How Can You Get Cheap Car Insurance in Ottawa?
You can get cheap Ottawa car insurance by finding the best deals. Here are several tips to help you do so:
Compare Rates Between Insurers
Ottawa has a highly competitive auto insurance market, so insurers are constantly vying for your business. When insurers try to give you the best deals, it’s you who wins. Compare rates and shop around to see which insurance provider fits your auto protection needs affordably.
Take Bundled Policies
One of the best ways to save money while shopping is to buy a package deal, and insurance is no different. If you bundle home and auto insurance from the same company, you’re much more likely to get lower rates.
Ask For A Higher Deductible
You must pay a deductible on insurance claims before your carrier covers the remaining expenses. A higher deductible means paying extra if something happens to your car, but it also means you’ll get lower insurance premiums.
Request Group Discounts
Many insurance companies deal in group discounts for companies and other organizations. If you’re shopping for auto insurance in Ottawa for work, ask your agent about group deals and discounts.
Pay Annual Premiums
Paying annual insurance premiums might look expensive initially, but it’s generally cheaper than paying them monthly. Ask your insurers about half-year premiums if you can’t afford annual premiums.
Motor vehicle offences and accidents stay on your record for years. Unfortunately, any driving violation on your record will considerably increase your insurance rates. However, this also means you’ll get lower auto insurance rates if you have no offences on record.
Consider Taking Usage-Based Insurance
Usage-based insurance (UBI) or pay-as-you-go insurance tracks your driving behaviour to determine how much you must pay for insurance. Taking UBI lets you save up to 30% on your annual premiums, so it’s a good option if you consider yourself a safe driver.
Take Driving Courses
Accredited driving lessons make you a safer driver and let you earn discounts on auto insurance in Ottawa.
Choose the Coverage You Need
Naturally, more insurance protection leads to higher rates. While some auto insurance coverage is mandatory, you have optional insurance coverage like at-fault accident and theft protection. Review your policy and skip unnecessary optional coverage to save on insurance premiums.
Buy Affordable Cars
Cars that are expensive and hard to replace tend to get hit with higher premiums. If possible, buy affordable and reliable cars that are more common and easy to repair or replace if you want lower insurance rates.
Quick Facts About Auto Insurance in Ottawa
- Ottawa car insurance is LESS expensive than the Ontario average.
- The average annual car insurance cost in Ottawa for a driver with a clean record is around $1,100.
- Drivers without a clean record in Ottawa can pay up to $2,424 annually, depending on factors like driving and claim history.
- Comparing Ottawa auto insurance quotes with MyChoice can save you up to $781 annually
Who Provides Car Insurance Quotes in Ottawa?
Insurance brokers, agents, aggregators, and direct writers provide car insurance quotes in Ottawa. Here’s an overview of these four insurance quote providers:
Insurance brokers are independent professionals who help you shop for the best rates by comparing deals from multiple insurers. Because they have a bird’s-eye view of the current Ottawa insurance landscape, they can show you which companies offer the best insurance deals and answer any questions you may have.
Brokers take a commission from insurance companies, which could increase your rates. You might spend more money than if you had found an insurer yourself.
Like insurance agents, direct writers only sell insurance products from one company. Direct writers are typically found online and are cheaper because they don’t have physical offices.
Insurance agents work for a certain insurer, so they can only offer their employer’s insurance products. However, they know their insurer like the back of their hands and might even give you discounts that brokers don’t have access to.
Additionally, insurance agents can close insurance sales independently, meaning you can purchase insurance from them right then and there.
An insurance aggregator website like MyChoice compiles rates from various insurance brokers, companies, and direct writers in one place. You can browse aggregator websites to find the best deals from the top insurance companies and get quotes instantly.
Better yet, insurance aggregators are accessible online and entirely free for customers, so you can look up insurance rates without spending a single penny or leaving the house.
How Does Car Insurance Work in Ottawa?
Car insurance in Ottawa works by providing financial coverage in case something bad happens to you or your car, depending on the protection you choose. Auto insurance in Ottawa is mandatory by local laws, which means you need car insurance to avoid fines or driver’s licence suspensions.
Worse still, if you get convicted of driving without insurance, you’ll get higher premiums from carriers. This makes driving again prohibitively expensive or even nearly impossible after being caught driving without insurance. That’s why getting auto insurance is essential before buying a car or driving in Ottawa.
Here’s a breakdown of the key elements of your auto insurance policy:
The mandatory car insurance requirement for Ottawa drivers are:
Third-Party Liability (TPL) Coverage
This insurance component provides financial compensation if you cause an accident that results in car damage or somebody getting hurt or killed. Per Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regulations, you need at least $200,000 in TPL coverage.
Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage
This insurance component pays for your medical bills, rehabilitation, and possible funeral expenses if you get hurt or killed in a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Accident benefits coverage also offers income replacement worth 70% of your gross income, capped at $400 per week.
Uninsured Automobile Insurance
Uninsured automobile insurance covers your medical bills and funeral expenses if you’re struck by uninsured vehicles or hit-and-run drivers. Additionally, it compensates for vehicular damage caused by uninsured drivers.
Direct Compensation – Property Damage (DC-PD) Insurance
DC-PD insurance compensates you for the damage other drivers cause in an accident. However, DC-PD only kicks in if the other person is at fault, they’re also insured, and the accident takes place in Ottawa.
Since minimum car insurance only goes so far, we’ve got some extra Ottawa car insurance recommendations for you:
Extra TPL Coverage
The mandatory $200,000 insurance minimum can be too small, so many drivers choose to get coverage up to $2 million if they cause property damage or hurt somebody in an accident.
Additional Statutory Accident Benefits
Many people get additional coverage for medical bills and funeral expenses in their statutory accident coverage. You can also get extra income replacement protection if 70% income capped at $400 a week seems too limited.
More Comprehensive Property Damage Protection
DC-PD coverage has very specific coverage terms like the other driver also needs to be insured, and the accident must occur in Ottawa. To cover their bases, many people purchase extra insurance that still protects them even when the other driver is uninsured, and the accident happens in other provinces.
In addition to mandatory insurance coverage outlined by the FSCO, you can take optional insurance coverage like:
Specified Perils Protection
Specified perils insurance coverage protects you from loss or damage due to a specific cause. The most common perils insured are:
Many insurers also offer comprehensive auto insurance in Ottawa if you want protection from all these perils.
Insurers usually raise your premiums if you’re at fault for causing an accident. If you’ve been a safe driver for several years, you can take extra accident forgiveness coverage so you won’t get higher premiums if you cause an accident. Note that accident forgiveness only works on your first accident, and subsequent violations will still raise your rates.
Limited Depreciation Waiver
If you take a limited waiver of depreciation, you can receive your car’s purchase price as compensation if it’s been stolen or deemed a total loss after an accident.
How Your Car Insurance Quotes Are Calculated in Ottawa
Your car insurance rates are calculated based on how risky you are to insure. Naturally, drivers more likely to get into accidents will have higher premiums than those less likely to be in an accident.
Here are seven factors that influence your Ottawa car insurance quotes:
Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Your personal demographics influence auto insurance premiums in Ottawa because different people have varying accident risks.
Younger people tend to get higher premiums because insurance companies see them as more accident-prone than older people. Generally, your car insurance rates start decreasing when you hit 25 years old as long as you keep a safe driving record. However, insurance premiums increase again for people aged 65 and older because they’re more likely to be injured or killed in traffic accidents.
Women often get lower insurance rates because they’re seen as more careful drivers and don’t take as many risks as men.
Marital status also determines your rates because most insurance companies see married people as more financially stable and less-risky drivers. Married couples also tend to bundle home and auto insurance, saving more on premiums.
People who live in urban areas often see higher insurance premiums because they’re more prone to car accidents and theft.
Car Make and Model
Expensive cars are more costly to repair or replace, so insurance premiums are usually higher than more common vehicles. You can install security features like anti-theft devices if you have an expensive car and want to save on insurance premiums.
People who drive safely are rewarded with lower premiums because they’re usually less likely to get into a traffic accident. Conversely, people who have gotten into multiple accidents get higher premiums because they’re more likely to be involved in another accident down the line.
Logic dictates that people who drive frequently are more likely to get in an accident. Therefore, kilometres driven is one of the determining factors that set your Ottawa auto insurance rates.
Insurance Coverage Chosen
Your coverage options influence your insurance rates because taking more coverage gives you more protection. Naturally, the more coverage you choose, the higher your rates.
Getting discounts can lower your auto insurance rates and make them more affordable. You can typically get discounts by bundling home and auto insurance or asking for a group discount for your workplace or organization.
Most Expensive Postal Codes in Ottawa
Ottawa’s average auto insurance rate is a little over $1,100. It has some of the most affordable car insurance rates in Ontario – a province that is notorious for having some of the highest rates in the country.
The provincial average for Ontario is $1,385. 10 postal codes in Ottawa have higher-than-average auto insurance rates, including:
|Average annual car insurance premium
|K1G, K1K, K1L
|K1S, K2C, K2G, K2H, K2J, K2R, K1M
Least Expensive Postal Codes in Ottawa
Average auto insurance rates are lowest in the suburban and semi-rural areas of Stittsville, Orleans, Greely, and Cumberland. These are the most affordable postal codes for car insurance in Ottawa:
|Average annual car insurance premium
|K4C, K4P, K1C, K1E, K1W, K4A, K2S
Car Insurance Cost in Ottawa by Age
Car insurance companies factor in age when computing premiums.
