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What Type of Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need in Barrie Ontario
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Barrie, Ontario is a thriving city and one of the largest metropolitan areas in Canada. Although Barrie has a robust urban core and plenty of public transit options, many residents commute by car to neighbouring Toronto. If you drive anywhere in Ontario, you must carry a certain amount of car insurance. More than that, full coverage auto insurance protects you and your vehicle, so you can drive with peace of mind. Here is what you need to know about car insurance in Barrie.
Quick Facts About Barrie, Ontario
If you’re considering a move to Barrie, it’s a great place to call home. As part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Barrie has benefitted from the region’s population growth and economic boom in recent decades. As of the 2011 Census, Barrie’s population was 136,063 and poised to continue growing.
According to Tourism Barrie, the city is the perfect place to hit the ski slopes in the winter and explore pristine beaches in the summer. Barrie also enjoys a lively theatre scene, as well as opportunities for a range of outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, fishing and snowshoeing.
Like every city in Ontario, car insurance is a legal requirement in Barrie. Whether you drive to Toronto each day for work, or you use your car to run errands around town, you must carry a minimum amount of car insurance. However, many people choose to buy more than the minimum to protect them in nearly any kind of accident.
Are you curious how much it costs for full auto coverage insurance? You can get an online quote from 15 of Canada’s top car insurance companies with My Insurance Broker’s quote comparison tool.
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Mandatory Car Insurance for Barrie, Ontario
No matter where you live in Ontario, you must maintain a minimum amount of car insurance to remain in compliance with provincial law and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) — the agency that oversees Ontario’s insurance industry.
Because Ontario has a no fault car insurance system, your own car insurance company pays your benefits in the event you’re involved in a car accident — regardless of which driver caused the crash. However, no fault insurance doesn’t pay for property damage, which means it won’t cover the cost to repair dents, scratches or other problems with your car. This is just one of the reasons why many people choose to purchase additional car insurance.
If you drive without insurance in Ontario, you also risk serious penalties. Drivers caught behind the wheel without minimum insurance face fines up to $50,000 and even the loss of their licence for up to one year. Additionally, car insurance companies may classify you as a high-risk driver if you’re caught driving without insurance. This could set you up for years of higher-than-average car insurance premiums. Protect yourself and your wallet by signing up for a policy.
To satisfy the minimum car insurance requirements, your policy must include the following:
Third Party Liability Coverage
Ontario drivers must carry at least $200,000 in third party liability insurance, which protects you if you cause an accident that results in injury, death or property damage.
Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage
Basic accident benefits include income replacement up to $400 each week, attendant care, death and funeral benefits, long-term disability and medical and rehabilitation expenses.
Uninsured Automobile Insurance
Uninsured automobile insurance covers you if you’re not at fault in an accident caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
Direct Compensation - Property Damage (DC-PD) Insurance
Direct Compensation - Property Damage insurance covers you against damage to your vehicle that is caused by another driver.
However, DC-PD insurance comes with a few conditions: the accident must occur in Ontario, there must be another vehicle involved in the crash and at least one of the other vehicles must also be properly insured under Ontario law. If the accident doesn’t fall within these parameters, your Collision insurance — assuming you have it — will cover you. Because Collision insurance is optional, not everyone chooses to buy it.
Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Barrie, Ontario
Minimum coverage has its limits. If it falls short, you must make up the difference out of your own pocket. Depending on the severity of your accident, you may even face a personal injury lawsuit, which can cost thousands or more in legal fees and court costs. This is why many people choose to go beyond the Ontario minimum car insurance requirements.
The good news is you can decide exactly how much insurance you need. Because we offer quotes from 15 different insurance companies, My Insurance Broker can help you customize a car insurance policy that suits your needs.
Here are some of the additional coverage options car insurance companies offer:
- Optional Third Party Liability Coverage
All Ontario drivers are legally required to carry $200,000 of third party liability insurance, but you can increase your coverage to $500,000, $1 million or $2 million.
- Optional Statutory Accident Benefits
You can also increase your Statutory Accident Benefits. For example, many drivers choose to add extra income replacement benefits, as the minimum requirements will only pay 70 per cent of your gross income up to $400 each week.
- Optional Insurance for Damage to Your Vehicle
Ontario drivers also have a wide range of options for expanding their property damage insurance. For example, “specified perils coverage” pays for losses caused by fire, theft, lightning, windstorms, hail and various other adverse events.
- Collision or upset coverage
pays for losses caused by rollovers or a collision between two or more vehicles, a trailer, an object on the ground or the ground itself.
- All perils coverage
includes both specified perils coverage and collision or upset coverage.
How Do You Calculate Insurance Costs?
So how much does it cost for full coverage auto insurance? That depends on several factors. While you can’t control all of them, there are several ways you can work to lower your car insurance premiums.
Men typically pay more for car insurance than women. As long as insurance companies can back up their rates with actuarial data, the FSCO says it’s permissible for insurers to adjust rates by gender.
The younger you are, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance. Because the youngest drivers also have a greater share of car accidents, insurance companies distribute risk by charging younger drivers higher premiums. According to the FSCO, most premiums go down after age 25.
- The Type of Car You Drive
Have you ever wondered why some cars cost more (or less) to insure than others? If you plan on buying a new car soon, you should perhaps think twice before purchasing that fancy sports car.
Certain vehicles, such as high-end models built for speed, will cost you more in insurance premiums. The same goes for vehicles known to be targets for break-ins and theft. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, it’s a good idea to run your options through an online insurance calculator to get an idea of which vehicles will cost you more in premiums.
- Your Driving Record
When it comes to driving, you can count on getting rewarded for good behavior. Insurance companies analyze customers based on risk. If you’ve maintained a clean driving record for 20 years, statistics say you’re likely to keep it that way.
But if your past is littered with speeding tickets and fender benders, insurance companies view you as someone who is prone to accidents — and they charge more to insure you.
- Where You Live and Drive
In addition to your accident history (or lack of it), some insurance companies factor in what type of driving you do. For example, they might look at whether you drive primarily on the highway, where speed limits are higher, or whether the bulk of your driving is confined to the area around your home.
Insurance companies also consider how much time you spend in your car. If you drive a short distance from your home to work each day, your car insurance rate might be lower than someone with a 45-minute commute.
Just as insurance companies consider a range of factors when deciding how much to charge their customers, they’re also prohibited from looking at other factors. The law prohibits insurers from setting car insurance rates based on a person’s credit history, past bankruptcies, employment status, vehicle ownership status or how long the person has lived in their home.
Additionally, insurance companies can’t discriminate based on an individual’s lapses in insurance coverage, history of minor at-fault accidents, accidents in which the person was less than 25 per cent at fault or accidents in which the person was not at fault.
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