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Is Auto Insurance Mandatory in Ottawa?

Yes, there is a basic level of insurance that all drivers must have in Ottawa. By law, you’re required to have mandatory minimum third-party liability – for property damage, liability, or death due to an accident. We highly recommend that you go with a standard liability of $2 million, so you’re adequately covered.

Mandatory Car Insurance Includes:

  • Accident Benefits Coverage: After an accident, all parties that are injured will receive benefits, such as income replacement, rehabilitation, and medical. It doesn’t matter who is at-fault.
  • Third-Party Liability:  This coverage will cover costs for injuries and damage you cause to others, including recouping legal expenses if you’re sued.
  • Uninsured Automobile Coverage:  If you’re injured or killed by an uninsured driver, or it’s a hit-and-run, you or your family are covered.
  • Property Damage Coverage:  If you’re not at-fault in an accident, you’re covered for loss of use and damage to your vehicle, or its contents.

What Happens if you Don’t Have Minimum Third-Party Liability Auto Coverage?

There are numerous risks you’ll encounter when you don’t insure your car. If you fail to buy the basic mandatory minimum liability for your auto, you risk:

  • License suspension of one year
  • $5,000 to $50,000 in fines
  • Car impoundment

After a period with no car insurance, you’ll run into some problems. Once you decide to buy insurance, you may not be eligible to buy adequate insurance coverage and, in some cases, you’ll be denied coverage.

It’s important to choose the right amount of protection. At Sharp Insurance, our skilled brokers help you choose your specific limit amount so you’re not out of pocket after an accident.

What are the Optional Car Insurance Coverages in Ottawa?

There is a quick and dirty list of coverages that you can add-on as optional coverage, including:

Comprehensive Coverage

this type of coverage includes hail, wind, and water damage to your vehicle, theft and vandalism. Driving another person’s car or having a loan on the car may require you to be covered under a broad comprehensive policy.

Collision or Upset Coverage

this covers you if your car rolls over, you are at-fault in an accident, or you hit an object. A reported hit and run is also included in this option. It may not be savvy to buy collision if your car is older, as your deductible may be higher than the repair costs.

Emergency Road Service

if you need to tow your car after an accident, this coverage will pay for it.

Loss of Use

if you need a rental car or a bus tickets when your car is getting repaired after an accident, loss of use coverage will cover your expenses.

Rental Car

this coverage is in place of the rental car company’s insurance. Get this add-on protection to pay for physical damage to your rental car.

Did you know?

Ottawa drivers have 3 discounts, on average, on their car insurance policy.

How Much does it Cost for Car Insurance in Ottawa?

The average price for auto insurance in Ottawa is $1,097, one of the lowest annual rates in the province and below the provincial average of $1,260. However, the average number of claims is higher in Ottawa than in Ontario overall.

Car Insurance Prices:

$1382 – 2018 Ford F150 XLT Supercrew 4WD

$1231 – 2012 Civic LX 4DR

$1536.50 – 2017 Hyundai Elantra GL 4DR

$1107 – 2010 Toyota Corolla CE 4DR

$936 – 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

What Factors Affect the Cost of Car Insurance in Ottawa?

While the monthly average cost to get car insurance is $91 per month there are many factors that will impact how much you pay on an annual or monthly basis.

Below are a few elements that will affect your premiums:

  • Claims and insurance history
    • The number of years you’ve had insurance (consecutively)
    • Total number of claims
  • Discount options
  • Insurance options: coverage level, policy limits, loss settlement, and deductibles
  • Drivers abstract, including any traffic violations
  • Personal details, including age, sex, marital status
  • Car’s make, model and age
  • Where you live
    • Claim and crime rates in your area
  • How often you drive your vehicle
  • The insurance company you choose
  • Your daily commute and distance
  • Years of driving experience
  • Credit score

Did you know?

In Ottawa, the yearly average cost of car insurance is $1,076 for males compared to $1,122 for females.

