What raises and lowers your car insurance? 7 factors worth knowing.

Car insurance can be a large expense for Ontario drivers, but have you ever wondered what raises and lowers your car insurance, or why you pay a certain amount for your insurance while your friends, family members, and coworkers all pay a different amount?

The truth is that many factors play into what an individual’s insurance premiums will be, and today we’re going to talk about seven of the most important ones.  

1. Age, make, and model of your vehicle

There are many reasons why the vehicle you drive is such a significant part of the insurance payment equation. Certain vehicles are more prone to theft, are involved in more accidents, and can cost more to repair, and this will increase the cost of your insurance.

On the other hand, certain vehicles have better safety ratings than others, which can lower your premiums. Some insurers may even offer discounts for hybrid vehicles or for additional security features. Verify these before you buy a new car, but keep it in mind when you’re in the market for a new car.

2. Driving history and experience

What raises and lowers your car insurance like your actual driving record? Not much.

The more experience you have and the fewer black marks on your record (such as accident claims, traffic-related criminal convictions, and traffic violations), the lower your insurance will be. Drive the smart way and you’ll see your rates go down over time. 

3. Your age

Younger drivers typically have less experience than older drivers, they don’t have an established driving record. Statistics show that young drivers are also more likely to drive recklessly, correlating to their higher-than-normal involvement in collisions.

This means younger drivers pay more for insurance compared to an older driver. You can’t do anything about your age, but you can avoid collisions at all costs to keep your premiums down until you’re older than 25.

Driver Age
Drivers Licensed Drivers Involved in Collisions % of Drivers of Each Age Involved in Collisions
Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
Under 16 0 0 0 33 11 44 N/A N/A N/A
16 44,293 41,327 85,620 517 417 934 1.17% 1.01% 1.09%
17 58.613 53,429 112,042 2,748 1,924 4,672 4.69% 3.60% 4.17%
18 68,515 62,003 130,518 3,575 2,463 6,038 5.22% 3.97% 4.63%
19 76,407 68,944 145,351 4,106 2,610 6,716 5.37% 3.79% 4.62%
20 80,749 72,485 153,234 4,262 2,712 6,974 5.28% 3.74% 4.55%
21-24 339,473 310,604 650,077 18,837 12,937 31,774 5.55% 4.17% 4.89%
25-34 838,279 818,633 1,656,912 43,520 29,047 72,567 5.19% 3.55% 4.38%
35-44 843,159 843,029 1,686,188 40,909 27,716 68,625 5.00% 3.29% 4.07%
45-54 976,587 927,305 1,903,892 45,135 26,932 72,067 5.35% 2.90% 3.79%
55-64 822,321 769,550 1,591,871 32,366 17,332 49,698 3.49% 2.25% 3.12%
65-74 530,219 483,423 1,013,642 15,830 8,759 24,589 2.06% 1.81% 2.43%
75+ 309,789 264,908 574,908 8,472 4,872 13,344 2.73% 1.84% 2.32%
Unknown 0 0 0 41,983 0 41,983 N/A N/A N/A
Totals 4,988,404 4,715,640 9,704,044 262,293 137,732 400,025 5.26% 2.92% 4.12%

Source: Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2014, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

4. Where you live

Insurance premiums will vary greatly depending on where you live in Ontario. In fact, two people living in different neighbourhoods in the same city could pay vastly different insurance rates because insurance providers calculate premiums based on location-oriented risk and claims histories.

If you live in a place that has a long history of claims and a lot of risks (such as high traffic density), then your premium will reflect that. Moving to low-risk neighbourhoods will reduce the statistical odds of your car being stolen or sustaining damage, therefore lowering your rates.

5. Your gender

Just as young drivers pay more because they’re statistically more likely to get into accidents, so do male drivers. Statistically, they pose a higher insurance risk than normal because they’re more likely to engage in dangerous behaviour, like speeding, or not wearing seat belts.

If you’re a parent putting a lot of thought into what raises and lowers your car insurance, then consider alternatives to putting a young male child on your policy.

6. Your insurance provider and policy

There are lots of ways the insurance provider you choose can impact your premiums, as each insurer will have different options and plans available. Moreover, you may be eligible for special rates and discounts if you’ve been with the same insurer for many years, or if you carry multiple products from the same provider.

7. Your driving habits

One last factor to consider that raises and lowers your car insurance is why you drive (and how far). For instance, if you only use your car for pleasure, then you’ll pay less than if you also use it for work. Similarly, if you have a long daily commute, then you’ll pay more than somebody who lives close to their workplace.

In other words, rates tend to rise with more frequent and longer drives.  

Many factors influence insurance rates in Ontario. While you can’t control all of them, there are ways you can reduce your rates, such as by building a long and clean driving record, choosing a car wisely, being a safe driver, and selecting the right insurance provider.

Car insurance can be a large expense for Ontario drivers, but have you ever wondered what raises and lowers your car insurance, or why you pay a certain amount for your insurance while your friends, family members, and coworkers all pay a different amount?