Younger people are charged more because they’re inexperienced and don’t have a long enough track record to prove whether or not they’re safe drivers. However, premiums also go up as people reach a certain age. Senior citizens are charged higher rates because they’re at a greater risk of being involved in an accident.
Let’s take a look at how auto insurance premiums vary across different age groups:
|Average annual insurance cost
|Average savings with MyChoice
Car Insurance Cost in Ottawa by Driving History
Auto insurance premiums in Ottawa (like in any other city in Canada) are impacted by the driver’s driving history. The more traffic violations you have on your record, the higher your chances are of being labelled a high-risk driver, which raises your premiums. If you can maintain a clean record, you have a better shot at getting lower insurance premiums.
Take note that driving violations and accidents remain on your record for at least two years (sometimes even more), and they can influence your premiums for far longer.
Here’s a quick overview of how traffic violations can affect auto insurance rates for Ottawa drivers based on MyChoice’s price quote data:
|Average annual car insurance rate
|Clean driving record
|Insurance cancellation due to non-payment
|Licence suspension for alcohol-related offences
Other Factors That Affect Car Insurance Prices in Ottawa
We’ve covered several factors that influence car insurance rates in Ottawa. Aside from those, several extra factors play a part in determining your Ottawa auto insurance premiums:
Vehicle Model Accident Rates
Some cars are just more accident-prone than others. Even if you have a spotless driving record, owning a car model infamous for having high accident rates will increase your insurance premiums.
Naturally, older cars are more expensive to insure because they may not have all the safety features of newer vehicles. If you insist on driving a vintage car everywhere, make sure you can pay the insurance premiums.
Vehicle Repair Costs
The harder it is to repair a car, the more expensive it is to insure. You can expect high insurance premiums on luxury cars and foreign cars that don’t have a large dealership or service centre presence in Canada.
Vehicle Primary Usage and Annual Mileage
You may spend more or less time on the road depending on what you use the car for. Car usage influences insurance rates – generally, the more you use it, the higher your premiums. For instance, insurance premiums on a car you use as an Uber will be higher than on a car you almost exclusively take on weekend cruises.
A good way to measure how much somebody uses a car is by its annual mileage. If your car has low annual mileage, insurers may determine that this car is low-risk and thus grant you more affordable insurance rates.
Local Crime Rates
Living in high-crime areas means your car is at higher risk of being stolen or vandalized. If you live in an area where theft or vandalism often occurs, you may get higher car insurance rates.
Past Insurance Claims
Any auto insurance claims will drive your premiums up, regardless of who’s at fault. If you make many insurance claims, the insurer will see you as a high-risk policyholder and give you higher rates.
Many insurance companies reward long-term customers with discounted rates. If you’ve been a policyholder at the same insurance company for several years, ask for a rate reduction or discount when you renew your policy.
The Best Car Insurance Brokerages in Ottawa
Auto insurance brokers help car owners by finding the right companies that meet their needs. In a sense, they become a buffer between car owners and insurance companies and do the nitty-gritty work of scouring for the best deals.
Consider working with following insurance brokers to help you find the best-rated policies in Ottawa:
|200-2435 Holly Ln
Ottawa, ON K1V 7P2, Canada
|Gifford Carr Insurance Group
|2781 Lancaster Rd Unit 201
Ottawa, ON K1B 1A7, Canada
|Smith Petrie Carr & Scott
Insurance Brokers Ltd
|359 Kent St #600
Ottawa, ON K2P 0R6, Canada
Driving in Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital and fourth-largest city in Canada. It is located between two major cities, Toronto and Montreal, and surrounded by many other commuter towns that connect to the city via highways 417, 416, and 401. As such, highway driving is something that most people who live in and around Ottawa are used to.