How Can I Get Cheap Auto Insurance Rates in Ottawa

Ottawa is one of the cheaper cities in Ontario to live in for auto insurance premiums. If you want the cheapest rate, there are several elements to look at that could decrease your rates, including:

  • If you take a defensive driving course
  • Use an older car on the road
  • Choose a higher deductible
  • Your driving history
  • If you pay for small claims out-of-pocket
  • A safety device on your car to prevent thefts or vandalism
  • The frequency that you drive (daily, weekly)
  • If you take transit or other modes of transportation
  • Pay your insurance bills on time
  • Use winter tires in the colder months
  • Follow the rules of the road and drive safe
  • Shop around for the best rates

If you’re not clear how to find an inexpensive rate, call Sharp Insurance and talk to one of our experienced brokers on rates and options that suit your lifestyle and wallet.

What is the Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to insure In Ottawa?

If you’re looking to save some pennies on your auto insurance rates in Ottawa, you’ll want to choose the type of car with the cheapest rates: the station wagon or a pickup truck, which on average will cost you $926 and $963, respectively. If the a 4-door Sedan or a small SUV is more your style, you’ll have to shell out a bit more money: on average you’ll pay $1,165 for a sedan and $1,119 for a small SUV on an annual basis.

What is No-Fault Car Insurance?

When we talk about no-fault in the insurance world, it may not mean what you think. If you live in Ottawa, Ontario’s no-fault insurance system kicks in if you’re involved in an accident.

A no-fault system means that regardless of who caused the accident, all parties must go through their own car insurance companies for compensation. So, there is always someone who is at fault. While there may be some downfalls to this private system, often the claims process for the client is easier and quicker.

Did you know?

If you’re found more than 25 percent at-fault for an accident in Ottawa, your insurance rates may rise at the time of your auto insurance policy renewal.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost for a New Driver in Ottawa?

Whether you’re 16 years old and just got your license or you’re middle aged and have moved to Ottawa from another country, being a new driver can be frustrating.

In all certainty, auto insurance will be pricey for a first-time driver in Ottawa. Here are a few helpful tips on costs for the newbie driver.

  • The average cost to insure your car in the first year of driving is, on average, $2,044.50.
  • A decade of driving will ease the yearly price at $1,394.50.
  • After 15 years, you get a bit of a breather and pay $1,235 on an annual basis.

Did you know?

The average cost to insure a 2019 car is, on average, $1,332, in Ottawa, whereas the cost of insuring a 2010 car will be $998 per year.

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance Rates for New Drivers in Ottawa

Whatever puts you in this category of being a new driver, there are always options to lower your rates, including:

  • Shopping around for the best rates
  • The model and make of the car
  • Adding discounts on your insurance policy.
  • Buying a separate auto insurance policy for the new driver
  • Taking a drivers training course

At Sharp Insurance, our expert car insurance brokers connect you to the best insurance rates that suit your needs and your pocketbook.

What Information Do I Need to Get an Auto Insurance Quote in Ottawa?

While insurance premiums in Ottawa are on the rise, insuring an auto in the city is still lower than the average annual cost in the province. So, while Ottawa citizens are benefiting from their location, individual rates may vary widely.

To get a quote from your auto insurance company, you’ll need the below information on hand:

  • Name of the driver, birth date, phone number, address
  • Driving record
  • Make, model and year of your vehicle (or VIN)
  • Registration info
  • Purchase price of the car
  • Name of your insurance company, policy number, coverage, limits

Do Tickets Affect My Car Insurance Rates?

It depends on the severity of the ticket. In Ottawa, there are three levels of traffic violations: minor, major, and serious. Here are some examples for each level of offense:

Minor Offenses

  • Following too close
  • Improper turn
  • Speeding 1-49km/h over the speed limit
  • Failure to signal
  • Wrong way on a one-way street
  • Improper passing
  • Failure to share the roadway
  • Incorrect lane change
  • Traffic light violation

Major Offenses

  • Driving without insurance
  • Failure to report an accident
  • Incorrect passing of a school bus
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Failure to report highway property damage

Serious Offenses

  • Driving while license is under suspension
  • Speeding 50km/h or more over the speed limit
  • Racing
  • Careless driving
  • Stunting
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

How does distracted driving affect my car insurance rates?

Distracted driving is the number one cause of traffic accidents in Ontario. As a result, driving rules have become stricter in the province as new legislation was passed on January 1, 2019. Here are a few violations and the consequences for a first-time offender:

  • Distracted driving charge (e.g. texting, talking on phone, GPS programming) leads to a max. $1,000 fine, three demerit points, a three-day license suspension.
  • A second or third distracted offense carries a penalty of up to $3,000, a 3-day license suspension.

