurance policy. Auto insurance policies can also be referred to as car insurance.
Types of Auto Insurance
Standard Ontario Auto Insurance
The Ontario Auto Policy covers your regular use autos and motorcycles, as well as snowmobiles and certain all-terrain vehicles depending on vehicle registration.
Collector Vehicle Insurance
Customized coverage is called for when your vehicle derives much of its value from its rarity and condition.
Most insurers in Ontario have limited appetite for drivers with driving convictions and prior claims within the last six years.
What should I look for in an Ontario auto insurer?
As policy coverages under the basic auto policy are standardized, the supplementary coverages and claims philosophies of the insurer become an important factor in selecting your auto insurer. You should look for:
- What are the restrictions on obtaining a rental vehicle during a claim? May I rent any vehicle I wish or will the insurer limit coverage to what they determine a “reasonable” replacement would be?
- What is the limit of my rental coverage?
- If I rent a vehicle am I covered by my auto insurance? Or will I need to buy separate coverage from the rental agency?
- Can I choose to take my vehicle to the dealer or my trusted auto shop? Or will the insurer insist that I have the vehicle repaired by their own network?
- What will I receive if my vehicle is written off in a claim? Will I receive the full value? Will the value be depreciated? Will I receive an agreed value?
- Will my vehicle be covered for brand name parts?
- How robust is their claims service? Am I able to deal with a single contact at my insurer or will I be forced to use a call center whenever I need to contact them?
FCA is Ontario’s Auto Insurance Expert Since 1919
FCA has been providing Ontario families with their insurance needs since 1919. We have set the industry standard for turnaround time for both new and existing clients. We pride ourselves in ensuring our clients are receiving the best suite of coverages at a fair price.
While the primary influence on auto insurance premiums is always the driving history of the operators, there are a number of other significant influences on rates. Your residence postal code is perhaps the most significant, as auto rates vary from region to region depending on the history of claims incidence and frequency in the area in which the auto is garaged. Traffic density, proximity to highways, local demographics, and even intersection design in the area can impact the claims history in your area.
Insurers will also increase or decrease rates in an area to increase or decrease the amount of customers in a given area to ensure good spread of their risk. Weak investment returns will put pressure on premiums, as will increased overall claims experience. The Insurance Bureau of Canada is the entity that tracks claims experience for the various makes and models of vehicles, and they will increase or decrease the vehicle rate groups to reflect historical experience.
Premiums will increase if you use your vehicle for regular commuting, if you use it for your business, if you have underage (less than 25 years old) drivers in the household, or if you put a large number of kms on the vehicle regularly. Lower deductibles and increased limits will also increase your premiums. Certain vehicle makes and models will result in higher premiums, the cost of insurance doesn’t necessarily track well with vehicle values. Some vehicles see higher theft claims, some see higher injury rates in collisions.
While nothing will be as effective as maintaining a good driving record, there are some things you can do to help.
- Install winter tires
- Insuring your vehicles with the same insurer as your home will add a multi-policy discount, this may improve your premium, as might insuring all your vehicles with a single insurer
- Ensure that all young drivers take a ministry approved drivers education course
- Consider limiting which vehicles underage drivers may use by use of an excluded driver endorsement
- Ensure your broker is advised when you retire, if you are driving minimally, or if you will not operate one of your vehicles for an extended period.
- When purchasing a new vehicle, call your broker first so they can provide cost estimates for different options so you can factor that in to your buying decision
Why Choose FCA Insurance?
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Our industry leading team boasts eighty dedicated and licensed professionals ensuring a smooth and efficient experience.
Carol, Feb 2019
Laura does the work to get us the best prices with the best coverage. Her yearly renewal visit is comprehensive to say the least, but when she leaves, we all understand the exact nature of each and every policy our business has.
Oliver, Mar 2018
Helen is super nice, knowledgeable, and quick. Our new policy is saving us $700/year, for a plan that’s actually better than the one our previous broker arranged.
Cam, Nov 2020
Jamie and his team have been great to deal with, providing transparent advice and excellent service!
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Our mission is to make insurance accessible. We put you in control of your insurance experience. FCA informs and empowers you, so you can choose amongst robust options, confident in the value of your protection and in the broad reach of your advocates.