What doesn’t affect your car insurance premium
- Your credit history, including past bankruptcies
- Your employment status
- How long you’ve been at your current address
- Whether you lease or own your car
- Accidents where you were not at fault
- Periods where you did not have car insurance (depending on your province)
- The colour of your car — we don’t even ask
What does affect your car insurance premium
- Type of vehicle
- Age, gender and years of driving experience
- Typical distance driven each year
- Driving history and previous at-fault collisions
- Postal code
- The coverage options you choose
- The deductible you choose
- Number of drivers on the policy
The type of car you drive impacts your premium, from its safety rating to its repair/replacement costs. Insurance companies also look at the statistics for that make and model, including the likelihood it will be involved in a collision or stolen.
Your age and gender
It varies by province but if you live in Ontario, Alberta or Quebec, insurers can take your age and gender into account. Experienced drivers have lower premiums since they are less likely to be involved in a collision. Female drivers may get a break for the same reason. Recent Ontario statistics showed that 77% of fatal collisions involved male drivers vs. just 21% with female drivers (2% were unknown).
How much you drive
Your annual kilometres will be assessed. The shorter your daily commute the lower your premium should be since driving less means less chance of having a collision.
Your driving history
Convictions due to driving infractions, at-fault accidents, speeding tickets and the number of years you’ve been driving are all considered. Parking tickets are not.
Your postal code
Rates can vary from one neighbourhood to the next based on past claims in that area. While urban centres tend to have higher rates than rural ones (more traffic means more collisions), in the country you may drive longer distances, which could push premiums up.
The coverage you choose
Certain coverage is mandatory, but not all. Optional coverage like comprehensive and collision insurance will increase premiums. You may decide it’s not worth having collision insurance on an old car that isn’t worth fixing.
You can also choose your deductible — the amount you pay out of pocket after an incident and before your insurance kicks in. A lower deductible means a higher monthly rate, a higher deductible means a lower rate.
Drivers in your home
If you live with other drivers who don’t have their own insurance — a child or a senior parent — you’ll likely include them on your policy, which will impact your rate. Note that adding a young driver will cost more than adding an older experienced one.