Besides being a responsible driver on the road and obeying traffic rules, car insurance is an essential requirement for your vehicle. In Waterloo, and other Canadian cities and regions, car insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers and vehicle owners. Driving without proper auto insurance coverage on your vehicle attracts legal punishment and comes with a huge cost to your finance.
Regardless of how perfect or expert you might be behind the wheel, there are several drivers on the road with different driving experiences. Car accidents and collisions can occur anytime, often when you least expect. Hence, you must be equipped with proper auto insurance coverage to give you peace of mind.
As a technological hub in Canada, Waterloo attracts a lot of people, and by implication, there is an increase in the number of vehicles daily scrambling for top spots on the city roads. Invariably, collisions and accidents are imminent.
Private insurance companies provide car insurance in Waterloo, whose rates are reviewed and regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Agency of Ontario (FSRA, formerly known as the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, FSCO).
The auto insurance market in Waterloo is competitive, so private insurance companies are free to charge different rates, considering different factors.
However, regardless of how much you pay on your Waterloo car insurance premiums, there are major ways you can get even lower rates from your insurer. Read on for a detailed review of Waterloo car insurance and tips to get affordable car insurance coverage.
Waterloo is a Canadian city located in the Ontario province. The city of Waterloo is the smallest of the Tri-cities (made up of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo) in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Waterloo and Kitchener are often jointly referred to as “KW” or “Kitchener-Waterloo” because of the close proximity of the two cities.
The city of Waterloo plays a significant role in Canada’s technological advancements. Many companies such as Blackberry, Google, Maplesoft, Intel, Shopify, and more have their headquarters or branch offices in Waterloo.
The city of Waterloo, with a population of over 100 thousand residents (104,986 according to the 2016 census data), also benefits from the many monuments and festivals that attract visitors and tourists to Waterloo, such as the famous Oktoberfest parade. The city of Waterloo is also home to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
About Waterloo Car Insurance
Private insurance companies provide Waterloo car insurance. The auto insurance rate in the city is reviewed, approved, and published every three months by the FSRA (FSCO). Hence, car insurance rates change four times a year. Waterloo has its share of traffic and busy roads, with many of its workforce commuting daily in and out of the city.
Having a relatively large student population, University Avenue is one of the busiest roads in Waterloo. The busy roads and highways increase the likelihood of car accidents and collisions. Hence, drivers in the city need the right car insurance coverage for navigating the streets and roads of Waterloo.
Types of Waterloo Car Insurance Coverage
There are two main categories of coverage in Waterloo car insurance. The Mandatory Coverage and the Optional or Additional coverage.
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage in Waterloo
Mandatory coverage is the minimum car insurance coverage that every motorist in Ontario must have in their car insurance policy. They include:
Third-Party Liability Coverage
If you are responsible for an accident that causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party (another person), this coverage handles all legal claims against you. The minimum liability coverage in Ontario is CDN$ 200 thousand, though most drivers opt for up to CDN$1 million.
Accident Benefits Coverage
If you are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, this coverage covers your medical expenses, such as rehabilitation cost, funeral expenses, death benefits, etc.
Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD)
If you are not at fault in an accident, damages to your car and the properties in the vehicle are covered.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage protects you and your family against injury or death if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.
Optional Coverage in Waterloo Car Insurance
Optional or additional coverages are available for anyone requiring extra road protection. It comes with additional charges on your premiums. The most common types are:
The collision coverage covers the damage to your car due to a collision with another vehicle or an object.
This coverage option covers the damage to your car due to a non-collision event, such as theft, fire, vandalism, flood, etc.
Average Car Insurance Rate in Waterloo
Drivers in Waterloo can expect to pay between $1300 and $1500, which is lower than the provincial average rate of $1,528.
Waterloo drivers and vehicle owners enjoy a medium-low car insurance rate in the province. There is no fixed rate for car insurance in Waterloo, as the different car insurance providers charge rates on many factors such as age, gender, driving history, and more. However, drivers in the city can expect to pay between $1300 and $1500, which is lower than the provincial average rate of $1,528.
What Factors Determine Car Insurance Rates in Waterloo?
Car insurance premiums vary and can change from person to person. It is possible to have different rates from different car insurance providers for the same specifications. However, the following are some of the factors considered by car insurers to calculate premiums in Waterloo.
- The age and gender of the driver. For instance, young men below the age of driving are often involved in high-risk driving compared to their female counterparts and thus pay more premiums.
- The type and model of the vehicle you drive. This also includes engine size, safety ratings, repair, and replacement costs.
- The driver’s driving record and insurance history, such as accident records, tickets, traffic charges, convictions, etc.
- The length of the daily commute will also affect the insurance rates. Linger commutes usually lead to an increased risk of getting into an accident, which results in higher premiums.
- The type of coverage included in your car insurance policy will also determine how expensive or affordable your car insurance coverage will be.
- The number of insurance claims and the high volume of insurance frauds in an area or neighborhood can also determine the premiums paid by drivers in such locations.
How To Lower Your Waterloo Car Insurance Rates
- Shop and Compare
One of the most efficient and effective ways to enjoy an affordable car insurance rate in Waterloo is to compare rates from different car insurance providers. This will help you to ensure that you are not overpaying for coverage. The FSRA reviews and publishes new car insurance rates four times a year and often recommends that drivers in the city compare insurance rates from at least three insurance providers to choose the best available and affordable rate.
- Maintain a Clean Driving Record
Tickets and traffic charges can negatively affect your premiums. Maintain a clean driving record and enjoy a lower premium.
- Ask For Discounts
Most car insurance companies only add discounts when drivers or vehicle owners request. Hence, you should ask your insurer for available discounts that you might be eligible for. This includes membership in professional bodies, alumni associations, Seniors, etc.
- Increase Deductibles
A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim that you agree to pay while your car insurance provider takes care of the rest. Increased deductible results in a lower premium.
- Bundle Your Policy
When you purchase your home and auto insurance policies from the same insurer, you can enjoy up to a 15 percent discount from your insurance provider.
- Buy and Install Winter Tires
You can enjoy up to 5 percent on premiums when you buy and install winter tires. You should let your insurer be aware of your winter tires.
- Annual Premiums
When you pay your premiums annually, you can save money by cutting off administrative charges that are associated with monthly premium payments.
Driving Tips for Waterloo Car Insurance
- Waterloo has several roundabouts being built every year, so it is important to signal your move before changing lanes.
- Obey all traffic rules and stop pedestrians.
- Exercise extreme caution when driving around densely populated areas.
- The Kitchener-Waterloo intra-city Highway 7 and Highway 8 record high accident rates. If you can avoid them, it will reduce your chance of getting into a collision.
- Avoid University Avenue during rush hours.
Most Popular Car Brands in Waterloo Car Insurance
The following are the most popular car brands insured by drivers and vehicle owners in Waterloo.
The best way to enjoy comfortable and safe driving in Waterloo is to have good car insurance coverage. It is also important for Waterloo drivers and vehicle owners to compare car insurance rates regularly.
The cheapest car insurance rate offered by your insurer today might not be the lowest rate in another three to four months. Comparing rates will help ensure that you are offered the best affordable deal. The tips in this review will help you enjoy a cheaper and more affordable Waterloo car insurance premium, regardless of where you live.