When you have inexperience, no previous Canadian driving or insurance history working against you, the cost of insurance can skyrocket. A good driving record and claims history are the most important personal factors that contribute to low cost insurance premiums and of course these are things that a first-time insurance buyer can’t rely on. There’s good news in that a driver’s history is not the only factor insurers rely on to calculate premiums.
How Car Insurance Premiums Are Calculated
A car, whether right off the assembly line or new to you, can be one of the biggest investments you make. Insurers assess many factors – including your driving record – when calculating your premium. Generally, the harder your car is to steal and the less expensive it is to repair, the less you pay for insurance. To set a premium to insure your vehicle, insurance companies consider many variables:
- The vehicle’s make, model and production year.
- The driving records of the individuals who may drive the vehicle.
- Where you live.
- Driver’s Training Certificate.
- Types of Coverage you require.
You can lower your premium by making informed decisions. Generally, the harder your vehicle is to steal and the less expensive it is to repair, the less you pay for insurance. Also ask for discounts that may apply to you – Driver’s Certificate Discount, Good Student Discount and Graduated License Discount (full G).
The Best Deal for First Time Insurance– Added to Existing Policy
The best way to obtain first time car insurance in Hamilton is to be added onto an existing policy. Usually, someone in your household has a car insurance policy. Whether it’s a parent, guardian, or grandparent, try to get added as a driver to their policy.
Benefits of Being Added as a Driver
- Proof of Prior: As a first-time driver you do not have current car insurance. Car insurance companies consider first time insurance drivers and uninsured drivers high risk. High-risk drivers pay a higher premium than a standard or preferred driver. A shortcut around having no previous insurance is to be added as a driver on an existing policy. Think of it as an instant discount that will be built into your premiums.
- More Discounts: Being added as a driver on an existing policy will probably give you access too many more discounts. The first-time driver doesn’t often own their home or own multiple cars; however, your guardians might. Those discounts could extend to you if you are added as a driver on their policy
- Low to No Down Payment: Low or possibly no down payment is a great perk to being added onto an existing car insurance policy. If you are being added onto an existing preferred policy, usually making a change that increases the premium just gets billed in the next billing cycle. Starting a new policy on your own ALWAYS requires more than a single month down payment.
Sometimes it may not be possible to be added as a driver on another policy. If you are a first-time driver facing getting insurance on your own, it is doable but often very expensive. A couple of things are working against you at the same time. Teen drivers have very little driving experience, so insurance companies charge a higher rate. The telematics program has been shown to help first time insurance drivers lower their insurance costs.
When Does Car Insurance Go Down for New Drivers?
There isn’t any magic number for the age a driver’s premiums go down. While age 25 often gets the credit for this, in fact a driver sees rate decreases at their first policy renewal. Every year a driver maintains a clean driving record, the same policy costs less, well into a driver’s 30s.
However, the rate of that decrease is not even each year, and it may well be at age 25 that a driver sees the biggest jump, but that’s not an across the board effect. For example, a driver who gets their G1 at age 16, G2 at 17 and full G at 18, while being listed on a parent’s policy or their own from the first day has nine years of experience and history at age 25. The driver who gets their G1 at 18 is, at best, two years behind the other. Any further delays in upgrading the graduated license steps may also delay the effects of experiential price decreases.
Another downward price influence is marriage. A driver marrying at age 25 has this added to previous driving experience, which may exaggerate the “25 effect.” Not all provinces permit marriage as a risk determination factor, but at the time of publishing, Ontario retained this measure.
Note also that Ontario insurers have leeway in establishing their own prices and procedures, so not all companies charge the same prices for similar policies. For this reason alone, careful comparison shopping for auto insurance could pay enormous dividends for the new driver.
Find the Plan to Cover Your Car
For over 30 years Acumen Insurance has been a leader in providing personal home and car insurance products. We have always excelled in providing our clients with the best options to suit their needs and lifestyle. Let us help you choose the right home and car insurance policy for you. Call and speak to one of our brokers directly 905-574-7000 or get a first-time insurance quote online now.