Guide To Getting Your First Auto Insurance Policy in Ontario

Living in Ontario is already very expensive and seems to have an upward trajectory. As a new driver, auto insurance rates are sky high.

Filip Ambroziak is a RIBO licensed insurance broker who has been insuring many drivers across all of Ontario. He has clients in almost every city across the province. He has agreed to write up a guide for one of the key problems many new drivers face in this tough insurance market: securing an auto insurance policy with no prior insurance.

Moving to Ontario is a great decision for many. The province overall is very safe with great job prospects and is a wonderful place to start and grow a family. However, the transit system is definitely lacking which forces many people to get a vehicle. Auto insurance is mandatory and in order to drive the vehicle in Ontario.

This becomes a problem if it is the first time the person is applying for insurance. Not only do many people not understand the coverage and limits required, but securing an insurance policy without any insurance history is extremely expensive. If you live anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, insurance for a first time driver can reach amounts over $500 per month.

The reason insurance companies charge so much in the first year of your driving is because there is no way to access the driver. Companies have no history and no way of knowing the likelihood of the driver causing an accident. Sadly, statistics have shown that first time drivers have a higher chance of getting into accidents.

What is a new immigrant or young driver supposed to do in this situation?

Lets start with the young drivers first.

Lets assume that you are considering a vehicle or would simply like to start driving and you live with your parents. Filip’s advice is to contact your parent’s insurance broker or company and request to be added as a secondary driver to their policy. Do not consider purchasing your own vehicle for at least a year or two. As a secondary driver on your parents policy, you are building up your insurance history and can potentially avoid the high premiums of being a brand new driver. Once you have about two to three years of driving experience, your premiums should drop a significant amount compared to having zero history.

The earlier you are added to your parent’s policy, the better. Filip advises parents to add their children to their policies as soon as they get their license regardless if they will be driving. You should also aim to get your full G license as soon as possible as that will also help reduce your insurance premiums.

Another way you can reduce your insurance rate is by completing a drivers training program. If you successfully pass your drivers training, you will be awarded a certificate, which you can send to your insurance company. This will reduce your insurance rates for three years after which it no longer applies.

Lets move on to the immigrants.

If you are coming to Ontario from a different province or anywhere in North America, simply request your insurance history from your current insurer as well as your driving abstract. The insurance company in Ontario will consider your driving record from anywhere in North America.

If, however, you are coming to Ontario from outside of North America, you may have a tougher time securing cheaper auto insurance rates. Unfortunately, auto insurance companies in Ontario do not consider the driving history from different countries. The Ontario driving ministry may consider your license, however this will not help too much if you have a blank insurance history. At this point, we must look at ways to lower your premiums during the first few “experience building” years.

The first tip Filip suggests is choosing the right vehicle. If you plan to purchase a brand new car, expect to pay more in insurance, as you will have to purchase more expensive coverages such as collision and comprehensive. If you are looking to reduce your premiums for the first few years, consider purchasing an older used vehicle where you can remove that expensive coverage. Filip does want to clarify that he would never recommend a client to remove coverage for the sake of saving money, however, if it comes down to not being able to afford auto insurance and removing some coverage, it could make sense. By reducing your coverage from full coverage to third-party liability only, you can reduce premiums by $100 or more per month for a client with no prior insurance. As the client’s insurance premium falls due to having more experience, Filip says it’s a good idea to revisit the coverage conversation and possibly add some more if the price fits your budget.

The next tip Filip would like to offer to those with no prior insurance history is to make a list of the 3 vehicles you are considering and get quotes on all of them. In Ontario, some of the most expensive cars to insure are Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas, while Volkswagens are generally a little better. Filip has seen monthly price differences of up to $50 just for the type of car selected.

The final tip Filip would like to offer is a coverage tip. There is a very important coverage that everyone should purchase if eligible called Accident Forgiveness. Most drivers have heard of it but many do not understand the importance of it. If a new driver (under five years of experience) gets into an accident, which is deemed at-fault, that claim will be rated for six years. As a new driver, premiums are already very high, if you add a claim to that mix, premiums can become astronomical. Filip has seen premiums of over $800 per month on new drivers with an at-fault claim. The best way to prevent that from happening is to purchase accident forgiveness, which as the name implies, forgives your first at-fault accident.

There is a catch to the accident forgiveness coverage. It only applies to the current policy. This means if you decide to leave the policy or it is cancelled, the next insurance company will not forgive the accident and the client will be rated for it. The second catch is that you must be eligible for this coverage. In order to purchase the accident waiver, most companies request six years of clean driving history. The good news for the new drivers is that not all companies have that requirement. Be sure to ask the company representative if the quote you are receiving includes accident forgiveness.

Living in Ontario is already very expensive and seems to have an upward trajectory. As a new driver, auto insurance rates are sky high. In order to keep them low while building up your insurance history, it is a good idea to be added to a parent’s insurance policy, which will help the client gain experience. If that is not an option, one should pay close attention to the vehicle they purchase, get quotes on several vehicles, consider reducing some coverage for a short amount of time and finally purchasing the accident waiver to protect them from very high rates should an at-fault accident happen.

Should anyone have any questions or are looking for a quote, Filip Ambroziak is more than happy to assist. Simply call (416) 803 2113, email or visit

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