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July 27, 2007 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Auto insurance recommendations in Ontario for a new immigrant?

I've just moved to Ontario and am trying to get auto insurance. However, due to the fact that I've just moved here I don't have my long history of safe driving -- my records only go back to 2004. Doing some random digging (PC Financial, mostly) results in insurance quotes of over two hundred dollars a month, which completely flabbergasts me. Do any kind Ontario folk know of some secret ways I can bring these payments down? Any providers you think are better than others? Is it possible to get some sort of incredibly high deductible or something to bring down the price? This is major ouch. Thanks much.
posted by the dief to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Welcome to the province.

kanetix.ca is worth a try, but. Call around, and call around some more. Calling worked a lot better than anything on-line for me for some reason.

Mr Kmennie hadn't been a car owner for some years before being insured again recently, and, calling around, I got everything from 'He may as well be a new driver; here's a totally outrageous rate' to 'And this was accident-free then? Great; here's something reasonable.' We got pretty good rates (house & car) from RBC.

Is there any way to import pre-2004 records? Not clear on why it wouldn't be, at least with some insurers; somebody should be willing to look at a US driving history, I'd hope. I was pretty happy with RBC for taking into account some time spent using a car-sharing service -- they let us fax something from the car-share folk and lowered the rate based on that, which no other insurer cared about.
posted by kmennie at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2007

Unfortunately auto insurance prices in Ontario are generally high and have been for some time. Definitely call around and talk to a few brokers rather than relying on online quotes, as the online forms don't handle exceptional cases well at all.

Be aware that to the best of my knowledge, brokers only carry a few different insurance lines, not all insurance lines as the advertising implies, so it's wise to check out more than one broker.

My husband is a recent immigrant and we've been reasonably well served by Cooperators. You can also get deals if you have more than one line of insurance with an insurer (ie., house and car).

Press the agent/broker for ways you may be able to get a discount - good record, type of car, whether or not you drive it for business, where you live and who's listed as primary driver are key factors.
posted by Zinger at 6:21 PM on July 27, 2007

Agreed that the rates suck and you should call around. Try President's Choice.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:03 PM on July 28, 2007

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