Here are some key facts about driving in Ottawa:
- Major highways in Ottawa: Highway 417 (Trans-Canada Highway), Highway 416, Highway 401
- Public transit options: OC Transpo (bus and light rail train)
- Ridesharing services: Uber, Lyft, Facedrive
- Parking space providers: The City of Ottawa, private lots
- Top tourist attractions: Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, Canadian War Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Peace Tower, Canadian Museum of Nature, National War Memorial, Diefenbunker or Canada’s Cold War Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Canadian Tulip Festival, Byward Market
- Busy intersections: Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive, Catherine Street and Kent Street, Innes Road and Tenth Line Road, Riverside Drive and Heron Road, Carling Avenue and Kirkwood Avenue N., Greenbank Road and Iris Street/417 East
- Airports: Ottawa International Airport
Main Mode of Commuting in Ottawa
Ottawa boasts 211,755 car, truck, or van users, making up over three-quarters of the city’s commuters. However, it also has a strong public transit user base with 31,015 commuters. Check the table below to learn what modes of commuting do Ottawans use:
|Main mode of commuting
|Total – 25% sample data
|Car, truck or van
|Car, truck or van – as a driver
|Car, truck or van – as a passenger
Commuting Duration in Ottawa
Ottawa has nearly 300,000 commuters, but the commute times aren’t as long as you might have assumed. Nearly 70% of Ottawa’s commuters spend less than 30 minutes on the road, with only 10% of them spending more than 45 minutes. Here’s a detailed look at commuting times in Ottawa:
|Total – 25% sample data
|Less than 15 minutes
|15 to 29 minutes
|30 to 44 minutes
|45 to 59 minutes
|60 minutes and over
Driving Conditions in Ottawa
In 2019, Ottawa ranked third on the 2019 Driving Cities Index of the best cities for drivers in a survey by Mister Auto. The cities were ranked on factors like road quality, parking costs, gas prices, and congestion. However, winters in Ottawa can be quite severe, creating difficult and dangerous road conditions.
Here’s a quick look at the overall driving conditions in the city of Ottawa:
- Average daily commute time: 84 minutes round trip
- Average annual rainfall: 1068 mm
- Average annual snowfall: 11135 mm
- Rainy days per year: 149.6 days
- Rainiest month in Ottawa: October
- Driest month in Ottawa: September
- Snow days per year: 83.3 days
- Snowfall months in Ottawa: October – May
Traffic in Ottawa
In a recent report, Ottawa was ranked the fourth most congested city in Canada and 139th worldwide. This may be attributed to the fact that 62.65% of Ottawans drive to work.
As expected, congestion becomes particularly bad during rush hour or weekday mornings from 6:30 am to 9 am and afternoons from 3 pm to 6 pm. This is most notable in major roads connecting suburbs to the downtown core.
Here’s a snapshot of what driving is like in Ottawa:
- Population: The Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area is home to 1,017,449 people.
- City area: The whole Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area measures roughly 2,790 km².
- Average commute distance: The average Ottawan commutes 7.8 km daily.
- Time spent in traffic annually: Most Ottawans waste about 31 hours stuck in traffic over 240 commuting days annually.
- Busiest roads: Carling Avenue, Hunt Club Road, and Innes Road are among the busiest roads in Ottawa.
The Most Common Questions About Car Insurance in Ottawa
Is ridesharing insurance available in Ottawa?
Ridesharing insurance is available in Ottawa.
How much does Ottawa car insurance cost?
Auto insurance in Ottawa costs roughly $1,200 on average.
Is car insurance cheaper in Ottawa than in Toronto?
Car insurance in Ottawa is significantly cheaper than insurance in Toronto. The average rate of insurance premiums in Toronto is around $1,796.
What are the best car insurance companies in Ottawa?
Big names like The Co-operators, Desjardins, Aviva, and Intact are some of the best car insurance companies in Ottawa. But finding the right auto insurance is more than just picking a top-rated provider – it’s best to compare quotes and discounts across different companies before making a decision.
Who has the cheapest auto insurance in Ottawa?
Many insurance providers in Ottawa offer affordable auto insurance. To find the best deals, make sure to do your research and compare quotes before settling on a provider. You can use MyChoice to shop around and get the best offers for you.
Which cars get the lowest car insurance premiums in Ottawa?
In Ottawa, Fiats get the lowest insurance premiums. The average cost of insurance for a Fiat is $126/month.
Why should you compare car insurance rates in Ottawa?
You should compare car insurance rates because rates vary wildly from company to company. While insurers consider similar factors when evaluating clients, they each have their own way of calculating quotes.
What information do you need for an auto insurance quote in Ottawa?
Most insurance providers only require their clients to provide their personal information, driving history, and vehicle details. However, some companies may require the following documents as well:
Traffic violations within the last three years
Claims filed in the last eight years
Your current insurance policy and company, if any
How to find affordable car insurance for students in Ottawa, Ontario?
To find more affordable car insurance for students, you should:
Earn your full licence
Have your parents list you as a secondary driver on their policy
Complete a driver training program
Keep your record clean
Look out for student discounts and financial assistance from your institution
Which auto insurance is the best for young drivers in Ottawa?
There is no one-size-fits-all auto insurance for young car drivers. Your auto insurance premiums are determined by a number of factors, including your driving history, age, gender, and vehicle. The best way to get a good deal on your auto insurance is by comparing rates across different providers.
Do you need insurance to rent a car in Ottawa?
You don’t need insurance to rent a car in Ottawa. Rental companies already have insurance coverage for their fleets. But if you want to protect yourself and the rental car in case of any untoward incident, you can get coverage at the rental car counter.