You can get a copy of your driving history from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for $40. Details of the report include your driving record and any prior or existing traffic violations, the date you were first licensed, and any convictions.

Did you know?

A speeding ticket will stay on your driving record for 3 years in Ottawa and may increase your rates by up to 30 percent.

What Insurance is best for High-Risk Drivers in Ottawa?

A high-risk driver, also called an uninsurable driver, often has high premiums as they are a greater risk to an insurance company. But, what if you’re on the high-risk list already – what do you need to know and how can you get off the dreaded list?

First off, here are a few quantifiable factors that deem you a high-risk driver. You may have:

  • Had your license suspended
  • Had a high number of claims or at-fault accidents
  • Missed payments or had your auto insurance cancelled for non-payment
  • Drove impaired (under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • Were criminally convicted of a charge relating to driving

If you want tips or advise on how to become a low-risk driver, contact our skilled auto insurance brokers for a chat. We’re happy to help you find the best rates and get you back on track for a better driving situation.

Why Should I Pick Sharp Insurance for my Insurance Brokerage?

Sharp Insurance is a leader in the digital insurance space with an app and online platform that provides excellent service to its customers. As an award-winning brokerage, we help you find competitive rates from several of our insurance company partners. Below are additional reasons to join us:

We’re independent.

We work for you. We partner with some of the best auto insurance companies in Ottawa to give you exceptional customer service and competitive rates.

We help find you competitive rates.

We work with different insurers to get you the best car insurance rates that suit your needs.

We’re experts.

Our auto insurance brokers are trusted advisors that have many years of experience. We’re here to answer your questions, help with claims, and make sure you’ve got the proper coverage.

We’re digital leaders.

We’re leaders in digital technology for the insurance industry. We have an online portal and app that lets you manage your insurance needs when and where it’s convenient for you.

How Do you File a Car Insurance Claim in Ottawa?

In the aftermath of a car accident, you’re stressed and often can’t remember what information you need to provide to your insurance company. In this common scenario, it’s useful to have a list of what you need to open a claim with your insurance company.

To process your car insurance claim with your insurer, you need:

  • Your policy number and name of your insurance company
  • License plate
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle (the VIN works, too)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name
  • Phone number

You should provide details of the loss, including:

  • Date of loss
  • The name, phone number, policy number of the other driver(s), insurance co, policy number
  • VIN and license number of other driver(s)
  • Time of day
  • How the damage occurred
  • Details of the incident
  • Weather conditions
  • Any witnesses

While Ontario has a no-fault insurance system, you’re required to collect the other driver’s information to provide it to your auto insurance company. Rest easy, when you make that call to your insurer, they’ll connect you to a claims adjuster, who will take care of the complete claims process for you.

An insurance claims adjuster will:

  • Assess the damage
  • Detail your insurance coverage, as per your policy
  • Negotiate the settlement
  • Keep you abreast of all the developments

Things to consider before calling your car insurance company after an accident to file a claim:

  • Find out what your new insurance premium will be after the claim
  • You will be able to pay for your small claim from your own funds
  • Your deductible may rise substantially after your claim is submitted
  • You can call your insurance broker for help to find a competitive rate
  • Multiple claims and tickets on your record is detrimental to your driver’s abstract

Did you know?

The average number of claims in Ottawa is 0.67 per person, compared to 0.59 per person in Ontario.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Ottawa

It’s compulsory to have car insurance in Ottawa, as in all cities in Canada. There are mandatory car insurance requirements for drivers and optional coverages in Ottawa, including collision and comprehensive coverage. See our section on “Mandatory Car Insurance” for more details.

There must be a valid reason to deny a person auto insurance coverage in Ottawa. An insurance company can’t use your credit rating or a disability, for example, to not give you the proper auto protection. There are certain exceptions, such as serious traffic violations, that may lead an insurance company to not be able to give you adequate coverage. If you’re in a situation where you can’t find adequate coverage, you can contact the Facility Association, which deals with high-risk auto insurance in Ontario.