The truth is that many factors play into what an individual’s insurance premiums will be, and today we’re going to talk about seven of the most important ones.

1. Age, make, and model of your vehicle

There are many reasons why the vehicle you drive is such a significant part of the insurance payment equation. Certain vehicles are more prone to theft, are involved in more accidents, and can cost more to repair, and this will increase the cost of your insurance.

On the other hand, certain vehicles have better safety ratings than others, which can lower your premiums. Some insurers may even offer discounts for hybrid vehicles or for additional security features. Verify these before you buy a new car, but keep it in mind when you’re in the market for a new car.

2. Driving history and experience

What raises and lowers your car insurance like your actual driving record? Not much.

The more experience you have and the fewer black marks on your record (such as accident claims, traffic-related criminal convictions, and traffic violations), the lower your insurance will be. Drive the smart way and you’ll see your rates go down over time. 

3. Your age

Younger drivers typically have less experience than older drivers, they don’t have an established driving record. Statistics show that young drivers are also more likely to drive recklessly, correlating to their higher-than-normal involvement in collisions.

This means younger drivers pay more for insurance compared to an older driver. You can’t do anything about your age, but you can avoid collisions at all costs to keep your premiums down until you’re older than 25.

Driver Age
Drivers Licensed
Male Female Total
Under 16 0 0 0
16 44,293 41,327 85,620
17 58.613 53,429 112,042
18 68,515 62,003 130,518
19 76,407 68,944 145,351
20 80,749 72,485 153,234
21-24 339,473 310,604 650,077
25-34 838,279 818,633 1,656,912
35-44 843,159 843,029 1,686,188
45-54 976,587 927,305 1,903,892
55-64 822,321 769,550 1,591,871
65-74 530,219 483,423 1,013,642
75+ 309,789 264,908 574,908
Unknown 0 0 0
Totals 4,988,404 4,715,640 9,704,044

Source: Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2014, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Driver Age
Drivers Involved in Collisions
Male Female Total
Under 16 33 11 44
16 517 417 934
17 2,748 1,924 4,672
18 3,575 2,463 6,038
19 4,106 2,610 6,716
20 4,262 2,712 6,974
21-24 18,837 12,937 31,774
25-34 43,520 29,047 72,567
35-44 40,909 27,716 68,625
45-54 45,135 26,932 72,067
55-64 32,366 17,332 49,698
65-74 15,830 8,759 24,589
75+ 8,472 4,872 13,344
Unknown 41,983 0 41,983
Totals 262,293 137,732 400,025

Source: Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2014, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Driver Age
% of Drivers of Each Age Involved in Collisions
Male Female Total
Under 16 N/A N/A N/A
16 1.17% 1.01% 1.09%
17 4.69% 3.60% 4.17%
18 5.22% 3.97% 4.63%
19 5.37% 3.79% 4.62%
20 5.28% 3.74% 4.55%
21-24 5.55% 4.17% 4.89%
25-34 5.19% 3.55% 4.38%
35-44 5.00% 3.29% 4.07%
45-54 5.35% 2.90% 3.79%
55-64 3.49% 2.25% 3.12%
65-74 2.06% 1.81% 2.43%
75+ 2.73% 1.84% 2.32%
Unknown N/A N/A N/A
Totals 5.26% 2.92% 4.12%

Source: Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2014, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

4. Where you live

Insurance premiums will vary greatly depending on where you live in Ontario. In fact, two people living in different neighbourhoods in the same city could pay vastly different insurance rates because insurance providers calculate premiums based on location-oriented risk and claims histories.

If you live in a place that has a long history of claims and a lot of risks (such as high traffic density), then your premium will reflect that. Moving to low-risk neighbourhoods will reduce the statistical odds of your car being stolen or sustaining damage, therefore lowering your rates.

5. Your gender

Just as young drivers pay more because they’re statistically more likely to get into accidents, so do male drivers. Statistically, they pose a higher insurance risk than normal because they’re more likely to engage in dangerous behaviour, like speeding, or not wearing seat belts.

If you’re a parent putting a lot of thought into what raises and lowers your car insurance, then consider alternatives to putting a young male child on your policy.

6. Your insurance provider and policy

There are lots of ways the insurance provider you choose can impact your premiums, as each insurer will have different options and plans available.

Moreover, you may be eligible for special rates and discounts if you’ve been with the same insurer for many years, or if you carry multiple products from the same provider.

7. Your driving habits

One last factor to consider that raises and lowers your car insurance is why you drive (and how far).

For instance, if you only use your car for pleasure, then you’ll pay less than if you also use it for work. Similarly, if you have a long daily commute, then you’ll pay more than somebody who lives close to their workplace.

In other words, rates tend to rise with more frequent and longer drives.  

Many factors influence insurance rates in Ontario. While you can’t control all of them, there are ways you can reduce your rates, such as by building a long and clean driving record, choosing a car wisely, being a safe driver, and selecting the right insurance provider.

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