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Car insurance rates: tips for finding the best coverage

Used cars for sale are parked roadside at an auto lot in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

While some auto insurers will raise their rates significantly, drivers don’t have to lose control over how much they pay for coverage.

A return to pre-pandemic traffic levels and an increasing number of accidents lead some Ontario insurance companies to increase their rates as high as 12 percentaccording to Rates.ca, a website where consumers can shop for insurance.

Canada-wide inflation has led to a increase in the cost of auto partswhich means higher repair costs and delays in repair time.

Insurance companies are responding to this by requesting premium increases through the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

Despite this, there are ways to find better insurance plans based on your lifestyle, says Elliott Silverstein, director of government relations at the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

“Different insurance companies offer different plans that can be tailored to your lifestyle. So really, now that we’re seeing some of these changes and people are really paying attention to their wallets, it’s a good time to really assess the costs and where the best possible value for the best possible coverage is.”

Finding a new insurance company doesn’t have to be a challenge — it’s really about going back to basics, Silverstein told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.

“If you want to work with a particular insurance company, contact that company directly. But also speak with a licensed broker as they can give you enough information on multiple insurance companies to give you the right fit based on the vehicles you have and the lifestyle you live so you get the best possible value out there . ”

When an insurance company determines a premium, factors such as age, gender, zip code, driving history, mileage and amount of coverage are taken into account.

“If your mileage is low, there are ways to make significant savings. No matter where you live, you will find some of those savings. That’s the big part that people might not be aware of,” says Silverstein. “For example, the CAA insurance has the CAA Mypace program, which is intended for drivers who drive less than 12,000 kilometers per year.”

Some insurance increases in Ontario will begin as early as September, while other companies’ rates will not rise until 2023.

“There’s never a bad time to shop around for insurance. If you get your renewals and you see a price increase, I think it’s a good opportunity to talk to a broker or an agent to really find out what the best possible options are for you,” says Silverstein.

As for lowering overall insurance costs, there are some other ways to proactively save money, according to: All-state insurance:

You may want to consider lowering your collision coverage on older vehicles. For example, if you have a 12-year-old car that is worth $1,000 and your deductible is $1,000, it may not be worth having collision coverage.

Try to maintain a clean driving record as this is a factor to consider when determining a premium.

Instead of driving miles, drive less and occasionally carpool or take public transportation.

Look at the type, year and safety rating of your vehicle. Your premium may be reduced if your vehicle is considered difficult to steal or does not cost too much to repair.