It depends. Ontario has a no-fault system, meaning that all parties involved in the accident must go through their own insurance company for reimbursement of medical costs and other expenses. This does not mean that no one is at-fault. The province’s system allows your insurance company to pay for your loss only and not the other driver’s loss, including vehicle damages, medical costs, and lawyers in case you’re sued.

No, if your personal items are stolen from your car you won’t be covered under your auto policy, but your protection will fall under your home insurance policy. If you leave personal items, such as your phone, laptop, and GPS device, in your car (even for a short time), you will be covered. If your car is damaged and the items inside were stolen, you must file two separate insurance claims, each with a separate deductible.

No. Your insurance rates will not be impacted by a photo radar speeding ticket as there is no evidence to show who was driving the car. If a cop pulls you over with a speeding ticket, for example, your insurance rates will likely rise. In any case, you must still pay for a photo radar speeding ticket, though, otherwise you won’t be able to renew your vehicle registration.

Yes, speeding tickets will impact your car insurance rates in Ottawa.

Yes. Whether you choose Lyft or Uber for your ridesharing service in Ottawa, or car sharing services, such as Turo, you must contact your auto insurance company and let them know. If you’re transporting other people for money, you need specific insurance on top of your personal auto insurance policy. Once you have an individual carsharing or ridesharing policy, read it over carefully. In 2016, Financial Services Company of Ontario approved a commercial auto insurance policy for ridesharing drivers and passengers. Make sure you let your insurance company know if you have a separate commercial auto policy in addition to your personal policy.

Ontario has a no-fault system, where regardless of who is at-fault in an accident, all parties must go to their respective insurance company in the event of an accident. This does not mean that no one is at-fault. The province uses Fault Determination Rules to determine fault in the event of an accident. Fault determination ranges from 0% to 100% fault.

By law, a driver must have a minimum of $200,000 for third party liability and accidents benefits coverage, which helps to cover damages and medical expenses of others involved in an accident where you’re at fault. However, a much higher amount of $2 million is recommended as expenses and damages from all parties involved in an accident are often much higher. The amount agreed upon can also cover legal expenses if you’re sued after an accident.

No, car insurance rates are similar for men and women in Ottawa – as in the case in Ontario. On average, it will cost males $1,076 per year, or $90 per month, for auto insurance compared to a woman, who will spend $1,122, or $94 per month, on average.

Whether you pay monthly or annually depends on your car insurance policy. Often, your insurance company can change the frequency that you pay your rates, so ask your insurance broker when you first set up your policy or at the time of renewal. Ontario has a private system, so that gives customers the ability to shop around and find the best rates that suit their needs.

When your vehicle is in an accident, your insurance company will determine whether it’s a total loss by assessing the value of the car after the incident. For example, if repairs to your car cost more than the actual cash value of the car, the insurance company will deem your car a total loss. However, if the cost of repairs is less than the actual cash value, the insurance company will likely decide to repair your car.

Actual cash value and replacement cost are two methods that an insurance company will pay you for a loss. Actual cash value, also known as market value, pays for what an item is worth at the time of the claim. Replacement cost is the amount that your insurance company will pay you based on the price of the item at the time of loss. You can determine which method you’d like to use when you first set up your auto insurance policy. Actual cash value and replacement cost are determined differently from one insurance company to the next, so if you’re unsure of your policy details, simply contact your insurance broker for help.

No, as a car owner with a valid auto insurance policy, you don’t need to get a separate insurance policy for a new car. Simply transfer your old policy to your new policy. Keep in mind with a new car insurance policy, that you may need different coverage based on the make, model, and year of your new vehicle.

Yes. If you’re travelling with your personal vehicle, you should be protected with a basic liability coverage, which extends from your personal car insurance policy. If you’re in an accident in your own vehicle while in another province, city, or country – call your insurer immediately, even if it’s a minor accident. If you’ve rented a car for your travels, the level of insurance depends on whether you already have an auto policy. You may also want to consider an endorsement that covers physical damage to the rental car. Always contact your insurance company before you head out on the road for clarification on what you’re covered for and what you need.

Yes. If you need insurance in Ottawa, your car needs to be registered in Ontario.

Currently Not Accepting Walk-Ins

Please be advised that due to unforeseen circumstances, Sharp is unable to assist walk-in clients at the moment.

We are happy to assist you with all your insurance needs over the phone at 1.877.218.2008