Complacency On Car Insurance Can Cost Drivers As Much As A Month’s Worth Of Groceries

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

As Ontarians struggle with the economic fallout of a third COVID-19 province-wide lockdown, new data from RATESDOTCA suggests that 77 per cent of them are leaving potentially more than $700 in annual car insurance savings on the table. Interestingly, the survey revealed that fewer Ontario drivers shop around for compulsory car insurance than they do for staple voluntary expenses such as cell phone or internet services, despite the greater dollar savings realized in securing the best insurance rates.

“It is troubling to see more than 1.4 million Ontario drivers feel it is either too much hassle to switch or that it never occurred to them in the first place, even though the amount they could save equals what an average family of three spends on groceries a month*,” said Jameson Berkow, managing editor of RATESDOTCA. “And, that the majority of Ontario drivers surveyed say they don’t shop around for car insurance suggests there is a real lack of awareness about the ease of doing so, and the options and resources that are available.”

The survey revealed:

  • Less than one in four Ontario drivers shopped around for car insurance in the past year (23 per cent) compared to nearly one in three Canadians that shopped around for a cell phone plan (31 per cent) or for a new internet service (32 per cent).
  • More Canadians ended up switching car insurance providers after shopping around (39 per cent) than those who ended up switching cell phone (32 per cent) or internet (37 per cent) providers.
  • Those who switched car insurance providers also ended up saving more money.
  • Of the 77 per cent of respondents who did not shop around for car insurance, more than one in five of them said switching was either “too much hassle” (15 per cent) or that switching simply never occurred to them as an option before (6 per cent).
  • Of the 39 per cent of people who switched car insurance providers after shopping around, more than one in three of them (36 per cent) ended up saving $60 or more on their monthly premiums. That is $720 per year or more than the $642 that Statistics Canada says the average Canadian family of three spends on groceries in a typical month.
  • Men are more likely to shop around for insurance than women (29 per cent of men shopped around for car insurance vs. 18 per cent of women, and for home insurance 25 per cent of men shopped around vs. 18 per cent of women).
  • More than one in three respondents with car insurance (35 per cent) said their current provider gives them a loyalty discount with a typical savings of 5 per cent only (or about $7/month based on the average premium of $1,664), which is far lesser than the savings Ontario drivers could receive if they switch insurance companies.

It’s time drivers seriously consider the multiple options available to reduce their insurance rates:

  • Many providers are offering rate relief connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. See if yours is among them using a COVID-19 rebate/relief premium calculator.
  • Working from home? Your lack of commute could reduce your auto insurance rates simply by letting your provider know, or switch to usage-based insurance and only pay for the actual distance you drive.
  • Shop around! It’s the only way to discover what the competition is offering and users of RATESDOTCA save an average of $676 on their annual auto insurance costs**

To review the full survey findings, visit RATESDOTCA.



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